Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post reporters apparently didn’t grasp the amusing nature of what they observed: police stepped into a “scuffle between peace activists and counter-protesters” on the day of a demonstration against American policy on Iraq. But in addition to peace demonstrators getting into a fight, there was something else that was newsworthy about the October 26th demonstration – key leaders of the rally were communists.

The Post and New York Times referred to “Brian Becker, co-director of the International Action Center, one of the groups that make up International ANSWER.” The sponsoring organization International ANSWER is a front of the International Action Center, which functions as a front of the Workers World Party, of which Becker is a leading member. He is also a supporter of one of the worst regimes in the world, the Stalinist North Korean Communist dictatorship. The Washington Time wasn’t any better, describing International ANSWER as just an “activist group.”

Becker was also a key organizer of an April 20 pro-Palestinian demonstration in Washington. Then, as now, the media ignored his communist connections. Post reporter Manny Fernandez covered both events, failing in each case to uncover the truth. We noted in an AIM Report about its coverage of the Middle East protest that Becker is a hard-core Marxist affiliated with the Workers World Party who had been in Havana, Cuba, in October 1997, getting instructions on how to conduct world revolution. He presented a paper from the National Committee of the Workers World Party that referred to Cuban dictator Castro as a “comrade” and declared that “it is crucial that revolutionaries fight tooth and nail for their values, their principles and the revolutionary conceptions put forward by Marxism and Leninism.”

For this crowd, in the words of speaker Damu Smith, President Bush, vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are the “Axis of Evil.” While Smith could not be identified as a Workers World Party operative, another speaker and organizer, Larry Holmes, has been a very open member. In fact, Holmes has served as a member of the party’s secretariat.

Interestingly, rival socialist groups believe the Workers World Party works too closely with the national Democratic Party. Helen Halyard of the World Socialist Web Site editorial board said that Workers World “acts to prop up the Democrats” and has a “political orientation to the Democratic Party.” She noted that when Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 1988, he was backed by Sam Marcy, founder of the Workers World Party. Well, Jackson and Al Sharpton both delivered what the Washington Times called “rousing speeches” at the so-called anti-war rally.

We say so-called because it is clear that Becker, Holmes and others are not really against war. They are only against wars that target enemies of America. But that wasn’t made clear to the public either before or after this protest took place. Perhaps journalists realize that the truth would ultimately embarrass their friends in the Democratic Party.

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