Post Suppresses News on Rosie's 9/11 Doubts

Editor’s note:  This 2007 article has been made newly relevant by a recent article by Sister Ciara of Dublin, Ireland.  In it, she describes “news” reports in the mainstream press that are increasingly being written, astonishingly enough, by algorithms:

Even worse these news reporting algorithms are specifically omitting specific search terms that are NEVER allowed to be put into articles or include any mentions of: 1.) Events relating to 9/11; 2.) Any adverse information on genetically modified foods; 3.) Any positive mentions relating to guns or gun ownership; 4.) Any adverse linking of vaccinations to autism; 5.) Any positive mentions of Christianity; 6.) Any adverse information on abortions or gay marriage…and these are just a very few of those things allowed, or banned, from being reported.

Apparently, at least the first of these rules was already in place when comedienne Rosie O’Donnell left the daytime television program, “The View.”  --  April 20, 2013

I posted the following poem on my web site on July 9, 1998:  

       Born to Blush Unseen

When the best thing you read in The Washington Post
Is the occasional scolding letter,
Just think of the ones they refuse to print,
Don't you know they're a good deal better?

The letters to which I refer usually appear in the "Free for All" section of Saturday's newspaper, the page just before the regular editorial page.  The practice has continued unabated, although since Tom Toles replaced the deceased Herb Block as the regular editorial cartoonist, it has become a close call as to which deserves the superlative label.  With his recent cartoon showing two newspaper readers, one reading a headline saying that the American people wanted us out of Iraq and the other reading a headline saying the Iraqi people wanted us out of Iraq, but President Bush saying that he had worked out a compromise that we stay (for the sake of democracy), Toles had forged slightly ahead.  But then on April 28 came one of the best, most perceptive scolding letters ever, by Bob Petrusak of Fairfax.  Here it is:

McCain's Iran Gaffe

It is appalling that the April 25 and 26 front-page articles about Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign ignored his recent parody of a Beach Boys tune, which suggested that the United States "bomb Iran."

Critics of the parody have been told to "lighten up" and allow the Arizona Republican some opportunity for levity.  However, McCain was responding to a very serious question.

Is it asking too much of a man who aspires to the presidency to respond seriously to serious questions on war and peace?  Is it asking too much of The Post to report facts fully regarding a presidential candidate?  

Actually, The Post has come up with a tricky new method for deceiving the public about its news suppression tactics.  Someone who already knew about McCain's extraordinarily callous joke about spreading death and destruction from the air in Iran might search out, say "McCain" and "Barbara Ann" on the Net and find this Post article right away.  It puts a pro-McCain spin on the story, but at least it doesn't suppress the news of McCain's bloody-minded jest entirely.  But look carefully.  There's no page number on the story.  What that means is that the article never appeared in The Post's print edition at all, and more than likely it was never displayed in any layout of articles on The Post's web site.  The reader had to know about the story in advance before he could ever find it on The Post's web site.  The Post does this sort of thing a lot these days.

But it gets worse, much worse.  In a long article on the front page of the Style section of April 26, 2007, they tell us that Rosie O'Donnell is leaving the daytime program "The View" in spite of a rather spectacular increase in ratings in the short time she has been on the program. They also tell us that she has been a participant in some controversies. However, if one does a Google search for "Rosie O'Donnell," the fifth item that comes up is this March 17 piece entitled, "Rosie O'Donnell Goes Public on 9/11." It is well known to anyone who cares about such things that she has done more than just a one-time bump and run on the subject on her program. If you Google "Rosie O'Donnell 9/11" the hits run on for pages. Somehow, The Post found this subject unworthy of mention in its article.  Furthermore, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly on Fox and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC  have been screaming for Rosie's head for weeks on account of her 9/11 remarks, so one can't say that it's just Internet news.* Nevertheless, The Post saw this little dust-up as unfit to mention in its story about O'Donnell's leaving "The View." (So did The New York Times, for that matter.)

Now here comes the last part of the poem.  To my mind the termination ("voluntary" or otherwise) of the only figure with a regular national audience who has raised serious doubts about the ludicrous official 9/11 story, when government shills on TV have been braying for her scalp, is really big news, and The Post never deserved scolding by its readers more for this shameless bit of news suppression.  You can bet the house, though, that you will never, ever see any letter in The Washington Post that gets within a mile of this topic.

So, at this point, I think that it's time to disinter a poem that I wrote back in January of 1999:

A Newspaper Toast

Here's to the letters editor,
The person who rations the word.
His job is to see that vox populi
Will never, ever be heard.


*It is safe for right-wing propagandists catering to the most simple-minded of the conservative set to tell us about Rosie’s 9/11 doubts because she epitomizes the sort of person that they despise, and a simple “How dare you?” from them is all that is deemed necessary to dismiss her argument, no matter how cogent it might be.

David Martin

April 29, 2007


See also “Post Silent on Gul’s 9/11 Views.”



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