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“I Have No Animosity For That Person At All”



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During a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Cindy Sheehan told reporters:

Well I believe that my son was killed by the policies of George Bush, you know, that none of those kids should be in Iraq at all…

The person who killed my son, I have no animosity for that person at all. You know, I many Iraqi mothers who have been destroyed by our invasion and occupation which is illegal and immoral what we are doing over there. I have no animosity towards that person.

I’d like to remind you that she said this during a phone call with a group of reporters, and I can’t find a single instance of this remark reported anywhere. Perhaps that’s because, reading the transcript, it becomes evident that the reporters are on Sheehan’s side.

New York Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin agreed, and now the Kansas City Star’s ombudsman is quibbling with his description of the Star correspondent’s remarks. Read the transcript and decide for yourself. (via Romenesko)

Hitchens on Hardball



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If you missed Hitchens on Hardball Wednesday night (and given MSNBC’s ratings, who didn’t?), this quote bears repeating:

[Cindy Sheehan] is also inviting a terrific riposte. What if we were to say, very well, the conduct of this war will depend on an opinion poll which we’ll take of relatives of the fallen in Iraq, only they can decide, only they have the authority. She would lose.
The entire exchange is worth reading. Hitchens also quoted Sheehan’s Nightline letter in a Slate magazine piece, and had this to say of Sheehan’s claims that the letter was doctored:

She has, just today, lied about a statement that she made several times before to the effect that her son was killed in a war run by a secret Jewish cabal within the administration. She now says she didn
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MSM Joins ACLU In Abu Ghraib Lawsuit



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Cliff Kincaid reports that The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, CBS Broadcasting, NBC Universal, The Hearst Corporation, The New York Times Co., the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Advance Publications, the E.W. Scripps Company, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Newspaper Guild and the Tribune Company have joined the ACLU in its lawsuit against the Pentagon over the remaining photos and videos from the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal. Apparently the MSM wants Abu Ghraib back in the news so badly they have devoted legal resources to getting new photos from the Pentagon, despite Pentagon arguments that the release of those photos would endanger American lives and serve as propaganda for al-Qaeda.

Of course, the fact that the NY Times is involved is notable given the embarassing correction it was forced to run after a Times reporter falsely accused the Pentagon of lawlessly defying a court order to turn over the photos — a court order that never existed.

And we all remember Newspaper Guild president Linda Foley, who accused the U.S. military of targeting journalists for death but who, unlike CNN’s Eason Jordan, managed to keep her job. How? Easy: She was re-elected.

All this brings to mind something Michael Barone said on FNC a few days ago. He was speaking about the media’s obsession with Cindy Sheehan:

I think part of this is the question of the press corps. I mean, I asked the question if a World War II era Cindy Sheehan had gone to Hyde Park and Warm Springs and camped out and demanded a meeting with President Roosevelt, would she have received coverage from the press in the World War II era? And I’ve studied this era, and I think the answer is clearly no. She would just been thought to have been a person who was the victim of a personal tragedy and who had gone over the bend as a result of it, and they would have mercifully given her no publicity. We’ve got a different kind of press. In World War II, the press almost unanimously wanted us to win the war. Today we have many in the press — not most I think, but some at least — who do not want us to win this war and think that we don’t deserve to win this war. It’s a more critical press.
Now we see it’s not just the reporting. It’s the maneuvering behind the scenes as well.

Army’s New Stealth Body Shield



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Bloggers Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney continue to investigate the Air America scandals. Byron York reports on Air America’s struggles in NR this week. And the New York Sun is still the only source of mainstream media coverage of the scandal. Today, the Sun’s David Lombino reports that one of Air America’s early creditors is suing for the $1.5 million it says it’s owed.

Meanwhile, Day by Day’s Chris Muir notes the Air America scandal’s curious effect on the MSM and suggests potential advantages for the Army:

“Not Once Did They Ever Ask Me If They Could Use My Son’s Name”



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On CNN’s Your World Today, Gary Qualls, the father of Louis W. Qualls, held up the white cross bearing his son’s name, which he pulled out of the ground where Cindy Sheehan and her followers had placed it without his permission.

He told YWT anchor Jim Clancy,

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And How Would Ted Kennedy Define “Mainstream”?



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Somebody please take away Ted Kennedy’s keys to the Washington Post op-ed page:

No one has an automatic right to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. A nominee to the high court must first demonstrate that he has a core commitment to constitutional rights and liberties. He must show that he is in the mainstream of modern judicial thought and that he would not use an ideologically motivated interpretation of our Constitution or laws to reverse the hard-fought gains we have made to make this nation more just.
Thanks for pointing out that no one has an automatic right to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court (as opposed to Kennedy’s automatic right to a lifetime position as a Senator from Massachusetts). But every nominee has a right to be considered for the job even if he disagrees with Ted Kennedy about the meaning of “mainstream” modern judicial thought.

The Post Smears Roberts



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I see that Tim Graham on the Corner has already noted what has got to be the most biased news story I’ve seen in a while:

Roberts Resisted Women’s Rights

Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. consistently opposed legal and legislative attempts to strengthen women’s rights during his years as a legal adviser in the Reagan White House, disparaging what he called “the purported gender gap” and, at one point, questioning “whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good.”

The allegation that Roberts “resisted women’s rights” follows from his opposition to the “comparable worth” theory — a theory that is NOT the same as equal pay (Ed Whelan addressed the distinction at Bench Memos). Nowhere in the article do the reporters identify the distinction or even fully explain “comparable worth”, by which judges rather than employers could decide how much pay any worker should receive.

As you read further down in the Post story, it becomes evident that contrary to the way it is presented the lead, Roberts never seriously questioned “whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good.” As the context makes clear, Roberts was making a lawyer joke in a personal aside at the end of a memo about an inconsequential contest.

Carrie Lukas explained the “comparable worth” misinformation on NRO earlier this week.

Sheehan Herself Sent “Israel” Letter to Friend



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I’ve heard that Cindy Sheehan’s mother had a stroke, and my condolences go out to her at this time. However, I’m still following a story about an appearance Sheehan made on CNN Monday night, and there has been a new development.

Today, Cindy Sheehan wrote about the CNN / Nightline letter / Israel fiasco that I’ve been following on the Media Blog. Here’s what she had to say on Michael Moore’s Web site:

Another thing is that the Israel thing has not died. I did not say that my son died for Israel. I have never said it, I don’t think it, I don’t believe it. It is just another lie, smear tactic from the right. It needs to die right now. It’s not the truth. I stand by everything that I have said. But I will not stand by things that I haven’t said. I am not anti-Semitic. I am just anti-killing. George Bush is responsible for killing so many people, but nobody scrutinizes anything he says, especially leading up to the war. Since there is nothing to smear me about with the truth, they have to tell lies. A former friend who is anti-Israel and wants to use the spotlight on me to push his anti-Semitism is telling everyone who is listening that I believe that Casey died for Israel and has gone so far as to apparently doctor an email from me. People have to know that he doesn’t speak for me. ABC Nightline can’t confirm his email is real and therefore any reporting on it is irresponsible. That is not my issue. That is not my message and anyone who knows me knows it doesn’t sound like me.
This post on Google groups contains the letter that Cindy Sheehan wrote to ABC’s Nightline. Yesterday, I e-mailed Tony Tersch, the man who posted it to Google groups, and asked him about the letter. Tersch, incidentally, is not the “former friend” Sheehan accuses of doctoring her letter to Nightline. He’s just a guy who belongs to the Google group in question. Here’s what he wrote back:

I came to know Cindy Sheehan several months ago, and because of my great sympathy for her, and sharing her cause, I sent her stuff about her and her efforts. For that reason I sent out to the Band and the Bull Yard Group what they said about her. Then CINDY SHEEHAN herself sent me a letter SHE had written, — a disclaimer of their portrayal of her and misrepresentation. I certainly did not doctor her letter, nor does she claim I did.
So Cindy Sheehan sent Tersch the version of the letter that appears in the Google group post. That version contains the paragraph:

Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full-well that my son, my family, this nation, and this world were betrayed by a George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agenda after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy…not for the real reason, becuase the Arab-Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy. That hasn’t changed since America invaded and occupied Iraq…in fact it has gotten worse.
Last Monday night, Sheehan told CNN’s Anderson Cooper she never said her son died for Israel. Today, she tells Michael Moore’s readers she never said it. But Tersch — again, not the “former friend” Sheehan accuses of doctoring the letter before sending it to Nightline — says Sheehan herself sent that version of the letter to him.

Given the radical nature of many other statements Sheehan does not deny making, it’s surprising that she continues to deny saying that her son was killed to benefit Israel. But the available evidence indicates that she almost certainly did.

Journalism and Power, Plus Ted Kennedy is a Drunk



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Over on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, guest-blogger Walter Kirn has a great post about the relationship between journalists and the powerful officials they cover (and sometimes cover for). The post also includes this great anecdote about the senior senator from Massachusetts:

Quick story. In the mid 1980s I went to a fancy Fifth Av. party for Senator Ted Kennedy. There were journalists there and lots of other bigwigs. The only time I’d seen Kennedy before was at a campaign stop in 1979 when he’d been seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He might have won, but I realized at the party that it would have been a terrible thing because he was the drunkest human being I had ever encountered in my life, and chances were that it hadn’t just started that night. Sure, he already had this reputation, but it was a vague reputation, all myth and gossip, while the intoxicated wreck in front of me was as vivid and specific as a car wreck. How many thousands of times, I wondered, had such behavior as I was witnessing been quietly countenanced by journalists, and how much other wild, scary stuff pertaining to other movers and shakers who had a shot at ruling the free world, say, had they deftly slipped into their back pockets in return for the right to attend such parties as this one?
I think John Roberts can still get Kennedy’s vote, so long as he promises not to overturn Kennedy’s pitcher of margaritas.

More on Milbank and Sheehan



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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.

Milbank on Sheehan



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Dana Milbank is livechatting with Washington Post readers about Cindy Sheehan. Here’s Milbank’s key observation so far:

No doubt the request for a second meeting is contrived. It’s not as if Sheehan really believes she would change the president’s mind. But that’s just a vehicle that allows her to set up this camp in Crawford. In a broader sense, none of the particulars about Sheehan matters: not her remarks about Israel and neocons, not her lefty politics, not her divorce and not whether she’s entitled to a second presidential audience. What matters is her ability is to serve as an icon, a symbolic rallying point for an antiwar movement. And all she needs to achieve that is the moral claim she already has, being the mother of a kid who was killed in Iraq.
Milbank has a good track record of reporting on Sheehan and her crazy cohort. In fact, he mentions in the livechat that Sheehan once protested outside the Post because she didn’t like something he wrote — no doubt his story mocking House Democrat Rep. John Conyers for holding a fake impeachment hearing over the Downing Street Memos, at which Cindy Sheehan “testified.”

PostWatch is liveblogging.

Did Sheehan Get Permission to Use the Names of the Fallen?



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The media made a big deal when some idiot ran down a bunch of makeshift crosses with the names of fallen soldiers that Sheehan and her supporters had used as props in their political theater. But no one thought to ask whether the families of the fallen soldiers whose names appeared on the crosses ever gave Cindy Sheehan permission to use their loved ones’ names in her political protest. According to blogger AngryGWN, she didn’t, and some families are upset.

I wrote about how the name of fallen soldier Robert L duSang appeared on one of the Camp Casey crosses that Cindy Sheehan and her group had put up, claiming the group was speaking on behalf of all of those dead (and by implication, their surviving families), not just Casey Sheehan.

I wondered if the duSang family had given their permission.

Apparently, permission was not sought for any of the names.

A few months ago, a captain in the Army wrote a letter to this blog asking if I knew of any way to ensure that his name would never be used by those whose politics he finds “despicable.” It’s sad that the anti-war left is so opportunistic that soldiers have to worry about this on top of everything else.

Sheehan’s First Meeting With Bush



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Several MB readers have written me asking where they can find the news story that reported on Cindy Sheehan’s first meeting with President Bush. It was in the Sheehan’s local paper, the Vacaville Reporter, in June of 2004, and you can find it here. As you can see, Sheehan felt very different after President Bush met with her last year.

That “Soft-Spoken” Woman



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Here’s how the Seattle Post-Intelligencer described Cindy Sheehan this morning:

Galvanized by the grief and grit of a soft-spoken woman on a quest for answers, more than 1,500 Seattleites Wednesday night fell silent, sang and lit candles in her honor.
Here’s the “soft-spoken” woman in her own words:

We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We

Since Hometowns Are Fair Game...



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Yesterday afternoon I wrote about an AP story that implied that the ethnic makeup and racial history of John Roberts’ hometown had affected his positions on affirmative action and Title IX. Since the AP has now declared that public officials’ hometowns are fair game for this kind of guilt-by-assciation speculating, some MB readers want to apply it to other politicians. For instance:

Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, reside in a suburb of New York City. Not only does the former President maintain his office in New York City, but according to knowledgeable sources, both Sen. Clinton and her husband “love” the city and spend significant time socializing and raising money there.

New York City was a hotbed of racist violence in the 1860s — culminating in a 3-day riot during July 11-13, 1863 in response to the refusal by New Yorkers to defend the Union and to end slavery in the South. Over 50,000 New Yorkers terrorized neighborhoods on the East Side of New York for three days looting scores of stores. Blacks were the targets of most attacks on citizens; several lynchings and beatings occurred. In addition, a black church and orphanage were burned to the ground. All in all, the mob caused more than $1.5 million of damage. The number killed or wounded during the riot is unknown, but estimates range from two dozen to nearly 100. Eventually, Lincoln deployed combat troops from the Federal Army of the Potomac to restore order; they remained encamped around the city for several weeks. In the end, the draft raised only about 150,000 troops throughout the North, about three-quarters of them substitutes, amounting to just one-fifth of the total Union force.

Mrs. Clinton is originally from Illinois, which despite being the home state of President Lincoln, was also a major source of “copperheads” — northerners who supported slavery.

Mrs. Clinton, as far as can be determined, has never renounced either those New Yorkers who engaged in the 1860s race riots or the “copperheads” from her native state.

For over 20 years, Mrs. Clinton resided in Arkansas. Arkansas seceded from the …..

If they were willing to hide these inconvenient facts, What ELSE haven’t the Clinton’s told us about their states’ dark past?

Over at Confirm Them, Marshall Manson wrote to the AP’s editors to criticize this sleazy story. He got a less-than-convincing response.

Post Can’t Find a Non-Liberal Law Prof



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Over at the Buzz, Eric Pfeiffer reports that the Washington Post’s Jim VandeHei had a hard time finding a non-liberal law prof for his story about how John Roberts should have recused himself from a terrorism case prior to his nomination. VandeHei gathered quotes from three law profs — none of whom he identified as liberals or left-leaning. But as Pfeiffer reports, these legal scholars are hardly impartial authorities in this case:

Stephen Gillers is a registered Democrat. The New Yorker described him as a

NY Times: Fox is Biased, But Not Us



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Several MB readers have brought this article in the New York Times to my attention. The article, by Princeton professor Alan Krueger, reports that a new study out of Berkeley has found that alleged bias on Fox News had no effect on political persuasion or voter turnout in the 2000 election.

I haven’t had a chance to look at the study yet so I have no idea how it was cobbled together, but I find it interesting that the study proves that bias doesn’t matter, rather than that Fox News isn’t biased. I also find it interesting that NY Times should run an article about how bias doesn’t matter on the day after its public editor, Byron Calame, dusted off his “Web log” and wrote that, “after checking with editors at the paper,” he’s found no evidence of liberal bias at the Times, specifically in its failure to cover the growing Air America scandal. The lack of coverage of the scandal in the MSM is so bad, bloggers Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney have launched their own investigation. The notable exception is the New York Sun. As Ed Morrissey put it, “Looks like the Sun ate the Times’ lunch. Again. Do you think Bill Keller will ever feel embarrassed by this?”

Possibly. At least Calame criticized the NY Times “slowness to cover official investigations into questionable financial transactions involving Air America,” writing that readers were “poorly served.” As Mediacrity reports, saying anything critical of the Times is a big step for Calame. But apparently, admitting the liberal bias that Dan Okrent already found at the Times is a step too far.

Cooper Blows It



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Anderson Cooper did not confront Cindy Sheehan last night about the fact that she in all likelihood lied to him on Monday night’s 360. If I were Cooper, and ABC News was asking me for a correction over an incident that started when someone lied to me on the air, I’d consider asking that someone to explain herself. What was Cooper afraid of — that Sheehan would freeze him out? This woman won’t turn down an interview with anyone!

The following exchange is about as tough as Cooper got:

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.

At least Cooper has been willing to mention Sheehan’s far-left rhetoric — given the media’s fawning over her, even that is more than most will do. But I have a feeling this won’t go away. Cooper owes us an explanation for what happened on his show Monday. Given the resources he’s devoting to Sheehan, it seems like the least he could do.

Washington Times Calls on Durbin to Apologize



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Tuesday, after the Washington Times reported that Sen. Dick Durbin had apparently been caught trying to pass off false and damaging info on John Roberts to an LA Times columnist, I wrote that Durbin “may need to make his second apology of the summer.” The Washington Times is now calling for that apology also.

AP on Roberts: Racist by Association



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The Associated Press just put out a story that focuses on the ethnic makeup and racist past of John Roberts’ hometown:

LONG BEACH, Ind. – Like many towns across America, the exclusive lakefront community where Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. grew up during the racially turbulent 1960s and ’70s once banned the sale of homes to nonwhites and Jews.
The story describes Roberts’ hometown as “Mayberry-like.” It goes on to question Roberts’ record on civil rights:

Roberts’ criticism of racial “quotas” in some documents from his work as a White House lawyer has alarmed civil rights groups and some Democrats, who say he may be a partisan for conservative causes. Other memos from his time in the Reagan Justice Department portray an attorney who urged his bosses to restrict affirmative action and Title IX sex discrimination lawsuits.
Quotas is in quotes. Civil rights = affirmative action. And Title IX comes into play — why? Were there no women in Mayberry either?

It is hard to know how much Roberts’ upbringing in this northern Indiana community on the shores of Lake Michigan influenced his views. Some say the fact that there were riots and restrictions on home ownership is not relevant at all.
Translation: It’s hard to know whether Roberts’ upbringing in Mayberry made him a racist. Some say it’s possible he’s an intelligent man capable of grappling with policy issues independently of where he grew up.

But we obviously doubt it.

The NARAL ad was bad. But then again, it was NARAL. I just didn’t expect it from the AP. (Thanks to MB reader James S. for the tip)

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