Friday, August 26, 2005


Local media bias on antiwar parent?

posted by Rob at 2:02 PM

Maybe I'm getting too sensative to this, but given the fawning mainstream coverage of Cindy Sheehan I can't help it.

I read today in the local weekly paper The Mountain Times about a local vigil centered on the Sheehan saga in Crawford:
Lynn Searfoss, whose own son served in the war in Iraq, organized the vigil on short notice after learning about the vigils being organized as part of Cindy Sheehan’s civil action. ...

Several anti-war groups organized vigils across the country, but Searfoss said she didn’t follow the issue closely and doesn’t research anti-war actions.
After reading that, of course I ran to Google and put in her name. According to this article, Searfoss is "involved with Military Families Speak Out, a group that opposed the conflict." That group's website is here.

I also found this article, which reports:
Searfoss is a moderate protester, with most of her action taking the form of writing letters to government leaders and representatives. She is active with Veterans Against the Iraq War, a campaign mostly based on the Internet, and also signs anti-war petitions. She’s also been part of a few local anti-war protests.
That group's website is here. Note it's covered in what BOTW calls "Sheehanoia."

I mean no disrespect to Searfoss or her heroic son. They are both great Americans.

What annoys me is the constant caricature by media - big and small - of anti-war protesters as naive, wide-eyed Bambis with no agenda other than protecting their children. Searfoss can fairly be described as an active anti-war protester, yet the local story seems to take care not to describe her in such a way.

If you read only that article, you'd think Searfoss was a brave mother upset at her son's situation who, one bored, directionless night, was trolling the Internet and accidently came across a national protest movement. That's not the case.

I know the reporter who did the local story. I know his political leanings. I doubt the absense of these facts is an accident.

UPDATE: Similar thoughts over at the professor's place.

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