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Write to CNN and Complain, Won't You?
By Cynthia Bogard, Sheehanista
I just watched CNN "cover" our protest on Saturday in DC. I admit--I was out on the streets of Washington, DC for most of the past few days so maybe I missed something. But all I've seen on CNN so far were several sentences in the crawl line. On TV, CNN misrepresented what went on in DC and they need to be told.
I don't pretend I can count how many people attended the anti-war protest on Saturday but as a veteran of many such marches over the years, it surely was the largest anti-war protest since the war on Iraq began on March 19, 2003. There were certainly at least twice the 100,000 folks that some news outlets, including CNN.com, were reporting.
I CAN count up to 200 though and that was the maximum number of people in attendance at the beginning of the pro-Iraq rally-- including the organizers. I and about twenty fellow peace activists attended the opening prayer and Star Spangled Banner from the sidelines and also yelled our support for Cindy Sheehan when she was verbally bashed by one of the opening speakers.
When one of the pro-war folks yelled, "Why don't you all move to Canada?" a dove-flag toting anti-war veteran retorted, "We don't have to--we live in a blue state!" I think it was the right-wing "Protest Warriors" group who on Saturday labeled us "Sheehanistas." Why don't we just proudly adopt that moniker and make it our own?
The CNN crawlers gave each of our events "equal" crawler space. Though they did use the word "huge" in speaking of our protest, they failed to give ANY indication of how absolutely tiny the other side's event was, which to me is misreporting by omission. They also led with the pro-war event, adding to its prominence. The CNN.com web versions of each story were much more accurate (maybe the "crowd" did swell to 400 - I couldn't stay for the whole pro-war event) but let's remember - most Americans get their news from television.
Tell CNN that their broadcasts
1) need to give better coverage to a protest the message of which is supported by a majority of Americans
2) accurately report on the relative size of both sides
Here's the address to write to: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/