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If you read only the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post," you might have missed the ffact that one of Europe's biggest anti-war protests in years took place in London last week. That's because the influential US newspapers buried the story in articles about other subjects, says American media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).

While British newspapers reported that between 150,000 and 400,000 protesters took to the streets on 29 September to protest planned military strikes against Iraq, the "Times" and the "Post" chose to give greater prominence to a protest against fox-hunting that also drew large crowds, FAIR notes. Any mention of the anti-war protests were buried near the middle or at the end of general stories on the impending invasion of Iraq.

The "Times" ombudsman, Michael Getler, agreed with FAIR. Responding to readers' complaints in a 6 October letter he wrote, "I'm in agreement with the readers on these complaints. Whatever one thinks about the wisdom of a new war, once it starts, it is too late to air arguments that should have been aired before."


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