We have a letter to the editor in response to my op-ed on the L.A. Times‘s coverage of Cindy Sheehan. It is so predictable I could have written it myself. I’ll bold the parts that jumped out at me:
Patrick Frey’s misguided efforts to vilify Cindy Sheehan (“Peacenik paper fawns over antiwar mom,” Current, Aug. 21) are about as far off the mark as Michael Ramirez’s grotesque aberration (editorial cartoon, Opinion, Aug. 20) depicting Sheehan as a political dupe. Neither quite understands that though Casey Sheehan marched off to battle voluntarily, and volunteered willingly for a dangerous mission, and although Cindy Sheehan may have attempted to accept this administration’s initial justification for this war, she — like millions of Americans — has seen through the deception. She no longer accepts the ever-changing excuses for remaining in a deceptively justified and mismanaged war that costs innocent lives. Frey and Ramirez should forget about impugning her integrity and ask the hard questions of President Bush.
Two things, Michael Childers from Westminster:
1) My piece was not an effort to “vilify Cindy Sheehan” or “impugn her integrity” but to criticize the L.A. Times‘s coverage of her. To back up my charge that The Times has left out significant information about Sheehan, I had to specify what that information was. To claim that I tried to “vilify” her is to misread my piece, and effectively set up Ms. Sheehan as a figure immune from any negative press. This is exactly the attitude I was arguing against.
2) Rather than accusing others of not quite understanding the Sheehan story, Mr. Childers, perhaps you should read up on it a little more, since you obviously don’t quite understand it yourself. There is no reason to believe that Sheehan ever “attempted to accept” any justification for this war. She has been against it from day one. Didn’t you know that? (And if you did, then why are you pretending otherwise?)
I see no convincing evidence that the president has deliberately tried to deceive me, Mr. Childers — but I see plenty of evidence that our media tries to deceive the citizenry. Do you not care about that?
I suggest reading a news outlet other than the L.A. Times. It might clear up your thinking and leave you better informed.
P.S. You didn’t even give me a new quote for my upcoming testimonials feature.