Anti-war Voices Scarce In the Media
Although polls vary widely, a large chunk of the public still wants the war in Afghanistan to end. Opposition has swung as high as 57 percent before President Obama outlined his plans to send 30,000 more troops to the region, to a low of 43 percent afterwards. But if you looked at some of our major newspapers, one gets the impression that there’s little dissent going on. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) studied 10 months of op-eds from The New York Times and The Washington Post, concluding that pro-war cheerleading far outnumbered anti-war dissent. Sounds to me like a re-run of the run up to Iraq. And military analysts are still appearing on major TV networks commenting about Afghanistan, even though these same analysts’ financial interests in various defense contracting firms hardly make them objective. At the same time, extensive coverage of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts has taken a back seat to the fight over healthcare reform in Washington. Meanwhile, anti-war protests regularly take place in Washington D.C. and around the country, but get little media coverage. Just doing a quick YouTube search yields tons of amateur videos shot by anti-war activists. The rally in the video below took place just outside the White House last weekend and featured several former presidential candidates, but I’ll bet unless you get your news from alternative media, you probably didn’t know it happened.
Still, maybe it says something about the American people right now that many of them haven’t been swayed by the conventional Washington beltway slant fed to them via their TV screens and newspapers. For the mainstream media to ignore or downplay a large portion of dissenting views on the wars is in no way fair or objective, and does a disservice to the public interest.