Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Leave Her There and See If She Really Means It!

(Via ABC News)

The anti-war left is anxiously awaiting the 2,000th U. S. Military death in Iraq, so it should come as no surprise that Cindy Sheehan has something "big" planned to mark the occasion:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cindy Sheehan, the military mother who made her
son's death in Iraq a rallying point for the anti-war movement, plans to tie
herself to the White House fence to protest the milestone of 2,000 U.S. military
deaths in Iraq.

"I'm going to go to Washington, D.C. and I'm going to give a speech at
the White House, and after I do, I'm going to tie myself to the fence and refuse
to leave until they agree to bring our troops home," Sheehan said in a telephone
interview last week as the milestone approached.

"And I'll probably get arrested, and when I get out, I'll go back and
do the same thing," she said.

Unlike a lot of the mainstream media, I won't give Cindy Sheehan's bad behavior a pass due to unfortunate circumstances any more than I would give a mass murderer a pass due to a bad childhood. I realize the two behaviors aren't remotely comparable in their severity, but bad behavior is still bad behavior and should be recognized as such.

I understand that Cindy Sheehan lost a son in Iraq, but 1,996 other mothers have lost no less a part of their lives than she has. The difference between her and the overwhelming majority of them is they aren't making complete spectacles of themselves. Because, Cindy Sheehan is not the only mother who is grieving, her behavior should not be portrayed in the media as the standard for every mother who is. It should be viewed as the exception rather than the rule, and our treatment of her should be different that it is with others. I don't believe she needs additional sympathy, but rather a wake-up call.

That being said, if you feel a radical new approach to dealing with Ms. Sheehan might be offensive to you, then please read no further. It will not be my intention to make nice or spare feelings, but rather to be brutally honest about the way the situation should be handled. Consider yourself warned.

My suggestion is simply this: When she ties herself to the fence in front of the White House, do not arrest her. Leave her there! She wants to be arrested! That is how she gets media exposure and keeps her name in the headlines. Don't give her the satisfaction! Just leave her there and pay no more attention to her than you would a crack in the sidewalk. If she is in the way, walk around her. If she speaks to you, ignore her. If she asks for food or water, let her get it herself. Show her absolutely no compassion. Find out if she means what she says by making her prove it. If you do this, I think you will learn a lot about Cindy Sheehan and in the process, discover her true intentions.

My guess is she will have freed herself in less than a day if no one is paying attention to her. That's because this is all about Cindy Sheehan, not U.S. Military deaths in Iraq. She has discovered that if she appears somewhere, the media will follow. She sees herself as a media darling and thrives on the exposure. If this were ever about Casey, it ceased being so a long time ago. Sooner or later, most likely sooner, she will learn there is a dark side to all of this that she hadn't quite counted on: The media is a fickle friend and will consider her persona non grata as soon as a more compelling story comes along.

If she is there longer than a day, I believe you will see some other interesting things happen: The protesters who are with her will start drifting off one by one to do other things. Some will ask her to come along, while others will simply dissapear. After about a day and a half, there will only be a handful of people left, if that many. They will offer to take her with them, and if she refuses, they too will be gone before long. They'll make some excuse for leaving and will say they are coming right back, but they will not return because they know the secret Cindy Sheehan will soon learn.

At this point, Cindy Sheehan should come to the realization that those who had been standing strong with her were actually only using her as a means to an end. When the end isn't met, the means are no longer valuable to them. That end is media coverage and while that ship may not have sailed yet, it is rapidly pulling away from the dock. When the media leaves Cindy Sheehan, the other protesters will not be far behind.

Now you may be saying, but what about Crawford? They stood with her in Crawford? The reason they stood with her in Crawford was because she was the lead story all day, every day. Like her, they crave media exposure and will go anywhere they can get it.

While the White House protest may get some initial exposure, it will not receive the same wall-to-wall coverage it did over the summer. Their summer success was largely a product of good timing and a slow news cycle. That dynamic no longer exists. There are too many compelling stories in the current news cycle to warrant a repeat of the same coverage they enjoyed over the summer. Their protest will be relegated to the back burner as soon as more interesting news breaks.

Cindy Sheehan will realize at some point that the attention she was once getting from the media has disappeared and the only place she will be able to find her name listed is in the phone book. Hopefully she will also realize the people she thought were standing with her were actually stepping on her.

She may never change the way she feels or the way she acts, but when the media spotlight is gone she will at least have the chance to think about the things she has done and the effect it has had on others. She will be forced to live her own life and thankfully, we won't have to continue living it with her.


UPDATE(10-28-05)- Rush Limbaugh has confirmed it! Sheehan's friends in the press have already abandoned her. I knew it would happen, but I didn't expect it this fast!

Technorati talk bubble
Locations of visitors to this page