WaPo and the Pentagon, BFF?


The Washington Post reports on flak the paper's been catching for co-sponsoring a Defense Department–run concert event called "Freedom Walk." (You too can celebrate your freedom if you're in the D.C. area, though you've got to register with the Pentagon first.)

Atrios quotes a letter to Romenesko from In These Times editor Christopher Hayes that sums up the complaint:

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.