Aug. 16, 2005 – The union representing workers with the Washington Post is asking the paper to withdraw its sponsorship of a Pentagon-crafted rally taking place this September 11.
At a meeting yesterday, leaders of the Washington Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild voted unanimously to issue a resolution asking the paperâ€™s publisher to immediately withdraw its backing of the "America Supports You Freedom Walk," a government-run event that purports to honor the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks along with US military troops, Editor & Publisher reported yesterday.
In calling on the Washington Post Company to pull its sponsorship for the event, the Guild resolution noted that the paperâ€™s policies prohibit reporters from participating in political events, according to Editor & Publisher.
"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 resolution reportedly reads. "The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard."
The new developments come after anti-war groups contacted the paper last week in response to news that the parent company was one of eight official sponsors of the walk, the Post reported Friday. A Washington, DC radio station and the ABC parent for two local television stations are co-sponsors, as are Lockheed Martin, Subway, the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union and the military publication, Stars & Stripes.
Friday, Post publisher Bo Jones told E&P that the DC paper would withdraw support if it appeared the event became political in nature. The paper has been running public service ads about the upcoming event.
The Newspaper Guild resolution takes issue with claims that the event is not political.
"The Guild supports the Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq," the resolution reads. "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," Editor & Publisher reported.