Remember Friday’s paper whenever anyone tries to tell you that The Washington Post is not a liberal newspaper – that it’s not written by liberals, written for liberals, and if they’re lucky, written to mint new liberals. Every section of the paper today carries some evidence of liberal bias.
On the front page comes the latest attempt to keep the Abu Ghraib bubble inflated: “Warner Bucks GOP Right On Probe of Prison Abuse.” Reporters Helen Dewar and Spencer Hsu describe Sen. John Warner as “a throwback to a forgotten era of congressional comity” with “a penchant for bucking his party, taking heat and surviving.” Readers who go deep enough in the story get a list of all the times Warner has betrayed his party (oh, he’s Comity Central, all right). But senators who buck their own Democratic Party never get a front-page puff piece. Do they, Zell Miller?
At the very bottom of the front page of the Business section (that’s Section E) – the Post buries what should be on the front page of the A section: 4.4 percent economic growth. At the very bottom of the Business section’s front page is the headline: “Growth May Be Slowing.” Reporter Nell Henderson wrote: “The U.S. economy grew at a healthy 4.4 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year, but growth appears to have slowed more recently as consumers and businesses deal with rising inflation and interest rates, economists said yesterday.” The front page of Business also carried a chart showing “Help-wanted ads dipped, despite evidence that the labor market is creating jobs.” Nowhere in the story did Henderson report that growth in the last 12 months is the highest 12-month growth rate since 1984.
In the Sports section, Liz Clarke’s notes on the French Open, the major tennis tournament currently under way, include a report on the debut on the scene of the al-Jazeera Sports Channel. For the apparently clueless sports fan, Clarke suggested the notion that al-Jazeera has a bias is debatable: “The al-Jazeera satellite news channel, based in Qatar, has been criticized by some American officials for having what they say is an anti-American slant.”
In the Metro section, Vanessa Williams reports on how openly gay Republican D.C. Council member David Catania left the Grand Old Party yesterday, after a rather unsurprising turn. Since he pledged publicly that he is not supporting President Bush in the fall (and even pledged to campaign against him at one point) over the president’s endorsement of a Federal Marriage Amendment, the D.C. Republican Party decided not to certify him as a delegate to the Republican convention. Much hand-wringing follows about agonizing gay Republicans. That is news in old D.C. , but the Post has not done any reporting this month on the Democratic convention’s delegate selection, where 15 states and Puerto Rico are setting “numerical goals” for the number of openly gay delegates. In California, the target is 22 gay men and 22 lesbians, for example.
In the Weekend section, film critic Michael O’Sullivan’s review of the green disaster flick “The Day After Tomorrow” concludes “the film’s biggest joke comes when the vice president goes on national television to apologize for his advocacy of the rapacious depletion of the earth’s natural resources at the expense of our children’s future. Like that’ll ever happen. Not in my lifetime, pal.”
In the Style section, Mel Gibson/Passion-bashing film critic Ann Hornaday is much cheerier about the weekend’s Christianity-satirizing films, a reissue of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” and the Jesus-freak-high-school movie “Saved!” She adores the line of the film’s cynical heroes when they see a Christian girl coming out of Planned Parenthood. There’s only one reason for that, one says. The other says: “Planting a pipe bomb?” Hornaday says the film “bears the unmistakeable stamp of authenticity, even at its most outrageous.”