The Washington Post proved on Tuesday that it will promote “Occupy DC” protests as real “news events” no matter how poor the turnout. “About 50 protesters took to the streets waving signs, chanting and singing,” wrote the Post’s Annie Gowen. “They were trailed by a large cadre of D.C. police, in vans, on foot and on Segways, who obligingly shut down streets for them.”
And the Post obligingly awarded the protest with three splashy color photos, two on the front page of Metro, and a large 5-by-8-inch photo on the section’s back page. The paper's headline was “Occupy D.C. plans to stage its Act 2.” And it didn’t matter if this “stage” is sparsely attended, and only 30 people show up for events:
Yesterday's "Occupy Congress" push by the Occupy D.C. protesters resulted in four arrests at the U.S. Capitol and a lockdown at the White House after someone lobbed "an object similar to a smoke bomb" over the White House fence.
If such disturbing incidents accompanied a Tea Party protest, the harsh reaction by the Washington Post would be predictable and, indeed, to an extent justifiable. But Washington Post reporters Annie Gowen and Katie Rogers painted the protests in a generally positive light in Metro front page article, "Occupiers confront seats of power."* Indeed, Gowen and Rogers buried deep in their article the fact that one of the four protesters arrested was charged with assaulting a police officer.
The cold weather may have really cut into the crowds "occupying" two public spaces in the nation's capital, but The Washington Post doesn't care about crowd size. It's still publicizing some sort of protest juggernaut, like a ski resort manufactures snow when none has fallen. The Post's Sunday front page was dominated by the headline "LOVE AMID THE TENTS." The biggest "news" of the day was casual sex, hippie-style.
Post reporter Annie Gowen proclaimed that "As the Occupy movement enters its fourth month locally, it has spawned two full-service camps, more than 100 arrests and an ongoing constitutional debate over the right to free speech on federal land. But a combustible combination of youthful energy, enthusiasm for shared ideals and tight living quarters has given rise to something else: Romance. Lots and lots of romance." The bolded part was italicized and sprawled above a four-column picture taken inside a tent looking out.
In her profile of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on Wednesday, the Washington Post's Annie Gowen went through the predictable leftist checklist of things that should supposedly cause the rest of America not to like him. A state taken over by "tea party fervor"? Check. "Slashed" funding for "schools, social services and the arts"? Check. Imply that his predecessor, radical proabort and ObamaCare implementer Kathleen Sebelius, is a "moderate," and that he is somehow breaking a tradition of moderation? Check. Finding an old-line Republican who thinks he's going too far? Check. Oh, and mentioning that the eeeeeevil Koch brothers, who like the guy and have given him money (that might have something to do with the fact that Koch is headquartered in Wichita)? Check.
Here are excerpts from Gowen's report (HT Norma at Collecting My Thoughts, whose reaction is "Something good is happening in Kansas"; bolds are mine):
"Nowhere near Ground Zero, but no more welcome: Outcry over mosque proposals in Tennessee and elsewhere could be a sign of rising anti-Muslim sentiment across the country."
With those words, the front page headline* and subheader for an August 23 Washington Post story by Annie Gowen conflated the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque with opposition to other mosques across the fruited plain, namely one planned for Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from where Gowen filed her story.
Gowen waited until 27th pragraph in the 41-paragraph story to introduce the man spearheading the opposition, "a stocky 44-year-old correctional officer named Kevin Fisher" who "spent his formative years in Buffalo, where a home-grown terrorist cell of Yemeni Americans was uncovered in 2002."
Yet long before she ever got around to quoting Fisher, Gowen set out to portray the opposition to the mosque as the work of intolerant, ignorant rednecks.