Thursday, September 15, 2005

Is Sheehan another Cronkite?

Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid writes an interesting article on Cindy Sheehan and Walter Cronkite. In the article Kincaid refers to an NBC Nightly News report comparing Sheehan and Cronkite as it pertains to their influence on the public's anti-war sentiment.

"NBC's Carl Quintanilla said she might eventually be compared to former CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite, who turned against the Vietnam War and helped convince the American people and the Congress it was a losing cause," Kincaid writes. "He said Sheehan has made it safe, her supporters say, 'to voice doubts about the war, just as Walter Cronkite did on the Evening News in 1968.'"

This is an important analogy, Kincaid continues, because of NBC's unwitting revelation "about media power and influence, and how the major media's authority has waned over the years. In effect, he was stating that Cindy Sheehan, in the case of the Iraq War, was a surrogate for the media's opposition to that war ... Quintanilla should have carried the analogy further. He should have pinned the blame for the U.S. defeat in Vietnam on the influence of Cronkite, then considered the most trusted man in America, and he should have suggested that the media's glorification of Sheehan could contribute to a similar defeat in Iraq. But of course he didn't make that comparison. To do so would have put his own newscast on the spot for a political agenda designed to inflict a military defeat on the United States, using Cindy Sheehan as a pawn in that effort."

The news media is not unbiased. Personal views typically influence news coverage and, as Kincaid explains, "the media can be abused for the purpose of undermining our country during a time of war when we need to maintain our national unity ... Left unsaid was the fact that Cronkite went on to become a spokesman for the World Federalists, a group promoting world government and the subversion of U.S. national sovereignty. Perhaps Sheehan will join Cronkite in that crusade."

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