Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Times Gives Sheehan a Bullhorn

The Gold Star Moron in Action at Union Square

Gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Gold Star Moron, Cindy Sheehan, continued today in the New York Times. The Times continued to function as a daily edition of Counterpunch, serving as an uncritical echo chamber for Sheehan-- replete with photo spread, inaccurate headline, and a tone that was so worshipful as to be almost goofy.

If you thought yesterday's Sheehan puff piece was the worst the Times could do -- well, the Times was out to prove you wrong today.

Here's the headline: "An Antiwar Speech in Union Square Is Stopped by Police Citing Paperwork Rules." You'd think that maybe the parade organizers neglected to dot an i on some form, but no. Actually they "forgot" to get an essential permit known to every New York protester since time immemorial -- a permit for audio equipment.

Having "forgotten" to get this permit, the organizer went ahead and used audio equipment, knowing full well he would be marched off to the can by the NYPD -- with the Times's gavel-to-gavel coverage following in hot pursuit.

The Times, not being satisfied with functioning in a PR capacity in this manner, obligingly and inaccurately describes this rather substantial requirement -- blessed to every noise-weary New Yorker -- as just "paperwork." Score another publicity coup for the Gold Star Moron!

The rest of the Times piece -- well, this is the daily edition of Counterpunch after all. We get this doozy of a mini-editorial: "Many New Yorkers said yesterday that Ms. Sheehan gave them back hope that was lost when war was declared on Iraq."

Yes indeed. I can just see Times hack Shadi Rahimi, press card in hatband, going from door to door in Queens and Bensonhurst to find "many New Yorkers" sighing with relief that the Gold Star Moron was there, giving them "hope." (Note too the implication that New Yorkers were rooting for Saddam -- as was, quite obviously, Shadi Rahimi.)

The piece ends with still more propaganda:
[A demonstrator] said that the arrest of the event organizer, Mr. Zulkowitz, was another example of the "country's suppression of dissent." "We are being railroaded toward a state in which we can't speak up," she said. And they said the demonstrators couldn't use a bullhorn.
They had one: It's called The New York Times.

UPDATE: According to the New York Sun, the organizer of the Cindy circus has been arrested before for not getting proper permits. Obviously he likes being arrested, in the hope that a clueless, biased hack like Shadi Rahimi might be there to write about it. (Priceless publicity in return for a trip to a police station and a desk appearance ticket. Not bad!)

The Sun also reported details excluded by the Times, such as obscenities hurled at the police. It's all part of what Stephen Spruiell calls an "MSM blackout of her loony statements, most recently that the U.S. should pull their troops out of occupied New Orleans."

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