Reason Rally: Mainstream Media Blackout?

Reason Rally: Mainstream Media Blackout? March 25, 2012

I’m collecting a list of major news media outlets that have not (so far) covered the Reason Rally. I’ve checked a few of them; if you find others, I’d appreciate knowing, so I can add them to the list. (There’s a list at the bottom for the news sites that DID cover the event, even if negatively.)

The point of this is twofold. In reverse order:

Second, to make the point that, all the times Christians cry about being discriminated against, the real story is exactly the opposite. Christian thought and action gets automatic coverage, automatic benefit of the doubt, and freethinkers have to fight for every scrap of progress.

First, to make the point that mainstream media is not serving the needs of the freethought community, and probably isn’t ever going to. Online sources we ourselves create and maintain — such as FreethoughtBlogs, for instance — are the only hope, the only power, we have to get our message out. But that’s okay. When it comes to getting the word out, changing minds and hearts, we don’t need the mainstream media.

In the following list, I’m not saying a listed source did not cover the story of Reason Rally at all. I’m saying that as of the date the name was added to the list, I (or the commenter who suggested it) could not find the story on that source’s online home page.

Note that today is Sunday, the day after the event, which took place in the U.S. national capital, Washington DC.


No Coverage

BBC News

CBS News


Los Angeles Times



New York Times

Washington Times



Huffington Post (well-written, objective verging on positive)

Al Jazeera (a beautifully objective British-style report with a 2.5 minute video)

Yahoo News (from the title onward, pretty much a hit piece)

Fox News (a somewhat bitchy pre-Rally hit commentary by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield)

Washington Post (a nice, balanced piece, with slide show)



CNN: Atheist rally continues in spite of rain; students highlighted throughout — CNN does have a piece tucked away on its “Belief Blog,” and it’s fairly balanced.

USA Today‘s “Faith and Reason” has a piece that starts out extremely negative in tone, but ends on a slightly more balanced note. No link appears on their front page.

MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” as of Sunday afternoon, has a 20-minute video featuring Steven Pinker, Susan Jacoby, Jamila Bey and Jamie Kilstein.

MSNBC also had a pre-Rally piece in mid-February.

LA Times had a pre-rally interview piece with Nate Phelps, who escaped his father’s influence at the age of 18.

The Village Voice had a sweet piece, “10 Best Signs at the Reason Rally.”

The Province (newspaper in British Columbia, Canada) had a balanced piece on Sunday.


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