CBS misleads viewers on Sheehan connection to radical left-wing groups

<p>CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante mistakenly characterized seasoned anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan's pilgrimage to Crawford, Texas, where Mrs. Sheehan daily protests the war and demands to speak with President Bush. Plante filed a report in the 7:00 a.m. half hour of <i>The Early Show</i> from Crawford which, while noting that opposition to Sheehan from other Iraq military families is starting to grow, mainly focused on support she is receiving from left-wing activist groups like MoveOn.org. Where Plante, and co-host Julie Chen mislead the viewer, however, is how they leave the impression that Sheehan is a political novice who has inspired professional activist groups on the Left to rally to her side. Plante fails to relay how Sheehan has been a vocal anti-war leader and Bush critic for quite a while now, including joining far-left Rep. John Conyers in June in calling for investigations into the Downing Street Memo.</p><blockquote>Julie Chen, introducing Plante: <b>&quot;It started out as one mother's war protest near President Bush's Texas ranch</b>, now Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, is finding new supporters and critics. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante is live in Crawford with the very latest. Good morning, Bill.&quot;<br /><br />Bill Plante, live from Crawford, Texas: &quot;Julie, good morning. It was a day of damage control for the President. Because of what's happening in Iraq, he asked us to scale back expectations that troops can come home anytime soon. And after a week of protest on the road near his ranch, Mister Bush felt compelled to say that he sympathizes with people like Cindy Sheehan.&quot;<br /><br />...<br /><br />Plante: <b>&quot;Since then, she's been joined by dozens of other anti-war protesters, and her cause has been taken up by high profile liberal groups like MoveOn.org.</b> The White House has been reluctant to criticize Sheehan, but they did point out that the President met with her and other families of the fallen a year ago, and they put out a list of 24 such gatherings with 900 different family members.&quot;</blockquote><p>Sheehan, however, is not some otherwise apolitical grieving mother whom MoveOn.org happened to just notice and decide to help out by busing in protesters. Sheehan has been a leading activist in the anti-war movement for a while now.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=%5CPolitics%5Carchive%5C200... Hall of CNSNews.com* reported</a> back in June about Sheehan's activism, two months before Sheehan trekked to Crawford to mug for the cameras:</p><blockquote><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></font><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">(CNSNews.com) - The mother of a soldier who was killed in combat in Iraq told an anti-war rally near the White House on Thursday that President George Bush &quot;doesn't deserve our allegiance.&quot;</font></font></p><p /><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in an ambush in Baghdad on April 4, 2004, made the remark before a gathering of about 200 people after speaking at a Democratic-sponsored, Bush-bashing hearing at the U.S. Capitol earlier in the day.</font></font></p><p><br /><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><p>Sheehan, co-founder of the anti-war organization Gold Star Families for Peace, told participants at the rally that her appearance at the hearing was intended to remind congressmen &quot;what their constitutional responsibilities are.</p><p><font><font></font></font></p><p>&quot;They swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. They don't pledge allegiance to the president. He doesn't deserve our allegiance,&quot; she said to applause from the crowd.</p><p><br /><br />&quot;And he doesn't deserve to go back to Crawford, Texas,&quot; Sheehan continued. &quot;He deserves to go to prison for what he did.&quot;</p><p><br /><br />Joining Sheehan onstage at the rally were other members of her organization, each of whom had lost a family member in the fighting in Iraq. &quot;This is the happiest day I've had since my son died,&quot; Sheehan said.</p></font></font></p></blockquote><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></font><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">Hall went on quote Sheehan pressing for an investigation into the Downing Street Memo, a 2002 British memo which was printed in a London newspaper just before parliamentary elections in May, perhaps intended to fatally damage Prime Minister Tony Blair's chances of retaining power in Parliament. Shortly after the publication, it became a rallying cry for the American Left to criticize the Bush administration for the lead-up to the Iraq war. </font></font></p><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">* CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center, the parent organization of Newsbusters.org</font></font></p><p /><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></font></p><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></font></p><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></font></p><p /><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><font><font></font></font></font></font></p><blockquote><p><font size="4" face="Times New Roman"><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></font></p><p /><p /></blockquote>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters