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What's Up with Nightline?

By Eric Boehlert
Huffington Post

USA Today this week labeled Cindy Sheehan's Crawford protest "a headline-grabbing national movement." And the paper was right. Last night, all across the country thousands of people gathered for candlelight vigils in honor of Sheehan and her son, Casey, who died in Iraq. And yes, Sheehan's gotten more press (especially ink) than anyone could have possibly imagined. So why hasn't Nightline covered the story?

It's been unfolding for nearly two weeks, but to date the late-night ABC news giant has ignored the burgeoning anti-war event.

The omission is telling. Because despite the uptick in TV coverage in recent days, the Sheehan story still has not crossed over into phenomenon territory for most television producers, and certainly not at network news. For instance, over the last ten days ABC News -- all of its programming --has mentioned "Cindy Sheehan" just 26 times, according to TVEyes, the 24/7 broadcast monitoring service.

Compare that to the springtime news craze when Terri Schiavo's parents staged a very public, and political, vigil for their daughter. That story, cherished by conservatives, dominated the networks night after night. During the peak ten-day period of that saga, from March 20 to March 30, here's how many times ABC mentioned "Terri Schiavo": 189. (Nightline devoted four programs to the story.)

Word is Nightline has a producer in Crawford and has tentatively scheduled a segment to air Friday night. Better late than never, I suppose.


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The noble cause is that Casey died to protect the lives of 50 million people, to get them civil liberties, and to prevent Sadaam Hussein from killing 25 million more people. Hitler killed 12 million and we lost tens of thousands of soldiers to that war, Sadaam killed 25 million and then it's not okay. Tell Cindy to stop being selfish and self centered. Think of all the families that lost relatives to WWII. They were saddened,yet proud of their losses. Cindy is being a self centered ass... get her out of the media spot light and move on with life.

Get your facts straight, or give it up. Others have corrected your gross misundertanding of the situation and there's plenty more corrective help on this site if you have any interest at all in learning the truth. Until then, your repetitious nonsense is not even slightly persuasive. It's just boring.

This is the very first time I have heard it argued that Saddam was WORSE than Hitler. The Bush crowd and their appologists must be getting desperate.

You right-wingers accuse Cindy of so many things I've lost count.

Skippy (aka g dubya bush) and his followers remind me of the Pied Pier. You are following a "leader" with blind faith.

Please post your vitol on one of your right-winger sites where it will be appreciated. You can all salivate together.

We will oust skippy. Then in 2006 we are going to regain control of congress. You can run but you can't hide.

Maybe you and GWB can just "move on with life" by taking a spin on your two wheelers to relieve your tension, but Ms. Sheehan finds more worthwhile, noble purposes to engage in. So sorry if that interferes with your narcissism.

In spite of Rush's rantings to the contrary, each of the large media organizations is owned by a big business. But Rush and all of us in advertising know that if you say something enough times, people will believe it. While FOX is more obvious than most, all media is subject to their owners' demands and bottom lines. Even PBS, a last bastion of thought, is under attack by its two administrators who were recently appointed by this administration. Moneys are radically cut, studies were conducted (fortunately extraordinarily poorly) and very conservative programs are now creeping into the schedule (as opposed to a basically balanced format). Nightline is no exception to these unfortunate changes. Nightline's neck has been very close to the chopping board for quite some time. We cannot take fine programming for granted... when business has so much to gain by controlling what we hear and see, we stand on the very edge between democracy and Atwood's "Handmaiden's Tale".

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