Petula Dvorak. Ring a bell? It should; Dvorak was the ace reporter who last September interviewed "novice protester" Patrice Cuddy and vaguely described ANSWER as one of the groups that sponsored other major demonstrations against the war in Iraq but also protested U.S. foreign policy in places ranging from Haiti to the Gaza Strip. In that story and others she never made the connection between ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism) and the Stalinist Workers World Party, which uses ANSWER as a front group.
Today, Dvorak and Robert Samuels write Lebanon Supporters Converge at White House on A10. Despite a year to mull things over, ANSWER's status continues to be a mystery to this part of the multi-layered fact-checking mainstream media. Must be one heck of a research department over there.
Today Dvorak and Samuels write:
The primary organizer was the ANSWER coalition, a left-wing group that has sponsored numerous antiwar rallies that often attract socialists and anarchists.
The rallies just happen to attract socialists and anarchists, you know, somehow.
Michael Kelly, may he rest in peace, wrote on Jan. 22, 2003:
International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a front group for the communist Workers World Party. The Workers World Party is, literally, a Stalinist organization. It rose out of a split within the old Socialist Workers Party over the Soviet Union's 1956 invasion of Hungary -- the breakaway Workers World Party was all for the invasion. International ANSWER today unquestioningly supports any despotic regime that lays any claim to socialism, or simply to anti-Americanism. It supported the butchers of Beijing after the slaughter of Tiananmen Square. It supports Saddam Hussein and his Baathist torture-state. It supports the last official Stalinist state, North Korea, in the mass starvation of its citizens. It supported Slobodan Milosevic after the massacre at Srebrenica. It supports the mullahs of Iran, and the narco-gangsters of Colombia and the bus-bombers of Hamas.
This is whom the left now marches with. The left marches with the Stalinists....
There have been many critiques of ANSWER outside the Post, including, to their credit, among some leftists including David Corn. They never quite seem to penetrate the Post. These days, ANSWER opposes the U.S. "occupation" of Iraq, even though the elected Iraq government doesn't yet want us to leave; it supports Fidel and Iranian buddy Hugo Chavez of Venezuela; and it continues to support North Korea. Just ask ANSWER national coordinator Brian Becker, a WWP member who flies to Pyongyang when he needs a pick-me-up. Becker isn't even mentioned in the Dvorak/Samuels story, though he's spotted by Taron Lively in the Washington Times (not that the WT covered itself in glory here either).
The Dvorak/Samuels piece is abysmally reported. The closest we ever get to the WWP being mentioned is a fleeting glimpse of one of their banners (supporting Hezbollah and Hamas) in the associated video. The associated photo file has four shots showing some screaming protesters and Lebanon flags, but of course none of the anti-Semitic hate mongering you can see at blogs like Age of Hooper, or the charming photo of a little boy holding up a sign reading Bush Your Allies Are Terrorists at Hot Air. And the story accepts the premise of the protesters themselves--that Israel is attacking Lebanon, rather than Hezbollah.
So forget about the Post if you want to know what happened yesterday. Check out Hot Air and Hooper. Watch a protestor in Hooper's video video being asked what was being chanted in Arabic. Watch him never being answered. Google Brian Becker, ANSWER, and the Workers World Party. Educate yourself, because when it comes to protests organized by ANSWER, the Washington Post doesn't have any more interest in digging than transcribing the names on the fliers.
I'll leave it to others to relate the background of the other organizers, The National Council of Arab Americans and the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. Like ANSWER, the Post is content to spell their names.
UPDATE: A tip of the hat to Clay Waters of TimesWatch for the PostWatch link in his item on the New York Times' coverage, Whitewashing A Stalinist Anti-War Group. Come to think of it, that would have been a good hed for my own post, since that's what Petula Dvorak and Robert Samuels did. But me, I went with cute. Also thanks to Clay for the cross-post at Newsbusters. Read his account if you don't mind reviewing yet another mainstream media story that fails to tell you who ANSWER is.