SUDS Rally Was Misrepresented
To the Editors of The Crimson:
We are not so naive as to believe that The Crimson (or any newspaper) will unfailingly use complete objectivity and accuracy. However, John M. Bernard's coverage of last Saturday's rally sponsored by Students United for Desert Storm (SUDS) in his February 4 article ("Demonstrators Rally for Desert Storm") is so blatantly biased and devoid of journalistic integrity that we feel compelled to address what was written in his story.
First of all, Bernard writes, "College students today fully support the American military actions, [Taxin] said." This is a complete misattribution of a statement. Nothing of the sort was said during the remarks at the Saturday rally, or during the subsequent interview Bernard conducted, as demonstrated by Bernard's lack of an actual quote to support the sentence in question.
Further, it should have occurred to Bernard that the context of the statement was so utterly ridiculous that he should have checked the statement again.
The word "fully" is a superlative. It is hard to believe that the millions of college students in this country are all in full support of the American military actions. (There would probably have been little reason to form an organization like Students United for Desert Storm if that were indeed the case).
It seems that Bernard also deliberately attempted to undercut the total attendance at Saturday's rally. He writes that the total of people there was 150. Somehow the reporters from The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and every major Boston TV news show found the total to be 250 or greater.
At one point, Bernard writes, "Some protesters held placards which read 'Appeasement-Genocide' and 'I am the masculine American man--I kill therefore I am.'" The reference to "protesters" is entirely mistaken, since the demonstrators were supporting rather than protesting the policy of the United States government.
As for the holder of the "masculine American man" placard, he is a prominent member of Students Against War in the Middle East (SAWME), and it was clear to those present at the rally that he was not there to express support for SUDS and SUDS' views.
While the placard holder was completely within his rights to be present and to hold the obviously sarcastic sign, Bernard was not in any way justified in implying that that person was there in support of Operation Desert Storm. We believe that Bernard, in including the text of that placard out of context, was attempting to portray the members of our bipartisan organization in an entirely false light--as bloodthirsty, right-wing sadists.
We have no problem if The Crimson wishes to disagree with us or with the policies SUDS advocates. However, we firmly believe that the place to express such disagreement is in editorials or opinion pieces, not in deliberately slanted accounts of events. We sincerely hope that The Crimson uses higher journalistic standards in the future. Adam D. Taxin '93 Harry J. Wilson '93 Co-Founders, SUDS