A lesson in loaded language

The Sentinel's Daryl Owens just posted this blog on the paper's site. Give it a read and tell me if you see a little, um, bias seeping through.

Here goes:

Thousands of protesters organized by anti-war group United for Peace and Justice are expected to rally in Orlando and in 10 other cities on Oct. 27.

But they wonâ??t be alone.

Military supporters including a pro-troop group known as the Gathering of Eagles plan a counter rally to decry what they see as anti-war negativism and to trumpet strong support for the troops.

Organizers with United for Peace, which, according to its Web site, is "a coalition of more than 1300 local and national groups throughout the United States who have joined together to protest the immoral and disastrous Iraq War and oppose our government's policy of permanent warfare and empire-building," anticipate the Orlando event will be the largest peace rally ever held in Florida. Groups such as CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, according to its Web site, are anticipated, and the event is expected to draw protesters statewide and from Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

"Americans in Orlando and across the country will take to the streets to reiterate their message, loud and clearâ?? end the U.S. Occupation of Iraq and take war with Iran off the table!" the United for Peace web site explains. "The action, called for by United for Peace and Justice, reflects many Americansâ?? increasing lack of faith in political leadership to fulfill their pledges and to explore every option in ending the American quagmire in Iraq, such as cutting the war funding."

Groups such as the Gathering of Eagles, see the anti-war rallies mated with pro-troops rhetoric as hokum.

"You can't support the troops and embolden the enemies against the troops," says Deborah King-Lile, Florida coordinator of the Gathering of Eagles, a national group dedicated to preventing desecration to veteransâ?? monuments. Groups such as the Eagles must turn out and be seen at these events, she says, so that "eventually somebody is going to cover us and the word is going to get out that this vocal minority is setting policy."

The rally will be from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., and will queue at the northeast corner of Lake Eola Park and include a 3-mile march.

Scheduled speakers include Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel, a former Alaska senator and current 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate, best known for waging a successful one-man five-month filibuster that forced the Nixon administration to compromise, effectively ending the draft in the United States.

End blog.

Ok, where to begin. Problem one: Labeling one group as "military supporters" and "pro-troop." I'm not the world's biggest CODEPINK fan, but Jesus, I don't think they're secretly rooting for our troops to get blown to smithereens by an IED. What exactly does pro-troop mean? Could it possibly mean not wanting them to die in the middle of another country's civil war? Problem two: This Gathering of Eagles group, which I must confess I've never heard of, has a mission supposedly of preventing monument desecration. That's fine by me. I mean, my dad served in Vietnam and lost some good friends there. I would hate to see the monument this country built to honor them desecrated. That said, who the fuck do these people think they are to tell us that we're emboldening the enemy? More to the point, what J-school did Daryl Owens go to that taught him it was OK to let activist groups say blatant falsehoods without a fact check? Point: "a vocal minority is setting policy." If whatsherface from this group can show me one fucking poll taken in the last six months that shows demonstrable support for George Bush's Mesopotamian adventure, then fine. But it doesn't exist. And Owens should note that, rather than letting this woman smear antiwar types as kooks.

Just saying.


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