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ABC's Inauguration Plans

The blogosphere catches Big Media trying to pull another fast one.

1:26 PM, Jan 20, 2005 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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OVER AT POWER LINE, John Hinderaker has found one of the most egregious bits of media bias yet recorded. (Hinderaker found the story at a smaller blog, The San-Antonio Express-News Watch.) It seems that yesterday ABC News posted a call on its website for help from readers:

Jan. 19, 2005--For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20. If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below:

(ABC took down the request, fortunately the blog Captain's Quarters copied the page first.) ABC tried to pass this off as "Honoring Fallen Heroes on Inauguration Day." But Hinderaker notes that the specificity of ABC's request gives away the game. "Note," he says, "that only the families of Iraqi war dead need apply. If a soldier died in Afghanistan, or aiding tsunami victims in Indonesia or Sri Lanka, or in a training exercise, never mind. That isn't the 'balance' ABC is looking for."

While it is shameful for ABC to even have issued such a request, simply pulling it down and trying to bury the incident in the memory hole is even more dishonest. It seems like some in the mainstream media have yet to learn from CBS's mistakes.

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard. He also runs the blog Galley Slaves.