From CHRISTOPHER HAYES, contributing editor, In These Times: Yesterday we learned that the Department of Defense is planning a massive "America Supports You Freedom Walk" for the fourth anniversary of 9/11. Bracket for a moment the heinous company in which this this places the Bush administration (Cuba, Iran, and China, just to name a few of the regimes that regularly utilize state-sponsored marches and rallies as propaganda tools), and bracket for a moment the fact that this march for "freedom," which will take place on public streets, apparently requires participants to register with the DoD. There's one aspect of this whole mess I'm surprised hasn't received more attention. Check out this paragraph from the Pentagon's press release:
"The walk was made possible with the help of several local in-kind supporters, including Stars and Stripes newspaper, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Subway, Washington Post, Lockheed Martin, WTOP, ABC/WJLA-TV Channel 7 and News Channel 8, and the Washington Convention & Tourism Corporation, according to the Freedom Walk Web site."
I count four different media outlets in that list. Funny, I thought it was the role of the press to challenge not collude with the government when it attempts to disseminate propaganda. And propaganda this is, let's be very clear. One supposes that the suits at the Washington Post Company who OK'ed the partnership with the DoD figured the sentiment of "supporting the troops" is so anodyne as to be wholly uncontroversial, akin to news anchors wearing flag pins on their lapels. If the rally were sponsored by some independent group of citizens, that'd be one thing (though still strange), but it is being organized by the United States military, the same entity currently administering and promoting an increasingly unpopular war, one that remains the single biggest news story in the nation and the subject of much public debate. This is a not a "support the troops" rally but rather, a "support the war" rally. Media outlets simply have no business granting their imprimatur to such a crudely political stunt.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
by Atrios at 16:00