I haven't talked about it before, but for those of you who don't know, the Department of Defense is supporting a Freedom Walk
on 9/11 to "remember the victims, honor our veterans, past and present, and celebrate our freedom." Of course, in order to celebrate your freedom, you're required to register
your name, address, email, and phone number. But really, other than that…it's all about freedom man.
Anyway, the big controversy was that the Washington Post was offering free advertisements to help sponsor the event.
Apparently, the corporate heads of the WP didn't see a conflict of interest in sponsoring a government institution that they spend so much time covering. Their excuse?
The event was never presented to The Post as a rally to support the war. We would be disappointed if it took that approach.
Right, so the government organization that's currently waging a war that your paper is covering is having a walk to commemorate 9/11, an event they've tried their damnedest to link to said war and you don't think it's a rally to support the war. Are we being naïve or just willfully blind?
Anyway, the good news is that, after much protesting from "members of the antiwar movement and by journalists in the paper's own newsroom" the WP has pulled it's sponsorship
and is donating money to the Pentagon Memorial Fund instead. I have to laugh at the new line though:
As it appears that this event could become politicized, The Post has decided to honor the Washington area victims of 9/11 by making a contribution directly to the Pentagon Memorial Fund.
As it appears
the event has become
politicized?! Riiiiight. Even the DOD's response to the pullout
proves this was always a political event: an opportunity to remember the victims and their families, to reflect on the sacrifices made by our troops and to recommit to the work still ahead.
(Emphasis is mine).
Anyway, if anybody out there is as interested in what's going on in the world of mainstream media as I am (Things like this, or Keith Olbermann getting blasted by his boss for his Peter Jennings commentary
) you should totally be checking out Romenesko at Poynter.org