Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post editorial page is as liberal as ever, and it has an influence way beyond the Washington beltway. But we have noticed recently that some readers seem to be getting at least some space to challenge a few editorials that have gone way beyond liberal to leftist. One recent Post editorial, for example, defended the decision by the Vermont legislature to accept same-sex unions. The Post claimed that “no consensus exists” nationwide on the issue of gay marriage.

But a reader pointed out that a consensus DOES exist, and that it runs against what the Post apparently believes in. The writer pointed out, “Polls consistently show that a vast majority of Americans do not support gay marriage. The Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Al Gore and George W. Bush, do not support gay marriage. And earlier this month, more than 60 percent of voters in California voted to not recognize gay marriage.”

The letter writer is correct, and the California result is extraordinary in light of the fact that the Hollywood crowd waged a multimillion dollar advertising campaign to defeat it. In other states, Hawaii and Washington, measures against gay marriage have passed with about 70 percent of the vote. The Post may be reluctant to acknowledge it is in the minority because it already has a policy that recognizes same-sex unions as legitimate. This means that two men can claim to be joined in a union and their relationship can get official recognition in the pages of the Post. In addition to the pro-gay caucus that apparently exists at the Post editorial page, there is a faction representing extreme environmentalism. Recently, a Post editorial came out strongly against any cut in the federal gasoline tax to alleviate the suffering caused by higher oil prices. The paper also took aim at Alaska Senators who wanted to stimulate domestic production by opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. Without explaining why, the editorial called such a proposal “demagoguery.” One of those Senators, Frank Murkowski, responded with a letter that made it clear that the Post is itself guilty of demagoguery. Highlighting the editorial?s headline, “Guzzle and Go,” Murkowski said the Post was advocating a policy of “guzzle and go abroad.” He noted that we are now 55 percent dependent on foreign oil.

Then he added the following: “[the] Arctic National Wildlife Refuge…is 19 million acres, 1.5 million of which were set aside by Congress to consider oil and gas exploration. Actual development only would affect about 2,000 acres. I suggest the demagoguery comes when you follow the extreme environmentalist line: 19 million acres for wildlife and pristine conditions and not even 2,000 acres for energy security.” [Overall, he noted, Alaska has 125 million acres of national parks, preserves and wildlife refuges.]

Senator Murkowski is correct: the Post is following the extreme environmentalist line. On the issue of gay marriage, it is taking the militant gay line. In both cases, the Post is so liberal that it finds itself in a tiny minority. But this is the dominant newspaper in the nation?s capital.




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