Ed Driscoll

ANSWER And The Victorian Gentleman

Back in February, I wrote about the newspaper as “Proper Victorian Gentleman“, choosing which elements to play up and which to ignore completely based on how it fits the overall message they were trying to convey:

To easily see the Victorian Gentlemanly style in action, pick up a copy of a paper like the San Francisco Chronicle. (Or scroll through their Website of course, but it’s even more obvious “on dead tree”.) Read their coverage, of say, the protests outside the gates of San Quentin during Tookie Williams’ execution. Then peruse the photos of the same event at Zombietime.

John Hinderaker of Power Line spots the Victorian Gentleman at theme at work with The New York Times and ANSWER during the mass illegal immigration rallies yesterday:

International A.N.S.W.E.R. passed out thousands of mass-produced, yellow and black signs with exactly the same message. You can see them prominently displayed in our video footage from New York. Here, though, is what I think is even more interesting. At either of the two New York Times pages linked above, you can also link to the Times’ own video of the New York demonstration. Take a look at it.

Look at the sea of yellow and black, International A.N.S.W.E.R. signs. They vastly outnumber all other signs and banners. They are the dominant visual image of the New York demonstration. It is inconceivable that the Times’ reporters could have failed to note the prominent role played by A.N.S.W.E.R. in running the demonstration, or the dominant role played by that group in equipping the protesters with signs. Yet the organization’s role was not acknowledged by the Times, or, to my knowledge, by any other newspaper. Why? The Times’ reporters were obviously aware of A.N.S.W.E.R.’s prominent involvement, and thirty seconds’ worth of research would have disclosed the fact that the group is an unabashedly Communist organization. It wouldn’t have taken much more than that to learn that A.N.S.W.E.R.’s National Coordinator has said that illegal immigration can be the “catalyst for a broader class struggle, even possibly a revolutionary struggle.”

Now, I’m not suggesting that most of those who carried A.N.S.W.E.R.’s signs in yesterday’s demonstrations sympathize with, or are even aware of, that group’s extremist agenda. But isn’t A.N.S.W.E.R.’s role newsworthy? Isn’t it something that newspaper readers need to be aware of, to get a balanced picture of the demonstrations?

The Times doesn’t think so. The Times made the editorial judgment that you’re better off not knowing who was responsible for that sea of yellow and black signs so clearly depicted in their own video. Because, when mainstream media organizations start referring to “mischievous toddlers,” it’s not hard to figure out whose side you’re supposed to be on.

Which illustrates pretty well, I think, why we need citizen journalism.

Of course, the Times was rather reluctant to discuss ANSWER’s background in 2003, as well.