In a commencement address to New England College, Democrat Party presidential candidate John Edwards has issued a call to turn Memorial Day from a day to celebrate our troops to a day pushing a political message that attacks them. He has also created a new website to further that goal and the Washington Post is helping him advertise it breaking their more common practice of not posting links taking the reader outside their own website.

How often do you see MSM sources giving direct links to websites outside their own site? How many times have you seen a story mentioning a website, maybe even including the name of the website somewhere within the story, yet the story won’t give the full address? Also, how many times do you see a web posting that actually includes a hypertext link to any website outside any paper’s site? Not very often. But today the Washington Post has given John Edward’s anti-war website a big boost by not only writing a story about it, but creating a direct link to it at the end of their story.

I wonder how many conservative or pro-war websites they have helped advertise in the past with a direct link?

Now, before it seems that I am decrying a paper linking to any other site, I have to say I am not against the concept. But there has been a practice by most newspaper websites of never linking to a source outside the paper’s (except for paid advertisers) and they almost never create a link to a site that is in the news, causing their readers to make their own efforts to seek out the website in discussion.

Yet, here is the Post linking straight to Edward’s anti-war website!

In fact, it is the only outside the Post web link in the text of the story which tends to prove how odd this outside linking is. Out of the 7 links within the story only the anti-war website is a site outside the Washington Post’s website.

So, what is this site Edwards’ is sponsoring? Well, I won’t link to it because I feel it is a slap at our troops, but it is a site where Edwards will continue his evolution from pro-war voting Senator to wild-eyed anti-war zealot… conveniently in time for the 2008 elections.

In fact, Edwards is floating his newest idea courtesy of the Post’s glowing article, that this year’s Memorial Day celebrations should be used to attack the war against terrorism instead of as a day to celebrate our troops. And the Post seems quite happy to help Edwards try and turn a day that memorializes our brave and selfless soldiers into a politicized day meant to attack them, instead.

Now, I’d like mention something else that struck me as odd about the Post’s new election coverage.

It is a graphic of an elephant’s and donkey’s heads placed together to denote the two parties that seems vaguely obscene at first glance. There is nothing wrong with that concept, of course, as such a graphic idea has been made and remade hundreds of times since the mid 1800 and the birth of the GOP.

But, the Post’s graphic is curious in it’s design. Here it is…

Now, take a casual look at it, or perhaps squint a bit at it. Doesn’t it look like you are looking at a drawing of a donkey with it’s rear end facing you, as if it is looking back at you over it’s haunches? Notice how the rear end is ACTUALLY the face of the elephant? Doesn’t the trunk of the elephant look like the donkey’s right, rear leg? Doesn’t the curve of the ear of the elephant look like the donkey’s tail? And the eye of the elephant is the donkey’s…. well… not an “eye” exactly?

I wonder if the graphics guys at the Washington Post thought it might be funny to make the elephant’s head the donkey’s rear end? As a graphic artist myself, I cannot eliminate the possible symbolism, especially coming from the editorial position of the Post!

In any case, you look and you decide. As for me, I have already done so.

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