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Cindy Ad Airs in Idaho, Utah

Sheehan's anti-war message follows Bush trail
60-second ad airs on stations in Idaho, Utah

Bill Wallace, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, August 27, 2005

An anti-war TV spot featuring Cindy Sheehan, the Vacaville woman whose son Casey was killed in Iraq, has been dogging President Bush's footsteps as he traveled to Idaho and Utah this past week.

The 60-second ad, in which Sheehan speaks directly to the camera and castigates the president for "your lies" about the Iraq war, has aired on six television affiliates in Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho, and is scheduled to run nationally on CNN and Fox Network News during the next week.

The ad is not scheduled to appear on any local television stations in California.

The advertisement is similar to one that has been aired on stations in the Waco, Texas, area since Sheehan began her vigil outside the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, earlier this month, demanding a meeting with the president.

In it, Sheehan says Bush was wrong to suggest that Iraq threatened the United States with weapons of mass destruction and to tie the Iraqi government to the al Qaeda terrorist organization.

"You lied to us, and because of your lies, my son died," she says.

Alex Howe, a spokesman for Fenton Communications, the public relations firm that represents Gold Star Families for Peace, Sheehan's anti-war group, said that so far, only an ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City and a CBS outlet in Boise had refused to run the ad.

In an e-mail to Fenton Communications, officials of the Salt Lake City affiliate, KTVX Channel 4, said the station would not air the ad because viewers could consider it offensive.

In a copy of the e-mail released by Fenton Communications, Jemina Keller, an ad sales representative for the station, said, "The viewpoints reflected in the spot are incompatible with our marketplace and will not be well received by our viewers."

KTVX is part of the Texas-based Clear Channel Communications chain of stations. David D'Antuono, the station's general manager, could not be reached for comment.

The Chronicle also was unable to contact Jeff Anderson, the general manager of KBCI Channel 2, the Boise station that rejected the ad. KBCI is part of the Seattle-based Fisher Communications network of affiliates.

The Utah ad runs were scheduled to coincide with the president's appearance at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Salt Lake City on Monday.

Later in the week, the president traveled to Idaho to mountain bike, hike and fish at the new Tamarack Resort north of Boise. He also gave a speech to Idaho National Guard troops Wednesday and met with members of 19 families who have lost relatives in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Idaho ad run was scheduled to coincide with the president's visit to the state.

The president, who met with Sheehan previously, has declined her request for a second meeting, although he says he understands the anguish she feels because of her son's death.

Earlier this week, he rejected calls to remove U.S. troops from Iraq, saying such a pullout would weaken the United States. He also said he did not believe Sheehan's views on the war were representative of families whose loved ones have died in Iraq.

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