Wednesday, August 24, 2005

And here it comes....the backlash

Media are starting to report -- in small doses -- about the backlash against the Sheehan antiwar protest at the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

In story titled "Families Angered By Crosses At War Protest," the AP reports today that the father of one fallen soldier yanked out of the ground three crosses the protesters had erected at the site bearing his son's name.

You would have thought the protesters would have gotten the message the first time, but then that lot isn't known for its sensitivity.

"It wasn't our intention to upset anyone," said one protester.

Sorry, but I'm afraid I'm gonna have to call "bullsh*t" on that one. They don't give a rip who they upset, and to say otherwise is as pathetic as it is disingenuous.

It will be curious to see how much coverage these developments get. The media have pretty much positioned this as a one-sided issue, illustrating what they describe as waning public support for the war and implying in spades that Cindy Sheehan is the surrogate for every military family member everywhere.

But the "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" caravan of military families, who have denounced her in the broadest terms possible, is quickly making its way from California to Crawford this week, undermining the conventional wisdom promulgated by the press.

Will they report it or ignore it?

On the one hand, most major media are disinclined to cover events that don't square with their viewpoint if they can get away with it.

On the other hand, they like nothing more than a foodfight.


Nate said...

There are a lot of reasons to disagree with Sheehan, but the liberal media support she's supposedly getting is a ways down the list. Check out Christopher HItchens' take: Like him or not, his command of English alone is worth the trip.

I'm no blazing liberal - well, maybe a faintly flickering liberal...but conservatives who continually beat the "liberal media" horse commit the same error as the libs who blame everything on Halliburton, don't you think?

Given the "watchdog" nature of the "The Fourth Estate" of journalism and the relative novelty...historically and globally speaking...of a free press, why do we express surprise whe news reports are suspicious of the establishment? It's a little like deriding policemen for having a do-gooder complex.

[p.s. - sorry I'm bombarding your blog all of a sudden. The Jazz Bass picture on Instapundit drew me in.]

JBlog said...

Well, I'll be honest, Nate -- while I wear my conservative cred proudly, my views on how the press is handling this are based on my 20 years of experience working for and with the media.

Just look at the raw tonnage of stories on this, and the obvious sympathetic slant to them and you get the picture pretty quickly. I will be curious to see if there is an equal number of stories on the anti-Sheehan protests that are growing around the country with as much empathy.

Could be, as I mentioned -- cuz reporters love nothing more than a foodfight. As kids, they were the ones who can over to you on the playground and said "That kid over there said you're an *sshole."

We'd like to think that most reporters play it down the middle and work diligently to get their facts straight, but the facts are otherwise.

Many are just plain lazy and will be more than happy to tilt a story to their point of view, which in most cases is to the left.

An exceptionally short atttention span doesn't help. And ultimately, many reporters just don't mind getting rolled as long as the story is juicy enough.

Thanks for reading. And for your observations of my J-bass -- it is a beaut.

Nate said...

Good points -- and if you have inside, real experience with the types of people writing the stories, then you're miles beyond the conservative types I crankily alluded to.

You're right -- it will be interesting to see if the other side gets covered with any frequency or sympathy... Sorry to say my hunch is: I doubt it.

The juice and human interest angle drove this... These stories write themselves... In that sense, I can accept your laziness theory.