Friday, August 21, 2009

Where Did the Anti-War Movement Go?

Cindy Sheehan

"Enough already"- Charles Gibson

If you haven't heard much about the anti-war movement in the past seven months, there is a good reason. No, it's not because President Obama ended our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan; he hasn't. It's because Barack Obama-not George Bush is our president. The media is not reporting the activities of the war protesters though they are still out there.

Since coming into office, President Obama has beefed up our effort in Afghanistan. American troops still remain in Iraq. As a result, folks like Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink have soured on Obama. They are still out there, but they are not getting the press coverage they received when Bush was in the White House.

Next week, while President Obama is vacationing in Martha's Vineyard, Cindy Sheehan plans to go and protest, same as she did in Crawford, Texas when Bush was president. This time, she won't have the battery of news reporters and photographers covering her every move and recording her every wacky comment. Why is that?

Charles Gibson, anchor of the ABC Evening News, gave it all away this week while being interviewed by colleague, Don Wade, in Chicago. In response to a question about Sheehan from his chuckling news pal, Gibson, while dutifully sounding sympathetic to the mother who lost her son, pretty much dismissed Sheehan's continuing campaign and ended by saying, "enough already". Here is the full text:

"It's such a sad story. Martha Raddatz [of ABC News] wrote a terrific book about one battle that took place in Iraq, and it was the battle in which Cindy's son was killed. And you look at somebody like that and you think here's somebody who's just trying to find some meaning in her son's death. And you have to be sympathetic to her. Anybody who has given a son to this country has made an enormous sacrifice, and you have to be sympathetic. But enough already."

-Charles Gibson in WLS interview with Don Wade, August 18, 2009.

Now contrast that statement with what Gibson had to say on August 9, 2005, when he had an on-air interview with Sheehan as she was camped outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, TX.:

“Cindy Sheehan is her name,” Gibson began. “She says she's not moving until the President meets with her, and I had a chance to speak with her a few minutes ago. Cindy Sheehan, bottom line, what do you hope to accomplish with all this?”

During the ensuing days, Gibson and ABC continued to give coverage to Sheehan. On August 17, 2005, when Sheehan finally departed Crawford, Gibson reported, “We're going to turn next to the standoff that is playing out near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Cindy Sheehan, you know, the mother who lost a son in Iraq, is now on the move, but she's still standing her ground. ABC's Geoff Morrell is in Crawford with the details…” On August 18, Gibson stated on ABC News, “All across the country last night, people held candlelight vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan…”

So now that Obama is president, Cindy Sheehan is a wacko. When Bush was president, she was a compelling voice. Do you see the hypocrisy? (For the record, I also consider Sheehan a wacko, but I have always considered her a wacko, who has not only attacked President Bush, but her own country as well.) What has happened to push Sheehan off the news pages in the last several months even though American troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan? The difference is that Bush is no longer president. Obama is now the president; that's what happened.

The obvious reason that the media has ignored the anti-war forces for the past seven months is simply because they do not want to call negative attention to the current president-completely opposite to their agenda when Bush was president.

It's called hypocrisy. There is absolutely no other possible explanation.

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