Is The Post Sponsoring a Partisan Event?

Is The Post Sponsoring a Partisan Event?

FW-banner17.gifThe Washington Post took some flak in one of its online chats today regarding whether its appropriate for the newspaper company to be helping to sponsor the upcoming “America Supports You Freedom Walk.”

Critics went after it on two levels: the first that it’s inappropriate to “celebrate” the 9/11 anniversary–the ceremony should be solemn, not a party and concert on the Mall; second, they questioned the “polarizing” nature of the event: a country music concert in Washington, D.C.? Not very subtle.

“I’m too young to have been there, but I can’t remember that anyone staged Lindy Hop or Charleston parties to celebrate Pearl Harbor Day in the 1940s,” one chatter wrote.

“The tone of the promotions for the event is, to use the technical term, yucky. If it’s really supposed to honor the 9/11 dead, I don’t see why you’d have a country concert on the Mall, and given the population and preferences of people who live in this region, the choice of country music is polarizing and bizarre,” Post columnist Marc Fisher chastised.

Overall the event is being sponsored by the Pentagon, along with the help of some local businesses including the Washington Post, WTOP, ABC WJLA-TV Channel 7, and NewsChannel 8. Chat participants questioned whether the event, whose main website features photos of Sean Hannity, Oliver North, and Rick Santorum is really a “non-partisan” event.

“There is no excuse for the Post company or any other media organization (and there are several listed) being involved in what indeed does appear to be shaping up as a partisan event,” Fisher said in the chat. “If the government is using this event to push its political agenda, and by any accounting, the use of Hannity, Ollie North and Rick Santorum as poster boys is very one-sided politically, then I don’t see any role for the newspaper except to cover the event.”