Saturday, March 22, 2008

Winter Soldier Media Blackout: The public begins to respond...

Editors Note:
This letter to the Washington Post editor was forwarded out on the VVAW contact list for all to see, because the author believed that it would never make it into the Post Letter's to the Editor, due to their editorial stance of marginalizing the Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan hearings at the National labor College in Silver Springs, Maryland, this past week-end, March 13th thru 16th. WH

My letter to the Washington Post, 3/17/2008:
I don't know why I even bother to write this. For some reason I keep expecting more from the Post, even though I know you have been marginalizing opposition to the Iraq war since before it began.
I was grateful for Steve Vogel's Saturday coverage of the four-day Winter Soldier hearings, tucked into the Metro section as local news even although it is a national conference. Antiwar demonstrations are also relegated to the Metro section, even when hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to their nation's capitol from all over the country. (Are these articles only included in the District edition, or do Virginia and Maryland readers get them, too?
Opening the paper this morning, I had hoped to see some of the Winter Soldier testimony, which provides some of the starkest factual information and critical analysis of the situation in Iraq to date. (Fortunately I can listen to the proceedings on my computer because Pacifica Radio is covering the conference.) What I see instead is an article--in the front section of the paper--about the pro-war demonstration on the Mall. It will be interesting to see where coverage of this week's upcoming anti-war demonstrations end up.
Let me add this: You treat protest and demonstrations as news, which I suppose they are. But the Winter Soldier conference is not news--it is a source of information that the American people desperately need in order to have informed opinions and make informed judgments about their
government's illegal occupation of another country.
The Post has a responsibility to provide this information to its readership. Otherwise, you enable this administration to continue lying to Americans about the occupation of Iraq.
Helen Schietinger
Washington, DC 20011

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