So, it appears Cindy Sheehan has gone and gotten herself arrested while her supporters – proving definatively that they are permanently stuck in 1968 – shouted, “the whole world is watching!” (well, Al Jazeera was, anyway – note they got Sheehan with the “forlorn” expression)
The woman, who this weekend kvetched because CNN et al were spending all of their time covering Hurricane Rita, which was “just a little wind and rain,” instead of Herself climbing all over Jesse Jackson, made certain she’ll be covered on all the channels tonight – that she’ll get the Drudge coverage and the number one spot on Technorati. She sat down where she wasn’t supposed to and, after three warnings, was “arrested.”
“Attention all you cameramen, I am about to be arrested, please focus!”
I can’t think of anything that seems to destroy people’s mental health faster than a few weeks or months of uncritical, gushing media hype. Think about the people you see in the news, day after day, gathering unconditional praise and coverage from the press. They lose themselves, lose their minds, and they are rarely ever the same after the adulation stops. In fact, I can only think of one person who got caught up in the destructive swirl of relentless positive press reportage and managed to find his way back to sanity, and that would be Sen. Joe Lieberman, and perhaps – I am only saying PERHAPS – his faith has something to do with his re-bound.
The rest of them, once courted, feted, promoted, celebrated, hyped and carried by the press have a very difficult time of it, post-praise.
Sen. John Kerry, a truly terrible presidential candidate, cold, stiff and barely articulate had months and months of uncritical love. Months of the press never asking him a single difficult question, months of the press scurrying to fight his battles, discredit his critics and pat him on the back after soft-ball interviews. He had the press basically promising him a 10-15% advantage for their coverage – a promise which it does seem they delivered on.
When he still lost, and lost soundly, and all of the microphones and cameras went away, he couldn’t seem to believe it. After a nearly silent 20-year career in the Senate during which he did little more than write bills recognizing special days for special people, Kerry was suddenly opining on everything, calling press conferences and issuing statements, and yet the press was not loving him as it had. They barely noticed him. He was back to being a “local paper” story instead of a national figure. He hasn’t been the same, since.
Sen. John McCain discovered he could make the press “love” him by criticizing his party and not merely working with the opposition but shoving his metaphorical tongue down their metaphorical throats. He became the media darling of 1999 and 2000, with endless magazine covers, endless gushing interviews with Katie and Diane and Oprah, endless furrowed-brow talks with Ted Koppel. The “Maverick” became the only acceptable sort of GOP candidate and – for many in the press – a palatable alternative to Al Gore, who was becoming problematic, what with Buddhist nuns, controlling legal authorities, Clinton-fatigue and spots of embarrassing exaggerations regarding his personal life and his “inventiveness.”
When the press reluctantly left McCain behind to cover the actual GOP candidate, McCain was smart enough to realize that all he ever had to do to call them back and bask in the warmth of their klieg lights was to step left-and-lively, and he has done it ever since. He cannot stop himself. Those lights, those microphones, those headlines and all that unequivocal approval – it’s heady stuff to a guy who crashed 3 planes.
Al Gore – well, what can be said about poor Al Gore? Told by the press, over and over, that he was gyped, even after a consortium of papers did themselves concede that he lost in 2000, he seems like a gas leak in search of a pilot light. But he’ll always have Paul Krugman.
I cannot even imagine what will happen to any Clinton for whom the uncritical praise ends.
And now, we see Mother Sheehan – an utter media creation who burnished her genuine tragedy with an ability to cry-on-cue, but who has long-since overplayed the “grieving mother” hand and become all about preening and performing for the camera. Yesterday people losing lives and livelihoods to a storm were mere peons interfering with her scheduled adulation. Today she got herself arrested, smiling the whole while and still quite certain that the constitution which guarantees her the right to self-destruct in an endless loop on CNN, is a constitution that is not worth dying for.
Can a posing session for Playboy be far behind? That’s where all the sad she-clowns go when they’re usefulness has ended, isn’t it?
Once again, repeat after me – it is amazing how much destruction is wrought because of a need to feel loved.
I didn’t get small! The protests got small!
Btw…I’m in a bad mood today. Blogging will be cloudy, with a chance of snark.
Related: Wellstoning the King Funeral.
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