Slanting Quotes for Fun and Profit

It’s Sunday, and I’ve got my morning coffee, so it’s as good a time as any for a little media deconstruction.
Exhibit A this morning is from the always-entertaining Associated Press. In their story “Hundreds protest possible Iraq war“, bylined Angela Watercutter, there are four direct quotes in total. They are as follows:
“We believe that this war can be stopped if the people intervene in the political process,” said Richard Becker of the International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism Coalition.
“It’s really wrong that we’re even considering attacking Iraq,” said Jennifer Kelley in San Francisco. “The Iraqis have made no offensive move. It just seems like (Bush) wants to finish his father’s war.”
“I think we need to speak out loud and clear that this is not the answer,” Ortez said.
“People should be angry, not looking for peace,” said Jeff Wright, who screamed “Attack Iraq, you Girl Scouts” at nearby marchers.

One of these things is not-like-the-other, not-like-the-other, not-like-the-other…
So, everybody who believes that every single anti-war protester was as articulate and polite as those quoted above, and that the only individual that this reporter could possibly find on the opposing side to quote was somebody “screaming” insults at the protesters, raise your hand.
Hmmm. OK. Hesiod, put your damned hand down, but everybody else got it right.
It’s a brief article, so there isn’t terribly much to deconstruct, but there’s one more fun point:
Two people were arrested at the rally following a confrontation between protesters and a heckler, Lt. Larry Minasian said.
A “heckler”, you say? Are you sure it wasn’t a “counter-demonstrator”? A “supporter of war against Iraq”, perhaps? An “individual opposing the protesters views”, even?
And by the way: might it not have been somewhat more informative to indicate clearly whether the two individuals arrested were on the anti-war or pro-war side (or one of each?) Depending on the truth, perhaps not an example of bias, but we’ll never know then, will we?
Update: Hesiod replies over at his place. (The link doesn’t appear to be working right; if it doesn’t for you either, then check his main page, you’ll know the piece when you see it.) He accuses me of taking a “cheap shot” at him.
And you know what? He’s right.
Hesiod, I apologize. I got carried away and couldn’t resist a little jab at you there, but it was indeed a cheap shot, and uncalled for. You have my apology.
I’ll leave the piece as-is, as I don’t want to be accused of attempting to rewrite history, and also as a reminder to myself that I claim to be attempting to elevate the level of debate, not lower it. But as an olive branch, I’ve added a quote from Hesiod into my rotation in the top-left corner of the main page — which links to his site.
I do stand by, however, the opinions I presented on the AP piece. It was poor journalism at best, and biased at worst.