Covering the Cindy Sheehan news story poses a dilemma for those who believe that a grieving mother should be given slack, regardless of what one might think of her actions. It is clear that the far left fringe has glomed onto her as the ultimate marketing tool - who could not empathize with a woman who lost a child? To bored and PO'ed MSM types gathered in the hellhole of Crawford covering the President during his vacation, Sheehan not only provides welcome diversion but also a vehicle to stick it to Bush.
However, even those people who are willing to give Sheehan a wide berth are aware of the cynical political machinations involved in her protest. When spin doctors like Joe Trippi and radical groups like Moveon.org enter in the picture, you can be sure that the goal isn't just for the President to meet with Sheehan for healing purposes. This has become just another front of the political war that is constantly being waged in this country, plain and simple. To claim otherwise is to deny reality.
The image of Sheehan as a mainstream citizen voicing her opinion just doesn't jibe with the radical statements that she's made while speaking at far left rallies. She might be a grieving mother, but she has a paper trail that should be reported to give a full picture of the story. But it isn't. Sheehan's anti-Bush views are shared by most of the MSM, who are guilty of selective reporting of the story. The job of providing balance to the story falls once again to the alternative media.
Which brings us to the title of this article. Is reporting the facts about Sheehan and her opinions a personal attack on her? No, of course not. But that's what some people would have you believe. Sound familiar? It should. Last year, John Kerry's campaign was based on his military service. Because Kerry was a decorated war hero, any criticism of his viewpoints amounted to questioning his patriotism. The Democrats deliberately confuse criticizing a person and criticizing his position as a means of aborting debate about the person's position. Democracy is about debating ideas, and for this to be done, the facts must be available to the public. Reporting the facts is role of the media in the democratic process. But, in the Sheehan story, the alternative media is holding up its end of the bargain, while the MSM is not.
Why don't I find that surprising? ;-)