For a while there, Cindy Sheehan was everywhere. As a mainstream media which had been silent on anti-war sentiment in the USA suddenly gave voice to one mother protesting against Bush.
Why? A sudden attack of media conscience? No.
For a start, the media had to eventually acknowledge the antiwar feelings, in order to buff up their "impartial" image. Best to do so in August, getting the issue out of the way before the political season resumes. So the timing suited the establishment.
But there's another reason. They ran with Cindy because it let them frame the issue to their liking. They had a perfect ambush for Cindy ready and waiting all along. Here it is:
War Mom vs. Peace MomSo. Some moms support the war. Some don't. No big deal.
Stung by the ability of one grieving mother to inspire a growing antiwar movement, the White House has found a mom to call its own. An obviously delighted President Bush introduced her to a boisterous invitation-only audience mostly made up of military families in Idaho yesterday -- then sent her out to talk to the press.
"There are few things in life more difficult than seeing a loved one go off to war," Bush said in his speech yesterday. "Tammy Pruett has four sons serving in Iraq right now with the Idaho National Guard -- Eric, Evan, Greg and Jeff. Last year, her husband Leon and another son, Eren, returned from Iraq, where they helped train Iraqi firefighters in Mosul.
"Tammy says this -- and I want you to hear this -- 'I know that if something happens to one of the boys, they would leave this world doing what they believe, what they think is right for our country. And I guess you couldn't ask for a better way of life than giving it for something that you believe in.'
America lives in freedom because of families like the Pruetts. (Applause.)"
That's why they ran with Cindy.