Jebediah Reed at Radar Online interviewed Cindy Sheehan about, among other topics, her treatment on CNN. The woman CNN hailed and promoted as the "Peace Mom" was outraged that anchor Anderson Cooper had the audacity to bring on two men who disagreed with her after an interview: "I just thought that was really uncalled for." Apparently, what’s called for is Cindy Sheehan being awarded an unopposed platform to spew against the Iraq War and President Bush. Here’s an excerpt:
You're also not a fan of Anderson Cooper. What did he do?
He came down to Camp Casey to do a hit piece on me. It was just handled very badly. He had me on, and then he brought on some people right afterwards—a father whose son died in Iraq and a Dallas talk-show host—who just said some despicable things about me. I just thought that was really uncalled for.
These guys said nasty things?
Yes! This is what I don't understand. People who are against me attack me personally. They attack the way I look physically, they attack the way I dress, they attack everything but what I say.
Is that painful?
It's not painful at all, no. I just wish someone could come and outline a cogent argument explaining why we invaded and occupied a country that was no threat to the United States of America. But they never can. They lie about me and they smear me, because, really, there's not a whole lot to attack. I'm just a regular mother who's trying to save lives and be the best human being I can be.
Sheehan must be referring to August 17, 2005, when Cooper interviewed Sheehan, and then turned to Dallas radio host Darrell Ankarlo (with a son in Fallujah) and Gary Qualls (who lost his son in Iraq). If a viewer gained the impression from her new Radar interview that these men attacked her looks or fashions, and not what she had said, they would be wrong. Ankarlo and Qualls were harshly critical about her statements and actions. Qualls scorned her Camp Casey protests outside Bush's ranch in Crawford: "I think it's basically centered on a self-centered idea. And the functions that's going for behind that for supporting our troops is completely wrong."
Ankarlo said "what they're trying to do is, this is a campaign for representatives and senators and the upcoming elections. They're trying to take over with just one voice who turns into many to say this is a bad war, it's an unholy war, it's an incorrect war. I'm saying to the president, stay the course. You know what the mission is. I've got a son who's invested in it. And I'm going to stand by him."
When Cooper asked Qualls if he felt for Cindy Sheehan, he replied, "Yes, sir, I certainly do. As a single parent, I've raised two boys practically by myself. So I've had to play the dad, the father, and the mom role as well. And I know it hurt me deeply and it still does. And I've only got one son left. And he, too, wants to serve. But if it takes the sacrifice of my whole family, to help protect the welfare of this country, to protect our way of life, and our freedoms of speech, then I guess as an American, I have to make that sacrifice. That's our duty for our country, and for this world."
It’s unfortunate when the peaceniks who claim their protests are the ultimate exercise in free expression assert it's rude and unfair of media outlets to offer their opponents their own platform to speak. Sheehan seems to have no idea how fortunate she was that the entire national media chose to spotlight her and make her famous, when they could have simply ignored her protests as a PR stunt. If she had been picketing President Clinton, after having lost a son in Somalia, or lost a son in the Khobar Towers incident or the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, you could easily bet she’d still be unknown.