By MARC McDONALD
Cindy Sheehan is a woman who I greatly admire. Since she lost her son to Bush's immoral, illegal invasion of Iraq, Sheehan has become an eloquent and outspoken anti-Iraq War activist.
Of course, the Kool-Aid-drinking fanatical brownshirt Bush supporters haven't been happy with Sheehan. They've called her all kinds of names.
One particularly sick and twisted right-winger called Sheehan a "slut."
So what did CNN do? It turned around and gave this right-wing asshole, Glenn Beck, his own hour-long program, so he could spew his hate speech every day to unsuspecting viewers.
We're not talking about Fox News here. We're talking about CNN.
Actually, most of us progressives never took CNN much more seriously than Fox News. After all, CNN pretty much serves up the same corporate pabulum as Fox News. During the build-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, CNN was every bit the jingoistic cheerleader that Fox News was.
But hiring Beck is a new low for CNN.
Actually, Beck (who often prides himself on his "outspoken" taboo-breaking style) likely had second thoughts about calling Sheehan a "slut" after he used that vile, sexist, woman-hating term on his nationally syndicated radio program on Aug. 15, 2005. A few days later, he claimed that he'd actually called Sheehan a "pimp."
Now "pimp" is bad enough. But the word "slut" is way over the line. It's a degrading term for women and, let's face it, it's used by men who hate women.
Deep down, I'm sure Beck realizes this. And I'm sure he now wishes that this issue would go away. And to some extent, he's succeeded. By constantly misquoting himself on the original reference, Beck has made a lot of people forget that he originally called Sheehan a "slut." Even the outstanding media watchdog site, Media Matters, (which has done a great job of monitoring Beck's hate speech) omits the "slut" reference in its roundup of Beck's racist, bigoted, sexist quotes.
One has to wonder what exactly prompted Beck to viciously attack Sheehan in the first place.
Beck constantly portrays himself as a big supporter of the troops in Iraq. But it wasn't Sheehan who was responsible for the deaths of 2,425 U.S. soldiers in Iraq. It was Beck's hero, Bush, who lied America into a reckless, illegal, immoral war.
Sheehan lost her son to Bush's evil war that was based on lies. She understandably is seeking answers to why her son died. Along the way, she's become an eloquent speaker, who has written a number of moving, informative articles about the war.
In fact, one can read a handful of Sheehan's writings and learn more about America's misadventure in Iraq than one could from watching a year's worth of CNN.
Incidentally, if Beck really is such a big supporter of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, I can't help but wonder why he doesn't enlist in the military himself. After all, the U.S. military these days is running short on its recruitment drives and is accepting enlistees well into their 40s. Beck (who is in his early 40s) would be welcomed with open arms at his local recruiting office.
But you can bet that a scumbag coward like Beck will avoid signing up to go serve in combat (just as his hero, Bush, found a way to avoid serving in combat when his nation was at war in Vietnam). No, it's much easier for Beck to sit here in America, living his comfortable millionaire's lifestyle and calling the mother of a fallen soldier a "slut." He is truly a sick, despicable man and CNN's desperate bid to boost its ratings will certainly backfire as repelled viewers abandon that network in droves after they're exposed to Beck's hate-spewing program.