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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Who funds Cindy Sheehan?

I was mentioning how the financial backers of Cindy are getting their money's worth, but I didn't know who they were. I suspected they were lefty organizations still bitter about Bush's win last November with a majority, and I was right. The camp at Crawford is full of Cindy Sheehan supporters, people from all walks of life, but off to the side are a small group of professionals skilled in politics and public relations who are marketing Cindy Sheehan's message. Cindy Sheehan kneels before a cross with her son's name on it, touches his picture, wipes her tears. It's an outpouring of emotion that is part of a scheduled news event organized daily for the television, radio and print reporters who crowd in to capture a mother's grief. A scheduled outpouring of emotion. Say that a couple of times in your heads and tell me how geniuine it sounds. Organizers are set up in a house trailer. Their meetings closed to reporters. Leading the group is Fenton Communications employee, Michele Mulkey, based in San Francisco. Fenton specializes in public relations for liberal non-profits. Their bills are being paid for by True Majority, a non-profit set up by Ben Cohen -- of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream fame. Ben Cohen, True Majority: "People are willing to listen to her and we want to do as much as we can to make her voice heard." Cohen's group has teamed up with Berkeley based MoveOn.org, an anti-Bush group co-founded by Joan Blades. [...] Current Democratic National Party Chair Howard Dean's organization Democracy for America is also involved, as is the more radical anti-war group Code Pink organized by San Francisco's Medea Benjamin. Money donated through these groups and others is helping to pay for Gold Star families whose children have been killed in Iraq to attend anti-Bush protests. Code Pink, in case you don't know, was founded by a group of Marxists and Castro supporters and have ties to the communist Workers World Party, which lionizes Joseph Stalin, Slobodan Milocevic, and Kim Jong Il. Lovely People. Hmm, I can almost hear you screaming "But this is a geniuine effort, it's from the heart. Even ask the participating families". Oh really? Ok! There is real reluctance to talk about who's paying, and the P.R. machine that's promoting Cindy Sheehan, but not everyone here is completely comfortable with it. Gold Star mother Karen Meredith came here from Mountain View. Her son Ken Ballard died last year. Karen Meredith, Gold Star mother: "Sometimes things don't feel quite right to me. They don't feel wrong, but maybe that's how they do it in the marketing business." ABC7's Mark Matthews: "You feel you're part of a marketing business?" Karen Meredith: "Possibly. Yeah I think so." Gee, I wonder what would give her that crazy Idea!


At 8/28/2005 05:34:00 AM, Blogger Highlander said...

SM ok let's ask another question , is the opposite camp the one which is currently in the Whitehouse not using marketing and PR tactics also ? Do you really believe that it is sincere/honest/altruistic/innocent etc..... ?

It's just how politics are played and politics is a dirty game as you have noticed when you refused the NDP post.

If you want your point accross you have to enter the game no matter what ...this is how democracy is processed my friend....the waters get very murky and it's not 'may the best man/party etc... win' it's who can POSE better and the one who can do that is the one who has powerful 'financial backing machines' behind him or her .

Therefore , Cindy while not wanting to run for president I'm sure :) is going to use the best available PR machine ANYONE can offer her to make her case. On the other the politicians who want to try and gain points against the current administration are going to use Cindy or others like her to let their message out. A simple trade-off. Business is business.

At 8/28/2005 10:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cindi is being used by the leftwing as a political hatchet in which to beat the president. Contrary to what the media has reported, there has been one other person on the opposite side of the road who set up her camp to honor her Dad who is an Army chaplin in Iraq. She is 18 and has been there since the first reports of Jihad Cindi first hit the news. The 1000's that support Cindi have been reported is completely false.100 is the top number on a good day and most of those are media covering the spectical.

Yesterday the Pro troop crowd was about 3000 people strong. There was no PR firm, no one paying them to participate. Though one family who lost their son had thier ticket paid for by Sean Hannity because they couldn't get there from NJ in time without it. This one represts real America, not the hippy throw backs who have never left the 60's.

I wonder what Cindi will do when the lefties throw her aside? They always do that when you have served your purpose. Sorry that your son didn't listen to your Marxist views Cindi, he is a hero and there is nothing you can do including p*ss*ng on his grave like you are doing now that will ever change that. Get over it and PLEEEEEEZE go home.

At 8/28/2005 03:27:00 PM, Anonymous tina999 said...

Highlander: I wish it were so, unfortunately, this administration is probably the worst in the world when it comes to PR.

As the poster above said, there was a counter protest yesterday and thousands of normal Americans showed up, angry with Cindy and her aging hippies. The media refused to cover it. What little coverage there was said there were a few hundred, yet the pictures clearly show there were thousands there. These people paid their own way, traveled from all over, yet the media barely mentioned them.

Even the polls that the media publishes are skewed. The last one saying Bush only had 40% approval turned out (when you read the small print they are required to publish) only 29% republicans were polled.

No, you can say a lot about the Bush administration, but PR is definitely NOT one of their strong points.

At 2/21/2006 10:42:00 PM, Blogger Just Jules said...

You people are incredibly naive and poorly informed - or you think your readers are. But, for those of you who are curious, please - read on. (Please be clear that all statements made below are my own personaly observations and I'm not speaking for Gold Star families.)

I'm a member of Gold Star Families for Peace, the organization cofounded by Cindy Sheehan. My nephew was killed in Iraq in 2003. I've worked and traveled extensively with Cindy Sheehan since Camp Casey. I've never seen anyone work harder for the cause of peace (with the possible exception of Brian Haw, who's been camped out in front of Parliament for around 4 years.)

As for who funds her...I can clear that up very quickly. Cindy's travels are generally funded by the local groups and supporters who ask her to visit their city. Cindy appears in a city when invited by the local peace community or other groups or community leaders. They generally provide housing (typically in their own homes )cook her meals, get her to the local events they set up. She charges the peace groups no appearance fees. Feed her, give her a place to sleep and a way to get there and she'll fit the city into her schedule, if possible.

Are there individuals and organizations who support Gold Star Families? Of course. ALL organizations are supported by the people who believe in your cause. In this case, the cause is peace - a pretty good cause.

I try not to laugh when I read forums like this one...but it is difficult. To listen to you speak, you'd think that the Bush Administration was a charitable organization. Countless millions of dollars are spent by the Bush PR machine to sell of countless quantities of bad ideas...like an illegal war. Do Gold Star Families for Peace and Cindy Sheehan promote our cause? Of course we do! We promote peace in every way we can think of, including media interviews. We're a big nation. If you want to get a good idea out, including the peace as an option, you can hardly go door-to-door. You've got to give interviews, write articles, appear in different cites.

Quite honestly, I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of "Ice Cream" funding. I can tell you, however, that the Bush administration was elected into office on the back of oil lobbies, tobacco lobbies, gun lobbies...I could go on. So, if, indeed, Cindy's work was funded by an ice cream giant...I can live with that. I'm truly not concerned she'll sell out to the ice cream lobby, steal an election and start passing favorable hot fudge sundae legislation in the middle of the night.

And you people call US conspiracy theorists.

Julie Cuniglio


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