Battlepanda: Hey hey, ho ho


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hey hey, ho ho

I went to an antiwar protest once. It felt great. I rode down to Boston with a bus full of students. We poured throught the streets. We were pumped up and found strength in one another. Some chanted. Others simply marched. We all hoped against hope that even on the eve of war, we can avert our country from a disasterous course.

Of couse, if the people we're really trying to get through to saw our march at all, it would be a fifteen-second clip on TV of a dark morass of people waving "No war for oil" signs carefully edited to look as menacing and unruly as possible. That's the stock media narrative for protests, and protesters can't beat it. That is, until Cindy Sheehan came along.

Her vigil in Crawford is the kind of compelling, slowly unfolding drama that news networks find irresistable. In other words, she's newsbait. Because her protest is focused on an individual who is so obviously ordinary and her predicament is so heartwrenching, the networks dropped the "scary leftist" storyline. Instead, Cindy Sheehan is filed under "human interest" and coverage of her reflects this.

This is why Cindy Sheehan sticks so in the craw of the wingers. They have tried to bury her with disporportionate force because they know how dangerous her campaign can be. They know she is more dangerous than antiwar marches all over the country or thousands of pacifists fingerpainting for peace. She's somebody the silent majorities identifies as one of them. She's getting mainstream media coverage usually reserved for missing teenagers in Aruba. And she's asking president Bush: "What is the noble cause my son died for?"