Monday, April 27, 2009

Why is the Washington Post Pushing One Point of View on Torture?

Photo description: Helene Sardeau often conveyed contemplation, serenity and humanism in her work. Her first major commission, Slave (1933) was executed for a sculpture garden in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. She sculpted under the pseudonym "Sardeau" even after she married fellow painter George Biddle. Creator/Photographer: Peter A. Juley & Son

Tonight I sent the email below to the
Washington Post's Ombudsman, Andy Alexander. Mr. Alexander has done some really good things since he's been at the Post so I thought if anyone would try to do something about the slanted opinion page at the Post it would be Mr. Alexander. 

While I have no illusions that Mr. Alexander will be able to change the high number of one-sided opinions published by the Post I was so frustrated tonight that I thought I'd at least try to do something to make them see that they are losing their readers. I think all of us want to see a variety of opinions from a variety of perspectives but what we don't want to see is one view to be pushed down our throats which is what the Post has been doing on the torture issue.

Dear Andy,  

Today the Post reported on the results from it's most recent Washington Post/ABC poll. In that poll 51% of respondents supported investigations for torture, 47% did not and 2% had no opinion. When you looked at the internals of the poll it showed that 23% of the respondents self identified as liberal, 39% as moderate and 35% as conservative. In other words, even if every liberal polled said that they wanted investigations (23%) that meant there were still 26% of the respondents who wanted investigations who were not liberal. In fact there were more non-liberals who wanted investigations than there were liberals who wanted investigations yet the Post consistently frames this issue as a left vs. right issue. 

Tonight I logged onto the Post's site and saw this on the home page: 

The Torture Debate

Scheuer:    The Bin Laden Scenario 
Danner:     Who's to Blame? 
Gerson:     Memos Understandable 
Broder:      No to Prosecutions 

Of the four opinion pieces listed only 1 of them advocates for accountability. This is why the Post is losing it's readers. We see a newspaper determined to push one point of view and to marginalize all others. 

I've seen all kinds of pieces written on line by rank and file conservatives against torture where they even call the Republicans who support torture, "Rubber hose Republicans". This is not just a left vs. right issue but if you read only the Post you would never know that. 

This truly is a right vs. wrong issue and unfortunately the Post has chosen to push the view that there should be no accountability for torture over and over and over. I keep trying to defend the Post but even I find that harder and harder to do these days. I keep finding myself having to write pieces on my blog where I'm critical of what is in the Post. Have they lost their minds? Do they not want readers? 

I don't expect a response from you but I felt I needed to alert you to this information and hopefully you can pass it along to someone at the Post who might still care about the readers and this newspaper.

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