The Washington Toast

Update: WaPo has pulled out as sponsor of the "Freedom Walk," the paper announced late last night.

I think it could mean bad things for the Washington Post to sponsor a Department of Defense–organized "Freedom Walk" on 9/11—you know, in the journalistic integrity department. And apparently I'm not alone. A resolution signed by the Newspaper Guild, which represents 1400 Post employees, and sent to management reads, in part:
Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias. The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. Moreover, arguments that the Freedom Walk is anything other than a political activity -- and indeed, a political activity in support of the war in Iraq -- should be put to rest by the prominent participation of country music star Clint Black, best known of late for his war-glorifying song 'Iraq and I Roll.'

The Guild supports The Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq. But the Post undermines this goal by lending its support to a political event that links the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the war in Iraq -- a link that The Post, in its reporting, has shown to be false.

If The Post wants to encourage greater respect for veterans among its employees, it should consider giving those employees something that the Guild has repeatedly sought in bargaining: A day off on November 11, Veterans Day, to honor the patriots who have served our nation.

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