Then what the hell do your ideologues do?
Since the spring, long before an angry mom named Cindy Sheehan set up camp outside President Bush's Texas ranch, anti-war activists have been holding vigils outside Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Friday nights, when many soldiers and their families venture off campus for steak dinners.Here's the sweet bit:
They've called for better health care benefits for soldiers wounded in Iraq, protested an early policy of making some soldiers buy their own meals while in care, and accused the military of purposely flying injured troops in under cover of night to downplay the volume of casualties. And they've waved signs protesting the war and the Bush administration.
Organizers say they weren't getting much media attention - even after a pro-war group began gathering to protest the vigils - and that the coverage they did get was generally positive, including a write-up in the military newspaper Stars & Stripes.
Until last week, that is. That's when an online news service with politically conservative ties released a special report suggesting the vigils were actually protests aimed at wounded soldiers - an accusation that infuriated vigil organizers, many of them family members of troops serving in Iraq and some of them veterans themselves. The Drudge Report previewed the story, and conservative television and radio hosts seized on it.
Meanwhile, the reporter who wrote the story that has generated so much controversy, Marc Morano, says he is not part of any ideological conspiracy. He heard about the vigils on his own and pitched his editors on the story, he said.Rush Limbaugh's "Man in Washington," says that, you know, he's not writing from an ideological standpoint. He also didn't write from an ideological standpoint for all the other places he's worked for.
"There's no agenda," he said. "The only agenda is that a lot of veterans were outraged. These soldiers have to see these people every Friday night, and that's what got these people upset."
Still, Morano said he wouldn't equate what the vigil participants are doing to the way some Vietnam protesters scorned soldiers.
"I don't think this is a redo of Vietnam in the sense that they're calling them baby killers," he said. "And I don't allege that at all. It's almost like they're saying, 'The soldiers are suckers, you were maimed for a lie, you were duped.' "
The parent organization of Morano's news service is the Media Research Center, a watchdog group that seeks to expose liberal media bias. Its founder is a conservative columnist and political activist.
And Morano worked from 1992-96 for conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh on a freelance basis. Morano declined to discuss his own views on the war, but he said they were not a factor in his coverage.
He was unbiased on The O'Reilly Factor.
He was unbiased on Special Report w/ Brit Hume.
He was unbiased in The Washington Times.
He was unbiased in The Wall Street Journal.
He was unbiased in The American Spectator.
He was unbiased in Human Events.
He was unbiased in National Review.
He was unbiased on Newsmax.com
He was unbiased on WorldnetDaily.com.
He was unbiased on the Drudge Report.
I'm certain that classy places like that wouldn't have put up with some sort or radically conservative agenda.