29
Sep
2005

Disappearing anti-war protests

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
by staff

09/27/05

Hundreds of thousands of Americans around the country protested the Iraq War on the weekend of September 24-25, with the largest demonstration bringing between 100,000 and 300,000 to Washington, D.C. on Saturday. But if you relied on television for your news, you'd hardly know the protests happened at all. According to the Nexis news database, the only mention on the network newscasts that Saturday came on the NBC Nightly News, where the massive march received all of 87 words. (ABC World News Tonight transcripts were not available for September 24, possibly due to pre-emption by college football.) Cable coverage wasn't much better. CNN, for example, made only passing references to the weekend protests. ... Another feature of the protest coverage was a tendency to treat a tiny group of pro-war hecklers as somehow equivalent to the massive anti-war gathering. ... In a headline that summed up the absurdity of this type of coverage, the Washington Post reported (9/25/05): 'Smaller but Spirited Crowd Protests Antiwar March; More Than 200 Say They Represent Majority.' Perhaps this 'crowd' felt that way because they've grown accustomed to a media system that so frequently echoes their views, while keeping antiwar voices -- representing the actual majority opinion -- off the radar...

//www.fair.org/index.php?page=2677


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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