Whitewashing the Reds (and the Blues, Blacks and Yellows)

Have you heard that a gaggle of black-clad radicals, many wearing masks, defaced the United States Capitol—the very symbol of our republic—during their antiwar march on Saturday?

If you depend on the major networks or newspapers for news, you probably didn't. The story would have gone unreported entirely if it had not been for The Hill, a Capitol Hill paper serving the political community, which ran a piece picked up by the Drudge Report.

Here's what ABC, NBC, CBS, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, USA Today and other major outlets did not find newsworthy:

Waving red and black flags, and carrying riot shields emblazoned with “America out of everywhere,” 300 protesters spray-painted “anarchist symbols,” political taunts and curses on the west front steps of the Capitol building.  The western side is the portion of the Capitol facing the Mall, which was in full view of every reporter and cameraman covering the march. 

Furious Capitol Hill police were ordered to stand aside and allow the anarchists to wield their spray cans unmolested, though the police were permitted to block their attempt to rush the Capitol's doors.

The anarchists, many of whom were members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), provided plenty of compelling footage for the TV cameras.  No doubt they had plenty of compelling quotes ready to go for the press, as sophisticated political activists always do, but they had no takers.    

An Associated Press story reprinted by The Washington Post briefly mentioned the rush on the Capitol.  A writer for CounterPunch, a leftwing newsletter, bemoaned the failure of more protestors to join the charge up the Capitol steps, so “it would have been hard for the men in blue to do much.”  Apart from The Hill's story, that's all the coverage of the assault on and defacement of the Capitol that I could find

Apparently the media don't want Americans to know that some of the people protesting the Iraq war are filled with hate not only for the war, or even President Bush, but for America itself. 

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor of the Culture and Media Institute.