AP's Sheehan Coverage Gets Worse

I wrote a week and a half ago that the AP was acting as a PR firm for Cindy Sheehan. It doesn't appear that anything's changed. At all. If anything, it has gotten worse. They're still refusing to run with any of the controversial statements that she's made. They've not reported her comments on Hardball that "we should have gone after al Qaeda and maybe not after the country of Afghanistan." She told Chris Matthews that the purpose of her visit to Crawford "is actually to hold [the President] accountable for things he has already said," but no one in the "tough, skeptical" mainstream press has done anything to hold her accountable for the things that she's said.

But not only have they not challenged any of the mythology that has sprung up about her, that she's just a grieving mother, who just wants to meet the President and ask why her (24-year old) son (who had re-enlisted) died. To a certain extent, she was a story when she was sitting at the President's gate. But she's been gone for a week, with requests for the media to "to keep the focus of my protest on the war," she still seems to be the story. And it's amazing how often the AP can fit her in. Rumsfeld: Constitution Won't End Violence merits a Cindy Sheehan mention. As does Bush to Visit Veterans in Salt Lake City. And Bush Compares War on Terror to World Wars. And Bush: Pullout Would Hurt Iraq's Democracy.

Bush is trying to rebuild support for the Iraq mission in the face of a growing opposition led by Sheehan, who first met the president after her son's death in Iraq last year and is now pressing for a follow-up meeting.
...
Her vigil outside Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, has fueled the anti-war movement. Even some of the president's fellow Republicans have called for an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq.

It would be laughable if it weren't so sad. The opposition may or may not be "growing," but if it is, it's because that's what the media wants. Cindy Sheehan's leading nothing. She's being used as a prop by others who oppose the war, and have chosen her for a mascot, a symbol, a figurehead. Others, like MoveOn.org. And the Associated Press. Cindy Sheehan, a mother who has already met once with the President, who thinks that we shouldn't have gone in to Afghanistan, that we went to Iraq for oil, that George Bush is a terrorist, that Dick Cheney's profiting from the war and the US is "spreading the cancer of imperialism" in the Middle East, left Texas a week ago. Since she left, she's been completely out of the spotlight. She's issued no statements, made no public appearances. And the AP has referenced her in stories 91 times...

Lyflines - Lyford's other blog…