It’s pretty hard to lower the bar further for the Washington Post, really. Largely irrelevant as a source of genuine news, so thoroughly and willingly corrupted has it become by its position as the beltway’s primary propaganda outlet, that it is little more than a relic of a time where print mattered and journalists were able to and allowed to do the job of reporting objectively.
So when the WaPo had to print something to at least acknowledge the events unfolding in Oakland over the last few days, they ran with the photo of a gentle, loving and caring Oakland police officer caressing a kitty. How cute. And how unbelievably irrelevant and misleading, given that her colleagues that same night were busy using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets against unarmed protesters exercising their 1st amendment rights, severly injuring one — ironically, an Iraq veteran, who had the misfortune of believing in the freedoms for which he supposedly was sent off to fight. Then, as we’ve seen time and again, the police went into denial mode — no, they hadn’t used near-lethal force, no, there had been no other way to deal with “the situation.” That completely unwarranted overreaction by the Oakland Police Force doesn’t quite come across in the shot of the kitty and her new friend.
Now, granted, the photo editor claims to have had nothing better to run with, because nothing visual had happened by her deadline, and that may well be true. In which case this is all the more indicative of the irrelevancy of newspapers with their hard deadlines and their inability to deliver genuine up-to-date and constantly updated news.
But even with that explanation on hand, we’re nevertheless left with the grotesque contrast between the reality on the ground (as seen, first in New York, now in Oakland), where the police is compelled (or ordered?) to use totally disproportionate power as they deal with the Occupy Wall Street crowd on the one hand, and this photo that simply drips of attempted whitewas of the violence and abuse on the part of the authorities. It plays so nicely with the platitudes served up by the mayor of Oakland, who somehow equates tear gas and police brutality with “a generally peaceful resolution to a situation that deteriorated and concerned our community.” I’d hate to be around when Jean Quan and her hired hoods lets things get out of hand…
(Photo: Ben Margot/AP via WaPo)