It’s Official

Cindy Sheehan is the new Natalee Holloway.

Please don’t misunderstand: I do not mock the pain of the loss Mrs. Sheehan has suffered with the death of her son. But the media coverage of this woman’s PR campaign has crossed the line into the realm of the bizarre. There are important things happening in the world.

For example, the existence of a large American military base in Israel and the implications of its presence if violence should break out over Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. Or the disclosure of plans from Dick Cheney’s office to invade Iran after the next terror attack in the U.S.–whether Iran is responsible or not.

Instead, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and the networks prefer to go with Mrs. Sheehan. Network news is nothing more than “reality” television.

Update: If you’re a new reader clicking in from AOL’s BlogZone, welcome. Your comments are appreciated, and if you’re interested in news that’s slipping through the cracks of the major media outlets, I invite you to click the tab above for Watcher Magazine.

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31 responses to “It’s Official

  1. The news isn’t news anymore. Between ads, entertainment, and after viewing the same thing day after day we learn
    they are doingthe easy thing, ie, continuing the coverage where they have their reporters and cameras. I feel badly for
    the parents of Natalie Holloway but there are hundreds of kids missing in this country, we need a news program on
    this. Jackson and Peterson were on every day for months and at length. The media reported that these cases had
    stimulated the public, WRONG, they stimulated the newspeople. They should ask people what they want since most of our friends
    friends feel as we do. I didn’t know about about the military base in Israel and that surely is news.
    Thanks for the discussion. Incidentally, anything that puts the unjust war on the front pages is ok with me.

  2. While my heart goes out to Cindy for her loss, I find it sadly amazing that
    the media is salivating over what is nothing more than a radical mother who
    “needs” to blame someone for the loss of her son. Her son JOINED the military…
    there is no draft. That’s the risk you take for that free college money! By the way…where’s Natalie?!?

  3. Indeed, the media should focus on more important issues. Not that the loss of someone’s son isn’t important, but to drag out the story day after day just shows a lack of character and dedication from the News departments. I would like to hear more about what is going on between China and Tiwan. I knew they had issues, but I only recently discovered the Tiwan Relations Act that we signed a while back. It states that if China attacks Tiwan, we have to intervene on Tiwan’s behalf. This concerns me even more because Russia is now having war games with China to strengthen relations. If they start trading and China gets interested in Russia’s new long range bomber… yet i speculate and digress… a valid point Mr Gilbert. I respect and agree with your opinion

  4. I’m a DAV who fells for her but she is hurting the Vets that are over there fighting and the vets here at home how are injured she needs to stop

  5. Should the media focus on stories other than the war in Iraq? I don’t think so. There was just as much media coverage when the administration was looking for support to go into Iraq in the first place. If anything, there isn’t enough attention paid to the war by the average American. There was plenty of excitement when it seemed that it might be a war of a short duration but now that it is dragging on people don’t want to talk about it. We as a nation, and the President as our leader, should have the war on minds constantly, as long as American lives are being lost. That is how you honor the soldiers on the front lines. Not by taking our minds off the war.
    As for Mrs. Sheehan; just as soon as you’ve lost a son or daughter in war and can stand in her shoes you go ahead and criticize.
    As for the President; if he is as positive about the effects of this war on our nation, then why doesn’t he meet with woman? He’s got plenty of time; he holds the record for time away from the office of the president on vacation.

  6. I’m not trying to underestimate the pain this poor woman must
    feel, but what she needs is counseling, psychiatric, and
    religious help to get her through this, not more media
    coverage. The media is energyzing her to continue, and this
    is exactly what she wants. Why are they falling for that?
    How does she think that the President of the United States, has
    more time for her? It shows how obsessed she is by not
    realizing that President Bush is a VERY BUSY man, and has
    much more important things to do. Even though he is
    very sympathetic to her and her situation, I just don’t under-
    stand how she thinks she, as one little person, can change his
    mind? I believe she has made her point by now and should go
    get the help she needs.

  7. The Cindy Sheehan story is not important unless you are about
    to deploy to Iraq, or you are in a bed in a veteran’s hospital with

    two missing legs and one blind eye from serving your country in
    Iraq, or you are about to walk out the door to attend your second
    funeral of a dead soldier (which I am about to do).

  8. Michael McNamara

    Shame on me for being an AOL subscriber! The ‘news’ item that I responded to had
    the ridiculous title: ” Cindy Sheehan ,is she right?” Not reporting, not unbiased
    only controversial.
    I recommend Michael Wolff’s piece on Karl Rove and the Media in the September ‘Vanity fair’.
    His take on how those of us who rely on mass media are being led down a fool’s path is enlightening

  9. While my heart goes out to Cindy for her loss, I find it sadly amazing that
    the media is salivating over what is nothing more than a radical mother who
    ???needs??? to blame someone for the loss of her son. Her son JOINED the military??
    there is no draft. That???s the risk you take for that free college money! By the way??where???s Natalie?!?

    The above statement was made by someone named Ernie. I highly
    agree with him too. While I respect those who are free to speak
    their minds, I also find it so hard to comprehend why the anti-
    war protesters can not do one simple thing and that is support
    those troops who are over there. Whether they think the war is
    wrong or right, the people who are in the middle of it deserve
    our respect. Today, I saw a video of Matt Lauer who is over in
    Iraq and interviewed some soldiers…..he tried so hard to make
    some of them cut down the war by the questions he was asking.
    Not one of them said a negative word about it and went on to say
    just how proud they all were to be there and the need to get the
    job done. Their moral was high. People don’t realize that
    just because they are far away from us right now that they don’t
    know what is going on here in the U.S.

  10. Pam said:

    I also find it so hard to comprehend why the anti-
    war protesters can not do one simple thing and that is support
    those troops who are over there. Whether they think the war is
    wrong or right, the people who are in the middle of it deserve
    our respect.

    Pam, I can’t comprehend why you believe this. I’ve been against
    this war, and continually protest it, since before it started but
    have supported the troops the entire way. I have the utmost respect
    for the men and women serving in the military. My godson happens
    to be one of them. One of the reasons that I am against this war is
    because I want him home, alive and in one piece.

    As the groups Veterans for Peace and Military Families Against
    the War constantly say “Support the Troops, Bring them Home”.

    Supporting this illegal, immoral war that is based upon nothing
    but lies and greed, is NOT supporting our troops. It’s supporting
    more lies and more greed.

  11. We are supporting the troops by trying to get them out of a war that is killing them for the wrong reasons. Most of the people against this war were not against the invasion of Afghanistan. Nor did they object to the first gulf war in defense of Kuwait, or the deployment of troops to Bosnia.

  12. Jeff wrote: As for Mrs. Sheehan; just as soon as you???ve lost a son or daughter in war and can stand in her shoes you go ahead and criticize.

    As for the President; if he is as positive about the effects of this war on our nation, then why doesn???t he meet with woman? He???s got plenty of time; he holds the record for time away from the office of the president on vacation.

    By your reasoning, then, you should only criticize the president after you’ve been elected to the office.

    Please re-read my original post, Jeff. I’m not criticizing Mrs. Sheehan; I’m questioning the motives of the media in focusing on her pain when there are bigger issues–like America’s imminent invasion of Iran–that get no coverage at all.

  13. Here’s the thing about Cindy Sheehan: As some of the comments above illustrate, this is a perfect example of a news item with a strong emotional hook that instantly divides viewers into “for” and “against”.

    Wake up, y’all: That’s exactly why the media put it into heavy rotation.

    Our rule of thumb is this: When a story like Natalee Holloway, Cindy Sheehan, Karl Rove, Scott Peterson, or Michael Jackson starts sucking up all the oxygen on the cable news and radio talk shows, start looking elsewhere to find out what’s really going on.

    A new American army base in Israel? Plans to nuke Iran after the next terror attack, regardless of who’s responsible? Joint Russian/Chinese military exercises?

    Is there a reason these stories aren’t leading the newscasts on Fox or CNN?

  14. An Open Letter to Cindy Sheehan
    From Steve Beren http://www.steveberen.com

    Among those who have lost loved ones in Iraq, or in Afghanistan, or on 9/11, there is the same disagreement as exists among the population as a whole.

    With all respect and honor and memory to your son, and with all respect and honor and sympathy to you, your viewpoint on Iraq and the war against terrorism is not correct.

    I am glad that we acted pre-emptively, preventing Saddam Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. Regime change has meant that Iraq is headed towards democracy, elections, government, constitution, women’s rights, and ethnic reconciliation.

    Not only Iraq and Afghanistan, but other countries such as Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia oppress their own people, and lend support in various ways to terrorism. Backwardness and oppression must give way to democracy and freedom and human rights and modernity.

    We need to attack terrorism at its roots, which means helping the people who are most oppressed by the tyranny, oppression, exploitation, poverty, and backwardness in the Muslim and Arab world.

    Your son died for a noble cause, helping the oppressed achieve freedom. He and the rest of our armed forces are doing the most wonderful of all human actions – helping those in need.

    At the same time, your son and the rest of our armed forces also help America and the world by attacking terrorism at its roots. America benefits indirectly when an oppressed people benefit directly from newly-won freedom.

    You are an American citizen, which means you deserve respect and honor from all of us, even if we disagree with you.

    Our prayers and love and best wishes go out to you. God’s blessing to you.

    Steve Beren
    Seattle, Washington
    http://www.steveberen.com

  15. Cindy Burbridge

    I have read and reread all the comments on Cindy Sheehan and I also would like to send my condolences and respect to her. I know she is trying to do what she feels is correct. However, I strongly agree with Steve Berens’ viewpoint. I also wish to say that I wish there had been no reason for this war in the first place, but I cannot change what went on. I can only now give my support and prayers to those that are fighting it here and abroad. No more terrorism should be what we all want to keep our country safe. May all of us be blessed with no more wars, terrorism, hate crimes, etc., in our lifetimes.

    Cindy Burbridge
    Vancouver, Washington

  16. Cindy Sheehan already spoken to President Bush, he gave her his condolences as he has done to so many parents. She had her opportunity to express her feelings then. I understand at that time she found him to be very compassionate to her loss. Who is funding her? I understand she is now “friends” with Michael Moore and MoveOn.Org. She is being used by them as she is enjoying the limelight. Her son is a hero and hopefully some day she will understand that he fought for our freedom as well as for the freedom of the Iraqis. We are at war, not with a country, but with people that want to kill all of us.

  17. As a mother and sister-in-law of two ex-marines, I can only say’
    that no one forced our children to join the armed forces. They
    joined proudly and knowingly of the chance of war and the sacri
    fices that come with it. No one wants to lose a child but each
    year hundreds of young men & women lose their lives to crime,
    drugs and gang wars. At least our children are putting their
    lives on the line for an honorable and just cause. No one wants
    war but freedom is not free nor cheap. Our ancestors paid the
    same price,as all our fallen soldiers, for the freedom, peace
    and stability we so enjoyed prior to 9/11. We can not and will
    not forget any of our soldiers. Our troops need to know that we
    are proud and thankful to them; and that we support them and
    wish their safe return. What our troops do not need is the
    circus that Mrs. Sheehan has set up in Crawford. I have
    continued and will continue to pray for our troops as I did
    when my own where away at war. May God bless them all.

  18. Even though I sypathise with Ms. Sheehan on her loss, the
    medias coverage has been less then even-keeled. She has made
    staements such as “America isn’t worth dying for”, “George
    Bush is the world’s biggest terrorist”, “The president and his
    minions should be prosecuted for war crimes and imprisoned” and
    that is just a few of the many inflamatory statements she has
    made. She is an “Activist” who happens to have suffered a loss.
    Where is the media coverage of these comments or the photo from
    last years meeting with Sheehan that shows her hugging the presidenthim.
    Or how about the presence of Joe Trippe (probably misspelled)
    at the “vigil” acting as her media consultant. For those who
    don’t know, he was Howard Dean’s campaign chairman. Or how
    about MoveOn.org (Al Gore)organising the 1600 nationwide
    sympathy protests. This whole this smacks of politics, with the
    media acting in a very partisan manor. And to think they have
    the balls to complain about Fox News.

  19. Trickycoyote, you need to get your facts straight. You need to
    review Ted Kennedy’s and Dick Durbin’s and Nancy Pelosi’s comments
    before we went into Iraq in ’91 or Afganistan. They were decidedly
    not in favor. The only “war” they supported was Bosnia….why
    you ask? Easy, that was Clinton’s war. Speaking about Clinton,
    what about those newly declassified pentagon documents showing
    that they knew about Atta and three of the other 9/11 terrorists
    were in the country one year before 9/11 but did nothing about
    it? Why did the 9/11 commision not address this in their report?
    Or how about Sudan offering to give up Osama to us twice, but
    both times Clinton refused, so Sudan kicks him out and where
    does he go? Afganistan. So many missed oportunities. Pretty
    embarassing for a President who declared he did everything
    possible to prevent terrorist acts in this country. Some legacy.

  20. Sylvia Townsend

    I feel for Mrs. Sheehan on the lost of her son, along with all the
    other parents, wives and especially the children who have no father
    If Mrs Sheehan has all the pent-up energy, why can’t she put that
    energy to a more postive move, such as working with the hundreds
    of young men and women who have come home, due to the lost of a
    limb. She just might feel good about herself and the sacarfice her
    son made in this all volunteer service our country has.

  21. Thank you Steve and Kevin… everyone should be so bright as
    to understand and be able to explain it like it is. No one likes it
    when someone passes away, but may i suggest to everyone to look up
    the word ‘terrorist’ in the dictionary, and read the Declaration of Independance.
    We are over there because it is our duty as a free nation to help others,
    and our right to protect our country. It is a choice to go or not to go. God bless those
    who can and do serve. And those who did. And sorry Cindy, there will always
    be wars and it will continue to get worse. These are the end times and only
    Jesus will bring about peace as we dream of. And because of our guys proteting
    us we have the freedom to know Him and worship Him before that day comes.

  22. Re: #10 Rita above:
    My and your families will continue to have our freedoms and
    liberties we all take for granted and enjoy, BECAUSE of the
    just and right decisions our our leaders. If you aren’t
    willing to accept these decisions, from the leaders who the
    majority of us in the USA have voted into office, then why
    don’t you try to go to a country where you have no freedoms;
    for example, like IRAQ used to be!
    The Muslim world or the people of Iraq DO NOT disrespect
    America. Instead of being fed by the liberal, negative-for-
    a-story media, why don’t you ASK THE TROOPS who are over there
    proudly serving our country for YOU AND ME, how the average
    Muslim citizen, who is peace-loving by the way, all love our
    presence there. And how they cry and hug our troops and thank
    them over and over again for being there and protecting and
    supporting them and being their friends.
    Or better yet, TAKE A LITTLE TRIP OVER TO IRAQ, to see for
    yourself!
    These are the things that the media won’t show or tell you —
    they wouldn’t be a controversial, news-worthy story, now would
    they??

  23. i wish you all could read a letter i just got from a an injured marine marine released from a v.a. hospital back in january. he told me when he got home there was mail from the v.a. billing him $8.00 a day for meals while he was rehabilitating there.

  24. Thank you Emily – you are right on and you said it all so
    beautifully! Thank you!

  25. lorraine boccio

    Sheehan is being bankrolled by the likes of Michael Moore. Shame on her.
    Her son would be so embarrased if he can see this from above

  26. A CASE FOR MRS SHEEHAN

    First of all Mrs. Sheehan is not an elected official so she does not deserve
    all the unecessary scrutiny and false accusation she is getting. Each one of
    you should be ashamed of yourselves. If you all had questioned this
    administration’s motives for invading Iraq in the first place we would not be
    where we are at the moment and Cindy’s son would not have been killed for
    a war based LIES.

    George Bush took us to war because he said Iraq had WEAPONS OF MASS
    DESTRUCTION – not for terrorism, not for freedom, certainly not for 9/11
    because the 9/11 report already proved that Iraq had nothing to do with it.
    George Bush told us time and time again that this war was for WMD so when
    Cindy Sheehan learnd that her son was murdered for a war based on blatant
    lies she had to do the noble thing like any other sane mother would do. Yes
    her son volunteered for the army which was very noble but we the American
    people promised these volunteers thatwe would never send Casey to a war
    BASED ON LIES while the Bush twins are not doing the same also neither are
    the 17 Bush grandkids.

    Time and time again poor people are made to suffer for the mistakes of the
    rich and rouge governments. This must stop. Cindy was lied to and whether the
    American public choose to deny that, it is up to them. But Cindy has every
    right to protest her son’s death the way she pleases. The last time I checked
    this is still the US where protests have always been the way of life. Who
    are people that want to continue this propaganda that Casey Shehan died for
    terrorism to make us safer. The majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
    Why did we not attack them? I guess Iraq was the easy target.

    People, people questioning your government is the American way just as apple
    pie and ice cream. Let Cindy Sheehan has her way. Bush interrupted his
    vacation together with the rest of congress to intervene in the Terry
    Schivo’s situation which was a private matter in the first place. On the
    other hand Casey was a soldier that died for a war based on humongous lies
    and you want all of America to sweep it under the rug. I SAY NO. If you
    feel so strongly for this war I hope tomorrow morning you all go and enlist
    in the armed forces and replace those soldiers who do not want to die for a
    war based on lies. If you people can hold President Clinton accountable for
    a PRIVATE AFFAIR BETWEEN HIM HIS WIFE AND A CONSENTING ADULT, how much more
    an issue that involves our national security.

    To people that say the soldiers are fighting for freedom and safety. I say
    BULL. London felt the same way and the terrorist proved that the war in
    Iraq did not stop them from attacking them. Besides do we want the legacy
    of our soldiers in Iraq to be that they helped create an Islamic dictatorship.
    Because by the look of the evidence and the current constitution this is
    where Iraq is heading and in addition leaving women with even fewer rights.

    Finally I say you all that have your head in the sand you need to take it out
    to see the horizon. This war is a failure. Bring our troops home and hold
    this administration accountable for all their lies. God doesn’t like liars
    and this is what happens when people lie – blood is spilled. STOPPING
    ATTACKING CINDY SHEEHAN BECAUSE SHE IS AN EASY TARGET – LET US START HOLDING
    THIS ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH TOO MANY
    LIES AND HUMAN BLOOD. BESIDES THEY ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS AND WE PAY THEIR
    SALARY AND NOT CINDY SHEEHAN. IT IS NOT FAIR. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?????

    By the way this is just an ordinary American Citizen and is standing up for
    the TRUTH.

  27. A CASE FOR MRS SHEEHAN

    First of all Mrs. Sheehan is not an elected official so she does not deserve
    all the unecessary scrutiny and false accusation she is getting. Each one of
    you should be ashamed of yourselves. If you all had questioned this
    administration’s motives for invading Iraq in the first place we would not be
    where we are at the moment and Cindy’s son would not have been killed for
    a war based LIES.

    George Bush took us to war because he said Iraq had WEAPONS OF MASS
    DESTRUCTION – not for terrorism, not for freedom, certainly not for 9/11
    because the 9/11 report already proved that Iraq had nothing to do with it.
    George Bush told us time and time again that this war was for WMD so when
    Cindy Sheehan learnd that her son was murdered for a war based on blatant
    lies she had to do the noble thing like any other sane mother would do. Yes
    her son volunteered for the army which was very noble but we the American
    people promised these volunteers thatwe would never send Casey to a war
    BASED ON LIES while the Bush twins are not doing the same also neither are
    the 17 Bush grandkids.

    Time and time again poor people are made to suffer for the mistakes of the
    rich and rouge governments. This must stop. Cindy was lied to and whether the
    American public choose to deny that, it is up to them. But Cindy has every
    right to protest her son’s death the way she pleases. The last time I checked
    this is still the US where protests have always been the way of life. Who
    are people that want to continue this propaganda that Casey Shehan died for
    terrorism to make us safer. The majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.
    Why did we not attack them? I guess Iraq was the easy target.

    People, people questioning your government is the American way just as apple
    pie and ice cream. Let Cindy Sheehan has her way. Bush interrupted his
    vacation together with the rest of congress to intervene in the Terry
    Schivo’s situation which was a private matter in the first place. On the
    other hand Casey was a soldier that died for a war based on humongous lies
    and you want all of America to sweep it under the rug. I SAY NO. If you
    feel so strongly for this war I hope tomorrow morning you all go and enlist
    in the armed forces and replace those soldiers who do not want to die for a
    war based on lies. If you people can hold President Clinton accountable for
    a PRIVATE AFFAIR BETWEEN HIM HIS WIFE AND A CONSENTING ADULT, how much more
    an issue that involves our national security.

    To people that say the soldiers are fighting for freedom and safety. I say
    BULL. London felt the same way and the terrorist proved that the war in
    Iraq did not stop them from attacking them. Besides do we want the legacy
    of our soldiers in Iraq to be that they helped create an Islamic dictatorship.
    Because by the look of the evidence and the current constitution this is
    where Iraq is heading and in addition leaving women with even fewer rights.

    Finally I say you all that have your head in the sand you need to take it out
    to see the horizon. This war is a failure. Bring our troops home and hold
    this administration accountable for all their lies. God doesn’t like liars
    and this is what happens when people lie – blood is spilled. STOPPING
    ATTACKING CINDY SHEEHAN BECAUSE SHE IS AN EASY TARGET – LET US START HOLDING
    THIS ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOTTEN AWAY WITH TOO MANY
    LIES AND HUMAN BLOOD. BESIDES THEY ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS AND WE PAY THEIR
    SALARY AND NOT CINDY SHEEHAN. IT IS NOT FAIR. WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?????

    By the way this is just an ordinary American Citizen and is standing up for
    the TRUTH.

  28. Cindy Sheehan is doing what she needs to do to help her cope with her loss.
    As the mother of a son in the army I certainly share her pain although I
    don’t agree with her actions. I am fortunate that my son is not in harms way at this time but his time will come. It doesn’t matter how I feel about this it only matters how he feels about this. He joined the army fully aware of the current situation. He know it is only
    a matter of time before he will be in Iraq or Afganistan. He is proud of his
    country and want to be a small part of bringing freedom and peace to other
    parts of the world.
    As far as meeting with President Bush goes, what more does he have to say to her.
    He meet with her already and we all know what his position on this war is.
    Meeting with her is not going to change his view. He is also doing what he feel
    is best for our country.
    I do agree with all that says this issue is getting way to much media time.
    What I would like to see is coverage of some of the good our men and women in
    the service is doing in Iraq and Afganistan. My son has many friends and
    acquaintenance that have been over there and they are full of story of all
    the good that has been accomplish and they are proud of their service. The
    media should be showing some of these kinds of things

  29. Trish and Olive: If you’re going to cut and paste commentary from somewhere else, please give attribution.

    Now, let’s keep the discussion on the original point: The media is using Cindy Sheehan, Natalee Holloway, and other high-profile stories to get us so worked up fighting each other–see above for proof–to notice some very big things just out of the limelight.

  30. I doubt that the liberal press will ever use the Sheehan and
    Holloway stories to protect anything Republican or military
    operations which they think may be about to happen. They’d
    rather blow Bush’s doors off. It’s just cheaper to run with
    stories when you have all your people already deployed to do the
    stories. It’s like Speed TV. They don’t bother to cover
    national races because it’s cheaper to buy foreign ones. I’d
    much rather see American car and motorcycle races, but it would
    cost them more than they’re willing to spend when they can
    import the European circuit that’s already filmed.

  31. I believe that Mr.John MURKY is losing it after all these
    years and all the active war time he has seen. His
    phycological problems are undermining our wonderful troops
    welware in more ways than one, and he needs to be stopped.
    When are these people going to realize that we are NOT going
    to pull out until we feel our job is done over there, and
    not before?

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