Monday, August 25, 2008

Heartbreak: CodePink Just Can't Get Enough Attention

You have to shake your head and wonder what planet the Associated Press is living on. Here we have a ragtag group of wild-eyed Marxist radicals who get a nonstop stream of favorable media coverage and now the AP laments the fact they're not getting enough attention.

So what do they do: They devote 18 paragraphs of fawning coverage to the psychos.
These are hard times for peace activists. Despite CodePink's flashy costumes and willingness to disrupt campaign events and congressional hearings — sometimes facing arrest for it — the women are finding it more difficult to maintain public attention on the Iraq war.

Americans are now focused more on the gasoline prices they're paying, declining values of their homes and other economic issues. The ups and downs in a highly contested presidential election also have edged Iraq off the front page and evening newscasts most days.
Actually, it was the overwhelming success of the surge that edged Iraq off the front age, but I digress.
"We do feel to some extent that these elections have sabotaged our peace actions and messaging because ... the media is completely focused on the two candidates," said CodePink activist Liz Hourican, who moved here from Arizona a year and a half ago to devote her time to ending the war. "It's a lot more challenging."

And while Iraqi and American officials are discussing a pullout of U.S. combat troops from major Iraqi cities by next June and a broader withdrawal by 2011, CodePink members say they won't be satisfied until all U.S. forces are back from Iraq. "We'd like a timeline that is shorter," said co-founder Medea Benjamin.

Congress' decision this summer to fund U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year with $162 billion was a setback, but CodePink already was on the campaign trail, "bird-dogging" presidential candidates and unfurling anti-war banners at their events.

Republican John McCain is a favorite target. "Just about every place McCain goes, we have somebody confronting him," Benjamin said. "We want the undecided voters ... to see we associate McCain with more war and with the failed Bush policy, and, of course, we want the media to cover it."

The activists' campaign on Capitol Hill didn't stop. Before Congress left for recess, the women in their pink outfits scoured the halls almost daily. They seated themselves behind witnesses at hearings unrelated to the war, flashing pink anti-war posters at TV cameras recording, for example, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talking about the collapse of investment bank Bear Stearns.

"There's a lot of very creative people in the group," Hourican said. "They make so many different crafty, visually brilliant things, and they love using their talents to push this along and see their costume on the news."
Yup, just incredibly difficult to get themselves noticed, but fortunately they have the media in their back pockets.

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