Accuracy in Media

The story of Cindy Sheehan is a sad story all the way round. It is sad she lost her son in the Iraq War. It is sad that she is being exploited by far left. It is also sad that she is being exploited by the media and that she seems to enjoy it.

The latest example of this crass exploitation is the August 13 page-one story in the Washington Post about how the anti-war mother has gained “visibility.” The Post and other media have given her this “visibility.”  They are feeding off one another to promote an anti-war agenda.

Sheehan, who once described herself as friendly toward President Bush, now says she wants to personally meet with the President and for him to “tell me that my son died for oil.” She wants to say to Bush: “You tell me that my son died to make your friends rich. You tell me my son died to spread the cancer of Pax Americana, imperialism in the Middle East.”

As Byron York of National Review noted, Sheehan has also said that without left-wing bloggers promoting her cause, America would already be a “fascist state.”

In her view, therefore, an effort to transform the Middle East by creating a democratic state in Iraq has become “imperialism” and “cancer,” and the U.S. is itself close to becoming a fascist state. She may be a “crackpot,” as Fred Barnes of Fox News commented, but she is also someone to be pitied because she has clearly been brainwashed.

Consider how her views have changed.

Sheehan’s son Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was killed in Iraq in April of 2004. And like all families who have lost children serving their country, they are owed our gratitude and respect, and our condolences. Mrs. Sheehan was not happy about how the war was going even last year when she and her family met with Bush. She had criticized the handling of the war, and accused Bush of having “changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached.”

But after meeting with him, she told the Reporter, of Vacaville, California, that “I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he’s very sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.” And being with other families in similar situations apparently made the family feel better. “That was the gift the President gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,” Mrs. Sheehan told the paper.

Mrs. Sheehan went from being somewhat critical of the war to believing that the U.S. is on an imperial crusade and that the President himself is an evil man.

A tip-off as to what happened to Mrs. Sheehan is that she has been blogging on the website of Michael Moore, who is known for his far-left politics, dishonest “documentaries,” and comparing the terrorists in Iraq to the Minutemen, the patriots who fought in the American Revolution. One of her blog entries said, “We have such a strong coalition of groups. GSFP, Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and the Crawford Peace House.”

The New York Sun did something the media never do―analyze the groups that have embraced Mrs. Sheehan. It notes that the Crawford Peace House website, for example, includes a photo of the entire nation of Israel identified only as “Palestine.” In other words, Israel has been wiped out. The Crawford Peace House also directs people to several other groups, including the National Meditation Center for World Peace.

Mrs. Sheehan has become a media star, writing on her blog, “I did tons of interviews. It looks like I will be on the cover of People Magazine. Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and Oprah’s magazine will be interviewing me also.”

One can assume that these news organizations will neglect the critical matter of how Mrs. Sheehan has become, in effect, a hostage of far-left elements.

The Sheehan family is itself divided. The Drudge Report posted an email from other members of the Sheehan family, including Casey Sheehan’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins, who said in part that “We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan Family supports the troops, our country, and our President, silently, with prayer and respect.”

True respect for Casey Sheehan’s sacrifice also requires exposing those who want the U.S. to fail and the terrorists in Iraq to win. Is this now Cindy Sheehan’s notion of “peace?” Why don’t reporters ask her? Or are they afraid of the answer?

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