Why Winter Soldier Got the Cold Shoulder

Why didn't the New York Times cover the "Winter Soldier" hearings organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), during which soldiers testified about their experiences in Iraq? Of the newspaper's three Pentagon reporters, "one [was] on book leave, one was traveling with the secretary of defense, and one was in Iraq covering the war," explained public editor Clark Hoyt, responding to an action alert from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Hoyt added, "The Times also did not cover an announcement the following day by Vets for Freedom, a group supporting the war and claiming more than 13 times the membership" of IVAW. FAIR notes that "anyone can sign up on the Vets for Freedom website," while IVAW membership is restricted to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Hoyt's comparison of Winter Soldier's "eyewitness testimony about atrocities in Iraq" and Vets for Freedom's "press release about media bias" is also "far-fetched," adds FAIR. But Vets for Freedom is receiving attention. Before hearing General David Petraeus's and Ambassador Ryan Crocker's update on Iraq, Senator John McCain addressed a Vets for Freedom rally, reports NPR. "Your presence here indicates that the overwhelming majority of veterans ... know that there is no substitute for victory and withdrawal is defeat," he told the Republican front group.