MSNBC's David Gregory took umbrage with criticism of the media’s coverage of Cindy Sheehan on last night's Hardball at around 7:53pm. The following is a brief exchange from a segment that featured talk show host Melanie Morgan and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen:
Gregory: "Melanie, let me, let me begin with you. Does Cindy Sheehan have something important to say?"
Melanie Morgan: "I think that Cindy Sheehan believes that she has something very important to say and she has the right to say whatever it is she wants to say. But that doesn`t mean because the mainstream media has portrayed her as a very sympathetic, lone grieving mother, that actually represents the case. In fact..."
Gregory: "Well, hang on one second. Hang on. Let me just, I can`t let all these mainstream media attacks go by. How has the media done that? I will grant that you there`s a news vacuum in August and she`s become a national figure, when perhaps, another part of the year, she may not have. But, I mean, let`s not get so far away from this process that we don`t say that this is a grieving parent who lost a son in, in the war. So, I mean, you just assume that the media is trying to prop her up?"
Morgan: "Well, all you have to do is take a look at the front pages of every daily newspaper in America today and read the descriptions of her as a very sympathetic person, which is not to say that she isn`t. She is grieving. She is sympathetic, but she is also a person who has had a political agenda for a lot longer than her son has been dead. She is a member of several organizations. Let me read them to you. She co-founded an anti-war activist group before Casey died, Gold Star Families For Peace. She`s aligned herself with MoveOn.org, Code Pink. And she`s stating her case. She has that right. But other families in this country, 1,800 of them, in fact, are grieving as well. But they don`t get the opportunity to say on television, like she`s doing every single night for, for endless amounts of time, that they do respect the President and that he did not cause their son`s death, nor hers. It was the insurgents in Iraq, who are viciously slaughtering every man, woman and child they can blow up. And those include civilians, as well as American troops."