Monday, August 22, 2005

Debra Johns versus Cindy Sheehan

One wonders how the media chooses stories. This morning on Laura Ingram a good example of that was presented. On the one hand - Cindy Sheehan - this "gold star mother" has gotten her fifteen minutes of fame and then some. She is increasingly irrational. One reporter over the weekend asked her how many actual other gold star parents were supporting her in Carwford, Texas. The answer = "about 6." Then she was asked how many other military families (parents of kids in the military) were in Crawford - again the answer was 6.

Laura presented another California mother - not one who has lost a son but one who has a son who joined the Marines after 9/11 and has served two tours in Iraq. Her name is Debra Johns. She commented that she has been contacted by "more than 400 gold star families" in her quest to present the other side. She is doing a caravan to Crawford - but one wonders who will cover it.

The media coverage on Iraq has, for the most part, been almost exclusively negative. They have over-stated the impact of negative stories (in Iraq and in this country). They have ignored side stories that disprove their point. They have highlighted polls that show a declining level of support for our efforts there.

Any war divides. One need only look at the coverage and responses during the Civil War or WWI or WWII to understand that democracies do not have a stomach for war (that is a good thing). But with 24/7 news coverage that propensity is exacerbated. A better task for the media would be to do what Fox says it does - We report, you decide. But no one seems to care about that very important mission.

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