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Washington Post Ignores StopWatchingUs Rally

According to the Guardian,

Thousands gathered by the Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday to march, chant, and listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us, a gathering to protest “mass surveillance” under NSA programs first disclosed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Similarly Huffpo, RT (which thought enough of the event to run a live blog), and others. NBC’s Lester Holt led off last night’s news with a report that there were “hundreds” at the rally (although its cable affiliate MSNBC put the number at “close to two thousand”; go figure). You can find more coverage in posts by FDL’s Elliott and Brian Sorenstein, and other articles are listed at the Reddit Restore the Fourth page.

But the Washington Post? Nothing, nada, zilch. I’ve searched the website and all the sections of today’s print edition that were actually type-set last night, and it simply did not cover the rally. It has a nice article about the drive-in by “more than 60 women” in Saudi Arabia, and coverage of the movement against sexual harassment in India, but not of an event in its own back yard.

Back in the day WaPo would typically cover a national protest on the Mall by running an article in the Metro section (because the event had been “in Washington”; get it?), with lowballed numbers for the turnout. We used to complain about this, but I guess we should have felt lucky that the paper of record in the capital of the world’s most important country should deign to take any notice of us.

To be fair, the paper did run an advance story on the rally the other day, a piece in the Style section by one of the gossip columnists which noted that “Techies concerned over NSA surveillance” would be having a march. Maybe it thought that was sufficient.

On the other hand, maybe no one is writing a book on the subject that new owner Jeff Bezos can sell at his Amazon.

Update 8:00 PM Eastern The cases of the Guardian and RT show that the event WaPo chose not to cover garnered international media interest. Two other examples are Deutsche Welle and the South China Morning Post.

10:15 PM Nor have our Portuguese-speaking friends to the south forgotten us. O Globo (corrected Google translation):

About 2000 demonstrators protested against the spying programs of the U.S. government, at the Capitol, one of the greater symbols of political power in the United States.


From the right-wing radicalism of the Tea Party to the American liberal left of Occupy Wall Street, various demonstrators denounced what they considered an illegal attitude of their own government.

Folha de São Paulo is cursory, but has more photos.

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E. F. Beall

E. F. Beall