Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mike, Jim, Elaine and Kat on Cindy Sheehan's vigil and the need to get the word out

Noting Mikey Likes It! where Mike's interviewing Jim (of The Third Estate Sunday Review). Here they are discussing John Holl's "As Bear Complaints Rise, New Jersey Considers a Hunt" from this morning's New York Times.

So let me get this interview with Jim started so we can both get on with our nights.The bear situation, what do you think about it?
Jim: I think it's really nonsense. I think we're seeing something that is alarmist. If it is a problem, the answer's not to hunt them. Put 'em in a zoo. There are zoos all over the country and there are cut backs and the economy is in the toilet. I read Holl's article this morning and almost missed it so thanks for the heads up but it seems that just as easy as it is to kill a bear, we could trap it and get it to a zoo. But kill, kill, kill seems to be the answer to everything. These are bears native to this country so there should be a reason for zoos to want to preserve them. Maybe it's not as cute as some panda from China, but it is a native animal and at a time when our eco system is under attack and we are losing so many species, you'd think people would be saying, "Okay, if we do have a surplus, let's get some into a zoo."
Right. I thought the bear in the photo in the New York Times today was pretty cute but it looked sad. There was something in one of it's eyes.
Jim: Yeah, made it look like it was crying.
Why do you think the answer is "kill, kill, kill"?
Jim: Because it's always easier to destroy something. Easier than preserving, easier than maintaining, easier than saving. Kill, kill, kill. It's that blood lust that Elaine's talked about.
Right. Cindy Sheehan is a big topic this week and your thoughts?
Jim: Well she's doing what we should all be doing. She's expecting our government to actually be accountable. She's making a difference. That's why we all said, "This is the editorial!" Saturday night when we were going over topics. This is someone doing something amazing and it's so amazing because she has to know the attacks that will come. But the thing everyone's been stressing, you, Elaine, C.I., Cedric, everybody is that if we get the word out, this will have impact. Every little bit has helped us get where we are and what Cindy Sheehan's doing can take our country even further towards an honest discussion. But only if we get the word out and only if we stand up for her and stand with her.

Now let me note that The Third Estate Sunday Review has managed to circumvent the problems with the Blogger program. The editorial that should have been up Sunday (as well as the news review) but wouldn't show up now do.

Elaine (Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude) is addressing the topics of Cindy Sheehan and Kevin & Monica Benderman. Here's an excerpt:

I hope everyone's paying attention to Cindy Sheehan. Tomorrow's the day she's been threatened with arrest. I asked Billie how hot it was in Texas and she said it's pretty hot. Over the weekend, and Billie's a little north of where Sheehan is, they did hit one hundred degrees. Billie says that's not at all uncommon for August in Texas. She said today was semi-cool for a few mid-day hours because there was a brief (less than twenty minutes) rain. Billie's planning on going there tomorrow to show her support for Sheehan. She's put in for a vacation day to do so.
That's not to make anyone else feel guilty. I'd love to be there but I can't drop my patients. What I can do is get the word out and call my local paper to ask why they aren't covering this. (Their response? They ran an article this weekend. Not good enough and I expressed that to them.) That's something we can all do. But we don't need to depend on the mainstream media to do our work for us which is why Mike has been saying (and C.I. as well) that we need to get the word out to everyone we know. (Kat also had a great thing on that.)
Movements do not happen overnight. This one has been a long time coming but the people are behind it. The questions Cindy Sheehan wants answered are questions that many are already asking. Her bravery means something to those of us who know what she's doing but don't assume that everyone already knows about it. Or that if they know about it, they've gotten the facts on what's happening. Cindy Sheehan is being attacked by the right wing echo chamber.
I don't think that honestly hurts. I think they're overplaying their hand the way that they did with the Terry Schiavo issue. People are recoiling from the attacks from, for instance, Bill O'Reilly.
But this is up to us. Don't count on the mainstream media. Even if they could grasp what's going on, that doesn't mean they'd push the story. I really don't think they grasp very much. I'm coming it at from my profession and it's rare that someone writes on my field in the mainstream press without making a major error. Reporters aren't trained in everything they cover. They are trained in how to cover and sometimes they forget what they were taught but even when they remember, they still make mistakes. So don't count on them. If you believe in what Cindy Sheehan's doing, be the media and get the word out.

And let's note Kat:

So Mike was on the phone today and he asked me how things were going on my end in terms of getting the word out on Cindy Sheehan. Well I'm telling everyone I know. Are you?
I'm also drafting my friends to do the same. Sumner reports he told six people about Cindy Sheehan's protest, about how she's outside the Bully Boy's ranchette in Crawford, Texas saying she'll stay the entire month of August if she has to. The only way she's leaving is if a) Bully Boy meets with her or b) they arrest her and cart her off. Dak-Ho got the word out to ten people. Toni got the word out to eight but sent e-mails to her friends so that will help to. The big surprise was Maggie who got the word out to over forty people.
In a way, that's not surprising. Maggie has ten conversations on her way from a table to the ladies' room. Maggie told me, "Go real slow" when I was filling in her. Then she made me go over it again. She's not a political person. She is someone who loves to talk. And she's been talking today.
Maggie's the type of person C.I. talked about last night. She's the type of person that's not reading a paper, she's not watching a newscast or listening to one. There are a lot of people like Maggie. They can care. And we need to make sure that we're passing the word on to them.
We can do this. We can get the word out and get the whole country talking. But that means not waiting for the media to lead on this. We need to lead on it. You know how much Cindy Sheehan's stand means to you so think of how much it could mean to someone else and make a point to start talking about this. Be a broken record. I think you'll find that the most you'll have to do is start the conversation, give a few basics, and the conversation will take care of it yourself. That's what I'm finding.

The point that everyone's making is don't leave this to the mainstream media. Don't expect them to cover it because they've done a very poor job of covering anything. You want people to understand why Cindy Sheehan's brave vigil matters to you, take the time to talk about it to people you know.

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