We told you last week about the Pentagon's plans for a big 9/11 party. We thought, and we think, that the event -- which will feature an America Supports You Freedom Walk and a country music concert headlined by Clint "I Raq and Roll" Black -- is an oddly celebratory way to mark the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks and a shameful attempt to link them, yet again, with the president's war in Iraq. But we failed to mention what might be the weirdest thing about the whole deal: The event's sponsors include not just the Stars and Stripes newspaper, the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, Lockheed Martin and a few local TV stations, but ... the Washington Post.
Or at least they did. As Editor & Publisher reports, the Post came to its senses last night and announced that it is pulling out of the Pentagon's party plan. In a fine bit of understatement, a Post spokesman said that it "appears that this event could become politicized," and that the paper will therefore commemorate 9/11 by making a contribution to the Pentagon Memorial Fund instead.
The move came after the Post heard complaints from readers, bloggers and some of its own employees. As E&P explains, leaders of the Newspaper Guild at the paper passed a resolution Monday noting that the Post's "news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias" and asking that the Post hold itself to the same standard. "The Guild supports the Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq," the resolution said. "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."