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I just fired off this letter to the editor of the New York Times. If enough of us respond, perhaps we can get them to stop the lies about Obama and anti-war protesters before this web story makes the leap to print.

To the Editor:

Jeff Zeleny’s Aug. 21 article concerning Sen. Barack Obama’s address in Kansas City to the Veterans of Foreign Wars ("Obama Praises Military, but Restates Opposition on Iraq") mischaracterizes the senator’s speech and distorts a hot button issue.

In describing Obama’s speech, Zeleny writes: "He also said it was wrong for anti-war activists to protest at military funerals, declaring: ‘It needs to stop’."

However, this is an offensive skewing of the senator’s words; he did not say the protests were from "anti-war activists."

Obama’s actual words were, "When men and women who die in service to this country are laid to rest, there must be no protests near the funerals. It’s wrong and it needs to stop."

Skip...

In fact, members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., who routinely protest military funerals because they are bigoted against homosexuals, are the only such protesters.

I challenge Mr. Zeleny or anyone else at the New York Times to come up with an instance of anti-war activists engaged in a protest of a fallen soldier.

Please improve the accuracy of your reporting. If you cannot competently paraphrase a candidate for president, then simply quote him.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME HERE

Let's nip this lie in the bud!

Send a letter to the editor by e-mailing letters@nytimes.com or faxing (212)556-3622.

You may also mail your letter to:

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Jeff Zeleny's email is on this page.

UPDATE: Just so there's no mistake, this is a well-worn right wing talking point, not incompetence of the reporter. And the Times has made this "mistake" before. In fact...

6/19/06

On June 16, FAIR issued an Action Alert questioning a New York Timess op-ed's claim that "hundreds of anti-war protesters...appear at military hospitals and funerals." On June 17, the New York Times printed the following correction on its op-ed page:

An Op-Ed article on Monday, about demonstrations at military funerals, hospitals and memorial services, incorrectly described the protesters at the military funerals discussed in the article. In some cases, the protesters were members of an anti-gay group, not people opposed to the Iraq war; in others, the families of the dead service members were unable to determine the affiliation of the protesters.

FAIR would like to thank all of the activists who wrote to the Times in response to FAIR's June 16 Action Alert.

It looks like the Times can't keep its hand out from the cookie jar of right wing lies.

UPDATE II: We did it!!!!!

Originally posted to redglare on Tue Aug 21, 2007 at 02:14 PM PDT.

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