BY Christopher Lisotta
October 12 2009 2:50 PM ET
For many journalists, covering the National Equality March meant traveling to Washington, D.C., following the demonstrators as they marched from the White House, reporting on the energy of the event, and analyzing the panoply of speakers who addressed the crowds assembled in front of the Capitol building. For me, all I had to do was turn the TV on and fire up my laptop. It sounds easier, but I was trying to track the mainstream media coverage the march generated, no small task in a lightning-fast world where news outlets update almost instantly.
The morning’s coverage began before any of the marchers stepped even one foot, with the media already buzzing with reaction to President Barack Obama’s speech at the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner the night before, where he got several standing ovations from the crowd of over 3,000. The New York Times was one of many publications to point out Obama’s reiterated pledge to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of barring openly gay service members from the armed forces, though a timetable remains elusive. On The Huffington Post, several bloggers commented on the speech, including publisher of The Washington Note and regular HuffPo contributor Steve Clemons, who noted as of Sunday morning that the White House website had not mentioned Obama’s HRC dinner attendance or included a post of the speech itself.
“While the gay community at the HRC dinner was enormously enthusiastic that Barack Obama was the first President since Bill Clinton in 1997 to speak at its annual event,” Clemons wrote, “we don't want the important remarks the President gave hidden so as not to make the weekend news cycle.”