Thursday, August 11, 2005

An Hour with Cindy Sheehan
Matt Drudge ran anewsflashtoday on Cindy Sheehan, the military mom whose 24-year-old son's death in Iraq spurred her to protest the war.

Sheehan made international news last week when shevisited Crawford, Texaswith members ofGold Star Families for Peace. She wanted to ask him"why did my son die?"

In June, Alan Colmes interviewed Sheehan on his syndicated radio show, which I've enclosed as a 50-minute podcast. She takes several calls from irate members of the public, including an incredible exchange with a mother who supports the war.

This morning, Drudge ran excerpts of a 2004 interview she gave her local newspaper, cherry-picking quotes that made her sound effusive in praise for the president after her son's April 2004 death.

The full story, which wasbrought back onlinetoday, contains a quote omitted by Drudge that makes her feelings more clear:

"We haven't been happy with the way the war has been handled,"Cindy said."The president has changed his reasons for being over there every time a reason is proven false or an objective reached."

All Cheer the SuperJews
Jerry Springer has a fill-in host on Air America Radio, a Colorado talk show host namedJay Marvinwho's vastly more listenable than the mumbly panderer.

Today, a caller told Marvin about a bit of sports trivia that floored me: A European soccer team goes by the monicker"the Jews,"which inspires some horrible taunts by rival fans.

I dug up the details for a post today onSportsFilter:

Cheering on the SuperJewsWonder what it would be like if a sports team used a Jewish mascot? For years, fans of Ajax Amsterdam, Holland's most popular football team, havecalled themselvessuper-Joden(super Jews), wearing Star of David tattoos and flying Israeli flags at matches, but not because of their religion -- the team's home pitch is nearAmsterdam's Jewish neighborhood. Says one Holocaust survivor:"When other teams' supporters chant 'Hamas, Hamas, the Jews to the gas', the Ajax fans are not hurt, because they're not real Jews. But my family was murdered in the gas chambers, so I am very insulted.'"

Finding Latoyia Figueroa
Latoyia Figueroa, a 24-year-old woman five months' pregnant with her second child,disappeared in PhiladelphiaJuly 18. She has a seven-year-old daughter and never missed a shift at the restaurant where she worked, so her loved ones are fearing the worst.

The Citizens Crime Commission of Delaware Valley has offered a $10,000 reward for information about her whereabouts.

Richard Blair, a Philly blogger, is trying to get her case on the same television news programs that have covered Natalee Holloway, Laci Peterson, and the Runaway Bride. He's already managed to attract the attention of CNN.Com, based on coverage Figueroa has received on blogs, and has been invited by several networks to talk about the blog angle:

Latoyia's story has moved from CNN to MSNBC and Fox this evening. So it's getting some exposure. Still nothing on Nancy Grace. I've been answering email and on the phone all evening, so I apologize in advance for not having a whole lot more to offer today. Just to give you an idea, I've turned down on-air interview requests now from all"big three"cable news nets, as well as ABC'sGood Morning America. This isn't about how we collectively pushed Latoyia's story out there (yet, anyway) -- it's about finding a missing young pregnant woman who needs to be found.

Figueroa's an unlikely subject for round-the-clock treatment, for reasons you might have surmised. Wrong color, wrong class, wrong background. Sadly, she lost her own mother at age 2 to aviolent death.

Blair's desire to make the broadcast media address the substance of this story, rather than covering the novelty of the blogosphere's outrage-motivated adoption of a missing person, may greatly limit the exposure he could have gotten for her disappearance.

Speaking from personal experience, there's an extremely short window of time in which the national media cares about a no-name blogger's unusual media hack. Thursday may be the last day he gets any invites; no one outside of the fruit fly family has a shorter attention span than TV news producers.