As part of its never-ending quest to be the New York Times of the Left Coast, the L.A. Times today follows the NYT‘s lead in hiding from its readers contradictory statements by Cindy Sheehan. The paper goes further and affirmatively reports that she was “dissatisfied and angry” after her meeting with President Bush last year, never once mentioning her positive statements about Bush at the time.
You must know by now who Sheehan is, since the liberal media is cramming her story down every American’s throat. He is the grieving mother who is camped outside President Bush’s Crawford ranch, and the L.A. Times loves her story:
For more than a year, a modest bungalow known as “Peace House,” located a few miles from President Bush’s ranch, has served as a headquarters for antiwar activists. It is lonely work, with little more than a skeleton crew on hand much of the time.
But then Cindy Sheehan hit town.
. . . . Now, in the space of just a few days, what started out as a seemingly quixotic personal mission has become something of a phenomenon . . . . Antiwar leaders hope that putting the spotlight on Sheehan will motivate Americans who oppose the war, creating a political force strong enough to compel the Bush administration to change course.
Wow. This woman could be the catalyst for the Administration to back out of Iraq!! That is just too good a story to muddy up with the facts, as we shall soon see. Prepare yourself, because the distortion in the upcoming quote is breathtaking:
The White House, meanwhile, has sought to cope with Sheehan’s vigil without abandoning its strategy for dealing with the families of troops who have died. On a number of occasions, Bush has met with bereaved relatives — including some who have challenged him sharply on the war — but he has done so privately, away from news cameras and reporters.
Sheehan, a Vacaville, Calif., resident who opposed the war even before her son’s death, was a member of one such group in June 2004. She came away from that meeting dissatisfied and angry.
“We wanted [the president] to look at pictures of Casey, we wanted him to hear stories about Casey, and he wouldn’t. He changed the subject every time we tried,” Sheehan said. “He wouldn’t say Casey’s name, called him: ‘your loved one.’ “
She came away “dissatisfied and angry,” eh?
Today’s article never once mentions that Sheehan gave quite a different account of her meeting with Bush to the Vacaville Reporter last year. We’ve been through this before with the New York Times, but I’m going to quote it again. You tell me how “dissatisfied and angry” she sounds:
“I now know he’s sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,” Cindy said after their meeting. “I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith.”
The meeting didn’t last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son’s sacrifice count for something. They also spoke of their faith.
. . . .
The trip had one benefit that none of the Sheehans expected.
For a moment, life returned to the way it was before Casey died. They laughed, joked and bickered playfully as they briefly toured Seattle.
For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again.
“That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,” Cindy said.
The “dissatisfied and angry” Cindy Sheehan, ladies and gentlemen.
Her husband Pat agreed:
The 10 minutes of face time with the president could have given the family a chance to vent their frustrations or ask Bush some of the difficult questions they have been asking themselves, such as whether Casey’s sacrifice would make the world a safer place.
But in the end, the family decided against such talk, deferring to how they believed Casey would have wanted them to act. In addition, Pat noted that Bush wasn’t stumping for votes or trying to gain a political edge for the upcoming election.
“We have a lot of respect for the office of the president, and I have a new respect for him because he was sincere and he didn’t have to take the time to meet with us,” Pat said.
Not one word of this appears in today’s story. There is not even the slightest hint of it.
Every time I think that I am numb to the outrageous behavior of this newspaper, they do something like this.
This is a perfect example of how Big Media ignores inconvenient facts while peddling a story it likes. The L.A. Times and other Big Media outlets obviously think this is a great story: one mother taking on the Administration. Just look at the quotes from today’s story above. But it’s nowhere near as good a story if all the relevant facts are reported. If you learn that Ms. Sheehan and her husband once had nothing but praise for President Bush’s behavior in last year’s meeting, it kinda takes the oomph out of her current complaint that he was an insensitive boob.
So The Times simply decides not to mention that at all — and uncritically reports that she “came away from that meeting dissatisfied and angry.”
This story was written by two reporters: Edwin Chen and Dana Calvo. According to the late David Shaw, it must have been reviewed by four experienced Times editors. Are we really to believe that nobody in this process has heard about Ms. Sheehan’s previous account of her meeting with President Bush?
The possibility becomes even more remote when you realize that the reporters were on the Internet looking for information on the story. Chen and Calvo report: “By Wednesday afternoon, ‘Cindy Sheehan’ was the top-ranked search term on Technorati.com, the search engine for blog postings.” Gee, and in all those blog postings you didn’t notice a single one that alluded to her earlier account of the meeting? The story also says: “Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin disdainfully called the activists promoting Sheehan “grief pimps.” You’re reading Michelle Malkin and you aren’t aware of the previous account of the meeting?
Nobody at the L.A. Times reads the Drudge Report?
These people are either hopelessly uninformed, or they are lying to you — right to your face. There is no third explanation. And I find it almost impossible to believe that they are that uninformed.
Readers should understand: as I have said before, I am not inclined to criticize Ms. Sheehan. She is a grieving mother, and I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to lose a son. But it is simply outrageous for the media to pretend that she has not previously portrayed her meeting with the President in a different light.
UPDATE x2: If I could say one thing to Cindy Sheehan, it would be to suggest that she read the post to her from Mohammed of Iraq the Model. More here.