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More on Milbank and Sheehan


In the quote I featured in the last post, I don’t think Dana Milbank is saying that all the particulars about Sheehan — her crazy statements about Israel and Bush and her divorce and all that — shouldn’t matter. I think he’s just saying that the particulars don’t matter to the antiwar protesters, and that their goal (largely successful so far) is to get the media to forget about the particulars and focus on Sheehan as a symbol. It’s part of this whole “framing” thing that the Democrats seem to think will be their salvation. Here’s Milbank from earlier in the chat:

They key for the antiwar movement is to use Sheehan as a symbol but not to make the movement about her. Last night was an effort to broaden beyond Sheehan to other parents. That’s why MoveOn told people to bring pictures of children even if they aren’t in the military, and organizers handed out stickers saying ‘mom’ and ‘uncle’ and so forth, even if the ’son’ or ‘nephew’ wasn’t in Iraq.
And the press bought right into it. Check out this story in the Hartford Courant, which contained the following quote:

Kathy Hucks, an organizer with West Hartford Citizens for Peace and Justice, marveled at the turnout. “Cindy is a beacon, a non-political entity. She is a mother, grieving for her son in a war she doesn’t understand,” Hucks said. “She has validated us, as we are validating her.”
The reporter didn’t include anything in the story to qualify this garbage — just let it float on by. What’s the deal with all these reporters, supposedly a jaded, skeptical breed, buying into all this New Age nonsense? It’s so laughably naive.


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