Saturday, August 13, 2005

Cindy "Mother" Sheehan

As most of you know, Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Casey Sheehan, a soldier who was killed fighting in Iraq. Now, I'm going to cover a few bases in this post, so bear with me.

First, I'd like to highlight how the latest story off the AP wire describes Mrs. Sheehan. This isn't a news story. It's a fluff piece, glorifying Mrs. Sheehan and her message. Out of the entire piece, there is one paragraph that deals with the fact that some consider her a pawn of the left wing and that "some in her family accuse her of changing her position." There is also one paragraph that contains a weak objection from a bookkeeper that we need to "support the troops," but that then goes on to point out that she has never lost a son, apparently effectively negating her objection. Finally, there is one paragraph devoted to President Bush's response. So, out of a 885 word news story, there are 148 words that could be remotely construed as to offer some opposition to Cindy Sheehan's message, and just 13 words dealing with the fact that some accuse her of changing her message. Let me say that again. Out of a 885 word news story, just THIRTEEN were devoted to some information that could significantly impact how we perceive the story. Fair and balanced?

(Out of a sense of fair play, I must point out that a previous AP story that I read Thursday did a much better job of outlining the objections of those who say she changed her story. That story has since been pulled completely; I cannot find a copy of it, and the story that was at the url has since been changed completely.)

Michelle Malkin does a good job of rounding up information regarding the changing story. The bottom line is that, at best, Mrs. Sheehan has allowed her grief to be manipulated by those who wish to make a political point.

Manipulation brings me to my next point. Over at Kos' place, we have the latest plan on how to "frame" Cindy Sheehan. Yes, they are talking about how to frame a mother's grief. Here's a taste: "This is not Mother Sheehan's vigil, this is a vigil over the dead son, killed by the ruler for his own selfish reasons" and "If there are any persons who are theatre professionals at the Sheenan vigil, they should arrange things much more theatrically."

So, it's not about "Mother Sheehan's" grief, it's about everyone's grief. And don't forget, we need to stage everything to make our point, truth and common decency be damned.

H/T to Greyhawk for both the Michelle Malkin piece and the Kos story.