Accuracy in Media

The pro-communist group, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, or ANSWER, has done it again. In announcing another anti-Iraq demonstration, this one on September 24, the group managed to trick the media into thinking that ANSWER is a mainstream protest organization that is comprised of ordinary Americans. But ANSWER was more honest this time around. In its email message announcing its June 1 news conference at the National Press Club, the group urged the attendance of “antiwar activists, students, communist organizers, unionists and those working for progressive change and social justice?” Did you notice the inclusion of “communist organizers.”

Communists are more than included. They are helping run the thing. One of them, key organizer Brian Becker, is a member of the communist Workers World Party and is frequently quoted in the press. But his communist past is almost always carefully omitted.

Even more interesting than the attendance of the “communist organizers” was the coverage by the press. ANSWER says its press conference was reported in more than 100 media outlets, including the Washington Post, CBS Radio, Associated Press, UPI (United Press International), and AFP (Agence France-Presse).

ANSWER was especially proud of the coverage it received in Prensa Latina, a news agency that serves as a mouthpiece for Cuba’s communist dictator Fidel Castro. That story was as objective as the protest organizers. It declared that “US Anti-war activists distressed by the non-stop violence in Iraq are planning demonstrations in Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco this fall against the current government’s war policy and to demand the administration of President George W. Bush to bring the troops back to the US?Protesters will also demand an end to Israel occupation of Palestine territories and the end of racist and anti immigrant policies in the United States.

Brian Becker, national coordinator of this Washington-based coalition, which has more than 500 anti-war groups as members, said the public is growing tired of the war and the government’s negative policy against countries like Cuba and Venezuela.”

Come to think of it, Prensa Latina’s coverage of the press conference wasn’t that different from the U.S. media coverage.

ANSWER was kind enough to put the AP and AFP stories about the press conference on its own website. It was proud of them. The stories depicted ANSWER as just an anti-war group planning a protest. Nothing was said about how the protest organizers in the WWP are linked to Castro and North Korea.

As we said in a recent press release, “People are free to oppose the Iraq war but the media should give the public the facts about how Marxist agitators are manipulating the protests in order to produce an American defeat in Iraq and embolden America’s enemies. It’s time for Watergate-style investigative reporting into the not-so-hidden agenda of the ‘anti-war’ movement. Some people may want to avoid serving as ‘useful idiots’ for an anti-American cause.”

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