Saturday, August 13, 2005

Nope, No Politics Here

A fascinating story from Editor & Publisher:

'Wash Post' Hit For Sponsorship Of 'Freedom' March

The Washington Post has no plans to withdraw its co-sponsorship of a controversial Sept. 11 memorial walk being organized by the Department of Defense, according to Publisher Bo Jones. But, he said the paper would pull out if the event turns out to be some kind of pro-war or political march.

"This was part of the memorial of the 9/11 victims and an effort for veterans past and present and that is it," Jones said about the "Freedom Walk" slated for Sept. 11. "This has nothing to do with politics or the war or support of any political position."

Still, Jones added that the paper would withdraw support, which consists of providing public service advertising space in the paper, if the event turns partisan. "If I turns out to be a political event, we would disassociate ourselves from it," he said.

....But Rick Weiss, a Post science reporter and co-chair of the Washington Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, noted the hypocrisy of the paper's involvement, since it bars reporters from participating in partisan events. "It is dismaying, to say the least, that I can be fired for participating in a peace march while my employer feels free to co-sponsor an event that so blatantly beats the drum of war," Weiss stated.

Weiss stressed that the guild had not taken a position on the issue, but planned to consider it during a leadership meeting on Monday.

John Pike, who has been a defense analyst in Washington for 25 years and runs, told Knight Ridder, referring to the Pentagon rally, "I've never heard of such a thing." Others worried that it would re-kindle attempts to link 9/11 to the war in Iraq.
Read the full story HERE.

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