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August 17, 2005

More On Sheehan Shenanigans: The Sheehan Spectacle

Topics: National News

George Neumayr, writing at The American Spectator yesterday, helps to put the ongoing Cindy Sheehan spectacle into a better focused perspective by referring to her as an absurd product of a zeitgeist that gravitates to grief for commercial and ideological, not human, reasons. Further, in speaking to what I like to call Sheehan shenanigans, Neumayr calls the Sheehan spectacle, "A good illustration of the collusion between axe-grinding victims and the cynical media that exploit them."

Cindy Sheehan and the media's manipulative use of her brings this episode back to mind. We're witnessing a replay of the media's cynical catering to the 9-11 widows, dubbed the "Jersey Girls," which began with great interest but then trailed off in proportion to the media's embarrassment about their wildly imprecise and boring charges. The media, thrilled to have something to work with during the dog days of August, will soon lose interest in Sheehan too.

(...) Owing in large part to the microscopic powers of the Internet and talk radio, the mainstream media now realize that they can only get away with using axe-grinding victims to advance their agenda for so long.

(...) As news of the victims' dangerously ill-conceived views becomes well-known through the alternative media, mainstream reporters, if only out of self-consciousness, stop using these victims as proxies for their biases.

(...) The media know that grief doesn't confer upon a person instant lucidity and authority, though they act as if it does, provided the grief inspires a political position they favor.

(...) the media aren't interested in assuaging Sheehan's grief -- were a bigger story to break they would desert her in a second, as they even did to their persecuted colleague Judith Miller after Bush announced John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee.

(...) What the media are interested in is Sheehan's politics, and the window of that interest will close for good once the public learns of her ambitiously radical views -- that Bush should be impeached as a war criminal, that America is an abomination not worth defending against terrorists, and so forth. In the end, the media will probably have added to her grief once they take away from her the new life of celebrity activism they have encouraged her to pursue in the absence of the life of her son.

(...) Sheehan doesn't speak for war widows and grieving moms any more than the Jersey Girls spoke for all relatives of 9-11 victims. And like them, Sheehan hasn't crafted her case very carefully or modestly. Just as the Jersey Girls acted as though their grief somehow made them experts on rearranging the CIA and entitled them to harangue Condi Rice, so Sheehan is making outrageous demands upon the military's commander in chief -- demands only possible in a democracy in which a fatuous media can get its leaders, who are supposed to be thinking about the common good, entangled in all sorts of absurd and superficial controversies.

When this Sheehan spectacle is over and she finds herself "standing forlornly beneath a placard announcing her grief and loss, hoping that some reporter will stop and give her the jolt of celebrity that substitutes in a twisted culture for the comfort of real compassion," our enemy, the Islamic terrorists and their supporters - the Islamists, will have been the only benefactors of Cindy Sheehan and her ilk's distorted political fantasies driven by what can surely be her real, but mis-directed grief. As for the American Left, it didn't take a Cindy Sheehan to expose them for what they are - misguided fools clawing for attention on the floor of fantasyland, not realizing that their actions threaten their freedoms as much as that of better informed and clearer-thinking Americans.

And in the category of those most harmed by the rhetoric and actions of Cindy Sheehan, the American Left, and the agenda-driven MSM, I include the men and women of our fighting forces now in Iraq, my son among them, who are at the receiving end of the anger and heightened emboldeness resulting from such Sheehan shenanigans.

George Neumayr's article in The American Spectator

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Posted by Richard at August 17, 2005 3:41 PM

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