Watching Anderson Cooper interview Cindy Sheehan last night brought back fond memories of my childhood. I must have been about 6 years old and my father was taking part in the ageless ritual of teaching his son the finer points of baseball.
It must have looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Young, tow-headed boy trying to swing a bat that was bigger than he was. The father, standing a few feet away and tossing the ball underhand trying very hard to make hitting the ball very easy, aiming the ball carefully so that it would hit the boy’s bat when he swung.
That pretty much describes Cooper’s cheerleading for Cindy Sheehan last night. The entire hour-long show was devoted to Mrs. Sheehan and her quixotic and dishonest quest to “just ask the President a few questions.” And during that entire hour, not one word about her anti-semitic rants was uttered. The pro-Palestinian Crawford Peace House was described as “a liberal meeting place.” Not a word about her statements that we shouldn’t have invaded Afghanistan. No questions about her recent contention that we’ve “contaminated” Iraq with nuclear radiation. Not a peep about her kooky conspiracy theories about 9/11.
She was a simple mother who just wanted to ask the President a few questions. And despite a promise on Anderson’s part to determine whether Sheehan lied to him during an interview on Monday about authorship of a letter she wrote to ABC last March in which she accused the President of going to war in Iraq as part of an Israeli-Neocon conspiracy, Cooper failed to deliver. On Tuesday, this is what Cooper had to say about the letter:
So we contacted ABC News today about it. They said they had received a letter on behalf of Cindy back in March. They said took it seriously enough that they responded to it, but so far they cannot find the actual e-mail, they say. They say they’re trying to find it, they’re investigating.
Bottom line, ABC News right now does not seem to be confirming this is what Cindy Sheehan wrote to them, so stay tuned. We’ll continue to follow.
Yesterday, ABC apparently demanded a correction by Cooper:
ABC News also said they spoke to CNN to see if they are going to run a correction about the statement Anderson Cooper made that “ABC News does not seem to be confirming this is what Cindy Sheehan wrote to them.” In fairness to CNN, that conclusion seemed reasonable yesterday. Today, the most likely conclusion is that Cindy Sheehan is making up totally implausible excuses for lying on TV.
And this proves that if you’re going to lie, make sure there’s no evidence on the internet:
Letâ€™s give Mother Sheehan the benefit of the doubt and presume sheâ€™s been driven mad by the Texas heat on top of her grief. Because the letter was posted on usenet on March 18, 2005. At that time nobody, including Tony Tersh who posted it, had ever heard of Cindy Sheehan… Notice that Tony sent her a copy of the letter he posted â€” for her approval. There is no record of Cindy complaining about it having been edited. In fact, she and Tony have continued their correspondence ever since. In fact, Cindy sent Tony numerous e-mails about her public appearances and asked him to promote her website
Did Cooper ask one single question about the letter after saying that his show as going to get to the botton of it?.
Here’s the closest Cooper got to being confrontational:
COOPER: Do you consider yourself a radical? I mean, some have been calling you a radical. And clearly, some of the essays you’ve written—I mean, you’ve called President Bush a terrorist, the worst terrorist in the world. You’ve called the war in Iraq blatant genocide. That’s pretty radical.
SHEEHAN: I think I am pretty radical, but only on this issue. You know, this is my issue. I just want the killing to stop. I don’t want any other mother to go through what I’m going through, Anderson, whether she be Iraqi or American.
In the immortal words of Defense Secretary Alfred Nimziki from Independence Day, “That’s not entirely accurate.”
In fact, Mrs. Sheehan is radical about a whole host of issues. Here are some choice words she delivered at San Francisco State University in support of terrorist enabler, attorney Lynne Stewart:
America has been killing people . . . since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. I’m going all over the country telling moms: “This country is not worth dying for.
But we were not attacked by Iraq. We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant. . . . What they’re saying, too, is like, it’s okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons. It’s okay for the United States to have nuclear weapons. It’s okay for the countries that we say it’s okay for. We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now. It’s okay for them to have them, but Iran or Syria can’t have them. It’s okay for Israel to occupy Palestine, but it’s—yeah—and it’s okay for Iraq to occupy—I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but it’s not okay for Syria to be in Lebanon….
Don’t reporters like, you know, do research before they interview a subject anymore?
The rest of the interview was equally nauseating. Cooper would toss a softball, Sheehan would hit it out of the park. This exchange was typical:
COOPER: You know, Senator Joe Biden, who has been critical of President Bush for quite some time, he doesn’t say we should pull-out. He says, in fact, it would be a mistake to pull-out. John Kerry says that it would be a mistake, as well.
Basically, their argument is, basically, handing Iraq over, whether you like it or not, Iraq is now the front line in the war on terror. Whether it was supposed to be, whether it was initially, they say it is now. Do you believe it is now, the front line in the war on terror?
SHEEHAN: No, I don’t. You know, I believe that, like I said, our military presence there is fueling the insurgency. And there are studies—a study from Saudi Arabia and a study from Israel—that said that most of these people who have become suicide bombers or have become terrorists are actually just rising up against the occupation, and they never even thought of doing that before America invaded. So I believe a lot of the violence would stop.
COOPER: It’s day 11. I mean, how does this go on? How long can you stay here?
SHEEHAN: It’s going on, like I’ve always said, until he meets with me or until August 31st.
COOPER: But, you know, it’s very unlikely at this point he’s going to meet with you.
SHEEHAN: Well, you know what, Anderson? Miracles are happening every day at Camp Casey.
COOPER: Has it gone beyond that for you? I mean, does it matter to you, really whether you meet with him or not?
SHEEHAN: Well, what I know is that if he meets with me today, and we go home tomorrow, or if we leave August 31st, a movement has started. And it’s bigger than me. You know, it’s bigger than all of us. And it’s going to continue. And that’s going to be the peace movement until our troops are brought home.
COOPER: Cindy Sheehan, I appreciate you joining us tonight.
The rest of the hour was full of mostly flattering, some downright gushy stories about Camp Casey and how this one, lone woman only wants a few questions answered.
Anyone who thinks that hasn’t been paying attention to what Mrs. Sheehan is really after; a “Chief Brody Slap” moment:
THE CHIEF BRODY SLAP is based on the infamous scene in Jaws when a distraught mom slaps Roy Scheider across the face. Her son was eaten by a shark, but she blames the sheriff. Because he didn’t do enough. It’s not the shark, it’s the sheriff. It’s like me blaming Arianna for Christine Lahti’s post. But unjustified. And with a shark.
THE CHIEF BRODY SLAP (CBS) is a chief staple in an any liberal diet: a fiery mix of outrage, self-rightious indignation and condemnation delivered from a moral highground so lofty it gives you a nosebleed. The Brody Slap is predicated on the idea that you don’t need a solution, only blame. Who needs a real alternative when you’re already outraged? It’s easy!
There was also the obligatory “Iraq is actually Viet Nam in disguise” story with CNN’s ace political reporter Bruce Morton drawing the necessary analogies to the 1970’s,
To be fair (even though I don’t want to be) there was a smattering of reaction from parents who lost a loved one in Iraq and supported both the President and the mission. But they were overshadowed by the moonbats.
Sheehan’s PR handlers are doing a good job. They’re keeping her on message and keeping the press from concentrating on her anti-semitic rants.
Whatever Ben Cohen of Truthout is paying them, they’re earning every penny.