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September 23, 2005

SPINNING THE PROTESTS: I recommend that readers google the names of people mentioned in the press accounts of this weekend's antiwar protests. I looked up Brian Becker, who's mentioned in this Washington Post story by Petula Dvorak. To be fair, Dvorak at least mentions the ANSWER connection, but a quick Google search of Becker's name finds that he's been praising the "Iraqi resistance" and denigrating U.S. troops since the beginning. It would appear that he's not so much "antiwar" as just on the other side.

It would be nice if Dvorak's article, and others, made that clearer, instead of offering the sanitized treatment of ANSWER that it does. The Post, however, has a history of whitewashing these folks.

For those who have forgotten, here's some background on A.N.S.W.E.R. and its related groups by David Corn. Here's some more, and here's Michael Lerner's piece on antisemitism in the antiwar movement, written after he was banned from an antiwar rally at A.N.S.W.E.R.'s behest.

If there were an authentic antiwar movement in this country, it wouldn't have to rely on the services of fringe groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. to provide organization and cadre.

UPDATE: Here's more on Becker from INDCJournal, including a photo from an earlier protest.

Meanwhile PostWatch asks:

Is the Washington Post simply incapable of accurately describing ANSWER, one of the chief organizers of this Saturday's protest? . . .

Dvorak writes of "many causes" that antiwar protesters have marched for, but leaves out the really interesting ones.

Why can't Dvorak do a little digging on the connection between ANSWER and the Stalinist Workers World Party (WWP)? . . .

If some bloggers can find this in an old Michael Kelly column, why can't the combined staff of the Washington Post?

Why, indeed? Read the whole thing. And read this related post, too.

And there's more criticism of the Dvorak article over at Newsbusters.