Friday, September 27, 2002


Media Minded reports that Maryland gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Kennedy Townsend denounced her opponent, Robert L. Ehrlich, at an NAACP sponsored debate:

"He opposes affirmative action based on race," she said. "Well, let me tell you, slavery was based on race. Lynching was based on race. Discrimination is based on race. Jim Crow was based on race. And affirmative action should be based on race."

Well at least it’s out in the open. Ms. Townsend defines people by the color their skin. Since affirmative action is supposed to be about correcting historical patterns of discrimination, shouldn’t Ms. Townsend step aside and allow a qualified black candidate to run for governor? After all, when’s the last time a black served as governor of Maryland?

Oh wait, we're talking about a Kennedy. Never mind.

According to The Washington Post’s ombudsman, Michael Getler, four retired high-ranking military officers testified on Monday before a Senate committee about war with Iraq. Three retired four-stars generals, Army Generals John M. Shalikashvili and Wesley K. Clark, and Marine Corps General Joseph P. Hoar, urged caution. Hoar warned of high casualties “on both sides” and joined with Clark in speculating that war would “supercharge” terrorist recruiting efforts. Retired three-star Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney urged quick and decisive action against Iraq.

The Post chose not to report any of this on Tuesday. They did, however, report about:

a man named Brian Griffin, who is secretary of the environment in Oklahoma. It seems that Griffin had been randomly selected for search at the Oklahoma City airport as he was checking in for a flight to Washington. Griffin, according to Reliable Source sources, made a vigorous protest, but before he could produce proof of his position, inspectors found "a Ziploc bag filled with condoms." Griffin is divorced and single.

Later in the week, The Post informed readers that a corporate executive had recently visited a strip club.

Getler doesn’t mention it, but The Post is famous for its seven principles, which were promulgated by Eugene Meyer in 1935. The principles are published on The Post’s website and, so far as I know, have never been disaffirmed. They are:

. The first mission of a newspaper is to tell the truth as nearly as the truth can be ascertained.

.The newspaper shall tell ALL the truth so far as it can learn it, concerning the important affairs of America and the world.

. As a disseminator of news, the paper shall observe the decencies that are obligatory upon a private gentleman.

. What it prints shall be fit reading for the young as well as the old.

. The newspaper's duty is to its readers and to the public at large, and not to the private interests of its owners.

. In the pursuit of truth, the newspaper shall be prepared to make sacrifices of its material fortunes, if such a course be necessary for the public good.

. The newspaper shall not be the ally of any special interest, but shall be fair and free and wholesome in its outlook on public affairs and public men.

By failing to report the testimony of former high-ranking officers regarding war with Iraq, The Post breached its second principle. By publishing news of an unmarried adult possessing condoms and of another private citizen's visit to a strip club, The Post would also seem to have breached the third principle.

Perhaps the editors of The Post should review their principles.

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