When the Cindy Sheehan story first broke four years ago, right around this time in mid-August, James Taranto wrote:
Earlier in April, at a speech before the United Methodist Church in Venice, Calif., Sheehan likened Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to “Hitler and Stalin” and was particularly lurid in describing her hatred of Rumsfeld’s then-deputy:
As soft-spoken and sincere-sounding as Paul Wolfowitz is, is there yet any sane adult in this country whose skin does not crawl when this murderous liar opens his mouth and speaks?
She concluded: “In their secret hiding places, while celebrating newly won fortunes with their fellow brass, these men must surely congratulate themselves with orgies of carnal pleasure as they mock the multitudes who are yet so blind as to mistake them for God’s devoted servants.”
The mainstream media have largely ignored Sheehan’s crackpot views, and not only–perhaps not even primarily–for ideological reasons. Members of the White House press corps find the annual sojourn to Crawford deathly dull. They need something to do; they want bylines–and “heartbroken everymom” makes for a much more compelling story than “extremist hatemonger.”
The journalists will soon move on, and her political allies may do so as well. For them she is a mere instrument. The White House press corps will discard her as soon as they return to Washington where there’s real news going on. Serious opponents of the war in Iraq will cast her aside if her foul statements make her an embarrassment. When that happens, we can only hope that someone still cares about Cindy Sheehan–not as a story or a symbol, but as a human being.
It took them a while to move on, but no doubt, ABC anchorman Charlie Gibson speaks for everyone in the legacy media when he told an interviewer on Tuesday that it’s time to pull the plug:
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.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for Maureen Dowd to come to her defense; no doubt she also believes Sheehan’s Absolute Moral Authority card has reached its expiration date. Newbusters’ Noel Sheppard paraphrases Gibson only slightly when he writes, “Yeah, enough already, Cindy. Thanks for helping us get Obama in the White House. Now shut up.”
The irony of Gibson tossing Sheehan under Obama’s bus is that underneath his Hugo Boss suit and the size-12D double-soled Brooks Brothers wingtips he tapped while being bored during his interrogation of then-Gov. Palin, he and Cindy are remarkably kindred spirits:
In 2003, he told Larry King “We used to have a little framed sign hanging in our bedroom, my wife and I, that said, ‘War is not good for children and other living things,’ and I believe that.
But enough already.