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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Will the Post Print This? NO

I received from the Washington Post today their answer on printing Mr. Stokely's letter as an editorial. This is from Fred Hiatt, the editor of the editorial page.

Dear Mr. Beller,
As you can see, the ombudsman forwarded your note to me (the editorial page editor). I agree with you that we should publish a range of views on Iraq, and the father's letter you steered me to is moving. However, we rarely publish pieces that have been published elsewhere or have been widely circulated.

We have published a number of pieces, though, that take a very different perspective from Mr. Schroeder's. On Dec. 14, just to take a recent example, we ublished an essay by Marine Maj. Ben Connable explaining whyhe believes the war is worth fighting.
With best wishes,
Fred Hiatt

While I agree that the Major's letter is definitely "pro-mission" in Iraq comparing his letter, from the view of a unit commander on the ground to that of two fathers who've lost children is not quite fair. In fact, I find that they completely missed the point and are off base in their refusal.

Mr. Stokely pointed this out to them in his reply:

If I understand your explanation why you would not print my letter about my son, SGT MIKE STOKELY, KIA 16 AUG 05, IRAQ / IED, it is because my letter was previously used and "widely circulated". First, I am sure that can be taken as a great compliment to the blogs that used my letter - to be known as a wide means of circulation. However, I am curious to know how many times the Washington Post published, most likely fornt page, the thoughts and views of Cindy Sheehan - probably the most widely circulated and published thoughts of anybody on the war in Iraq, including any parent who has lost a son or daughter?

Mr. Stokely and I are still looking into other means to get his letter out and more widely distributed, even though the blogs evidently did such a good job of that the Post doesn't find it necessary.

We've thought about an ad in the Post, though the idea feeding them money does kind of irk both of us. It's also prohibitively expensive ($85/column inch). I'm looking into a few other newspapers, and have gotten some ideas from the bloggers I e-mailed about this.

If anyone else has a suggestion, please leave it in the comments, or drop me an e-mail (address is in the profile).

Thanks to all who have helped distribute this important message.
Tracked back at: You Betcha I'm A Proud Army Mom , Black Five, Mudville Gazette , Soldiers Angels Germany,

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Blogger OnlineMom said...

Maybe you guys could set up a PayPal donation link to cover the costs of the ad? Your circulation seems tremendous (and growing by the day!) - I bet you could do it!

9:32 PM  
Blogger jakejacobsen said...

Hey CP,

Just wanted to let you know I hadn't forgotten about this. I've asked the Wide awakes to swarm this, keep fingers crossed and I'm going to send it off to some other bloggers manana.

Thanks again for running this story. I just can't believe they have the sac to say they won't run it because it's been on blogs, Unbelieveable!

12:22 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I wish my circulation was growing that much, but a quarter page ad is about $2500. That idea is still on the burner, though.

Jake- anything you can do to help, and anyone you can get to link the post I'd appreciate.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Subsunk said...

$2500 you say? Give the blogs a couple of days and you shall have it.

Tell me where to send my money. I can't cover it all, but I'll give you $100 to start.


11:37 AM  
Blogger Mike O said...

I wonder if any group has ever contemplated taking out a full page weekly ad in the WaPo to regularly print news and commentary that is not left of Lenin? You could even sub-contract out a portion of it as ad space to defray some of the costs.

12:49 PM  
Blogger asacan said...

It would easily be published in the Washington Times or the New York Post. Sure, their readership may not be quite as high right now as the New York Times and the Washington Post, but give it a few years.

Speaking of which, I had to drive someone to the Navy Yard this afternoon, and I had seen several sets of newspaper rack around the base with the WashPost and WashTimes together. I thought it was interesting that every set of racks were sold-out of WashTimes but all of the racks for the Post still had papers. Perhaps the WashPost puts more papers in their racks? Don't think so.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Subsunk = Sent you an e-mail, give me a call.

Mike- At their advertising rates, and with their restrictions, I'm not sure if anyone has thought about it.

Ascan- Yeah, that's it, they put more papers out. While I'm sure the senior officers buy the Post, because they have to know what "the real DC paper" says, I know a lot of other folks are buying the Times because they like a more conservative viewpoint.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Saw that Mudville linked and put the story out. I'd bet you could easily raise the bucks. I'd contribute. It's too good a letter to let go and I think it should be in the Post since that is covered more widely on network and cable news plus the original article came from there. I think you should also briefly explain why an ad was needed.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I've been looking over the Post's advertising guidelines tonight fairly extensively. (I orginally only looked up rates for ads), and found that they have some pretty specific guides against running ads that are critical of the Post, or it's content.

We are currently exploring some "alternative avenues" for getting his message out.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Dave... said...

The article by Mr. Stokely does not need to be critical of the Post in any way. Nor should it be. Praise of his son won't in any way smear the Post.

If you're going to try and pay this article into the post using ad space, I'd be willing to donate. First you have find out where the ad is going to be located. It wouldn't be wise to pay down a large sum of money on an ad only to have the editor toss it ot the back of the paper, in complete obscurity. It might as well have never been printed at that rate.

7:05 AM  
Blogger David M said...

I think one thing we might not have considered is that no matter what we do, the editors at the Post are not going to change their ways. We know that, and getting them to print Mr. Stokely’s letter while it would be great, really will do little to change their belief structure. That is what we want to do isn't it? We don't just want to get a letter in the paper, we want to affect change.

Since the editors won't change we have to find another way to affect our change and that may just be an alternative media such as what we have here or even talk radio or even an alternative paper that shares readership with the Post, NYT, etc.

What we need is an alternative media blitz if you will an effort to get Mr. Stokely’s story and our belief in the righteousness of this cause to the public. We won't change the minds of any of the BDS suffering editors and their peers, but I know we can get some of the foot soldiers in this campaign, the journalists, on our side; all we have to do is find a way to get to them.

Perhaps if we send our emails and our blog posts to our local radio stations and to national talk radio hosts we can begin the process of countering their message from a grass roots effort.

Just a thought, let me know what you need of me.

David M.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

We are looking at a number of ways to get his message out. The first is that he's resubmitted an unpublished letter to the paper, to see if they will do that.

After that we are looking for alternative media ideas, and the idea of an ad.

Hopefully I'll know more this weekend on whether or not the Post is going to publish his latest letter.

9:14 PM  

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