a Skiing Uphill virtual reprint
Monday, August 30, 2005
BOAT MOMS IN WINNEBAGOS
OR, THE ASTROTURFING
OF CINDY SHEEHAN
courtesy of The Lone Star Iconoclast
[Note: I threw the first draft of this blog
entry away two days ago when my spider-sense started tingling, and
it became obvious that there were deeper connections at work. At the
time, there was very little about Move America Forward's
"You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" tour online, and
happily, several media outlets have started looking at the whole
substrate of this anti-Sheehan PR stunt, including Janine Garafolo
on today's "Majority Report" on AirAmerica radio. But, my
hunches are usually good, and this one was. Much of the critical
material and the connections only turned up after a couple of days
of connecting the dots. There is something to be said for
self-imposed deadlines and holds.]
one is for Nancy Stapp of our local AirAmerica station, KOPT, who asked me
on the air to talk about the "Truth
Tour" of Iraq put together by "Move America Forward "
about a month ago by KSFO radio talk show host Melanie Morgan to tour
Iraq with Right Wing talk show hosts (including Vancouver
"Oregon's" own Lars Larson until he cancelled).
When originally asked, I demurred.
At the time, I didn't know enough about it to comment intelligently,
and, while it might seem the quaint practice of a bygone era in an era
of news Creationism (or, if you prefer, Unintelligent Design), I
operate from the dictum that FIRST you get your facts, and THEN you
form an opinion.
I now have the facts about the Truth Tour, but, as our new Skiing
Uphill motto is, "we serve no crime before its time," the
bigger story was far less complete than it is now.
Well, the Orwellian-entitled "Truth Tour" produced any
number of whoppers broadcast to the uncritical "true
believers." One was that there was a HUGE terrorist training camp
in Iraq (still looking for that 9/11 connection justification).
Another was that the Iraqis were "60% trained." I presume
that meant 60% of the Iraqi army was trained, not that the army was
60% trained. Yet another was that there were Weapons of Mass
Destruction (see! they WERE a threat!).
Blogger "AltHippo" writes on TPMCafe:
"You may recall that upon returning from the
Truth Tour, Michael Graham's world view was so enriched that he
wrote: "We are at war with a terrorist organization named
Islam." Graham was promptly suspended by WMAL here in
Washington. Mr. Graham is the author of Redneck Nation, which I'm
guessing is his autobiography."
Melanie Morgan wasn't alone on that tour, though.
She was aided and abetted by California politician-on-the-make Howard
Kaloogian. Indeed the radio photo-op for Operation Iraqi Freedom
(originally entitled Operation Iraqi Liberation, until they realized
what the acronym spelt) was put together by the organization that
Kaloogian and Morgan figurehead for: "Move America Forward."
And "Move America Forward" was created by the Sacramento public
relations firm "Russo, Marsh and Rogers."
And therein lies the rub: Russo, Marsh and Rogers is intimately
connected with the national and California Republican party, but we'll
get to that in just a moment. First, let's listen to them, in their
own words: http://www.rmrwest.com/index2.asp
Pay special attention to that fax number, because
it's a key to all sorts of chicanery.
Experience Really Does Matter.
When it comes to winning elections, few firms can match the success
of Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.
The experience of RM+R's staff is one of the greatest advantages you
get when you recruit the Russo Marsh + Rogers team of political
professionals and campaign experts.
The principals and associates at RM+R have been involved in more
than 350 campaigns at the local, state, federal and international
In addition to our experience in almost every state in the nation
and in countries such as Nicaragua and the Ukraine, the expertise of
RM+R's staff extends to every aspect of campaign strategy and
Specifically, the experts on our team have extensive skills in:
Market Research Methodology
Campaign Ground Operations
All Advertising Techniques
RM+R understands the commitment it takes to
run for office. And whether our client is political or corporate, we
always give 110%.
RM+R provides its clients (ranging from County Supervisor to
President of the United States) a solid strategic plan combining
direct mail, fundraising, research, broadcast advertising, audience
At RM+R we know that each campaign is unique and we are serious
about winning. There are no simplistic formulas; creativity is
With our strategy and skill at implementing the right tactics, RM+R
is a proven organization with a solid track record of winning races.
Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 441-3734
Fax: (916) 441-6057
But here, let Keith Olberman (the only MSM newsman in America today
who seems to have the cojones to actually report the news) of MSNBC
report for you:
'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Aug.
Well, that's kind of soft-pedaling it.
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Updated: 11:06 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2005
Meanwhile, there is the group that reversed the Sheehan equation and
showed up in her home town of Vacaville, California, with a caravan
of military families and conservative activists who proclaimed,
"You don't speak for me, Cindy."
Several partisan Web sites reported that the anti-antiwar group Move
America Forward was not quite as grassrootsy a response to Sheehan
as it first seemed, that it had, in fact, been launched by a
Sacramento public relations firm with strong connections to the
Those Web sites are right. While the online evidence has been
scrubbed that the PR firm Russo, Marsh, and Rogers actually put up
the Move America Forward Web site, Move America Forward still lists
as its chief strategist and one of its board members Sal Russo of
the PR firm Russo, Marsh, and Rogers.
And the Move America Forward fax number in that area code is
441-6057, while the Russo, Marsh, and Rogers fax number in that area
code is 441-6057.
You see, RM&R is more than a "public relations" firm. RM&R
lists the "President of the United States" as one of its
clients. And, they have run some presidential campaigns themselves,
including those of Orrin Hatch and Jack Kemp.
On July 13, RJB posted this on http://whpsocal.blogspot.com
(the blog "Words Have Power")
Move America Forward is a political astroturf
organization that collects money and mailing lists for right wing PR
firm Russo, Marsh and Rogers.
Move America Forward's current media focus is its so called
"Truth Tour," a collection of right wing radio talkers
passing on good news from Iraq. Billed as a "Voices of the
Soldiers," the whole scam is designed to promote Move America
Forward and their agenda. Kaloogian and his allies are using the
military as a front for the vital fund raising work of the far
right's propaganda machine.
If you haven't eaten yet, check out the Move America Forward site.
It is dominated by the wall paper of the ultra-right, with a
completely political focus.
Troops...troops..? Oh yeah, we have a coffee
and cookie drive going for them and don't forget we need money for
ads to get the UN out of the US. By the way, have you contributed to
our campaign to oust Dick Durbin?
On July 4th -- Independence Day from those
who seek to undermine our national resolve - we will begin a
television ad campaign to hold Senator Dick Durbin accountable for
his denouncement of our troops.
However, we need your help to raise the remaining money for airtime
in just a few days time.
We are about $174,832 short of our initial budget for the ad
campaign. That means we need just 6,993 Americans to contribute an
average of $25 to the ad campaign.
But it really goes further than that: These
"clients" of the Bush White House have been behind the
"protest" that caused CBS to cancel its showing of the
Reagan miniseries (Kaloogian and Russo, et al); the attacks on
"Fahrenheit 9-11" and the Gray Davis recall. Kaloogian (the
"Chair" of MAF) was the "taxpayer hero" who, well,
read HIS PR:
Producing the illusion of broad grass roots support by top down
actions. For example: A templated Letter to the Editor expressing
wingnut outrage at an imagined liberal offense that is duplicated
and sent to city newspapers across the country as if it were penned
by a local reader. Local papers never fail to publish the artificial
letters and thus OpEd pages from coast-to-coast are carpeted with
artificial grass or 'Astroturf'.
-- from the "Kossary" at dailykos.com]
Assemblyman Kaloogian made history as Chairman of
the Recall Gray Davis Committee, an effort which ousted Democrat
Governor Gray Davis from office. Kaloogian set up the Recall Gray
Davis Committee and its website, www.RecallGrayDavis.com, even
fighting off members of his own party who were too timid to act.
Davis became the first statewide elected official recalled in
And from the defendreagan website:
Considering Ronald Reagan to be one of his political heroes,
Kaloogian agreed to lead the Defend Reagan Committee (website:
www.DefendReagan.org). He led hundreds of thousands of Reagan
supporters across America to fight against the smear campaign waged
against Reagan by CBS, Viacom and Showtime with their anti-Reagan
production, "The Reagans." So many Reagan supporters
flooded the offices of CBS and their sponsors with complaints that
the movie was cancelled on network television. [from the recall
Howard Kaloogian is Chairman of the Defend Reagan
Committee (website: http://www.defendreagan.org/
). He is a former California State Assemblyman (Republican) and was
also Chairman of the successful Recall Gray Davis Committee, which
in October recalled Governor Gray Davis from office -- the first
time a governor had been recalled in California's history.
And then, this damning little tidbit:
Defend Reagan Committee
P.O. Box 1445
Sacramento, CA 95812
Sal Russo -- Chief Political Advisor
So, these are much, much more than people
"with ties" to the Republicans. These are Republicans who
make their living from doing Swift Boat operations for the Rove Black
Bag Unit of the White House and the GOP. In 2000, the pulled in over
$2 million (the PR firm, not MAF) from strictly Republican candidates
Mr. Russo has spent over 30 years in the field of political
consulting and public affairs.
Mr. Russo began his political career as a special assistant to
Governor Ronald Reagan after serving as a volunteer in his 1966
gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Russo later founded his own political
consulting firm in 1976.
Sal Russo has been at the forefront of some of the most prominent
national, state and local campaigns, including the election of
Governor George Deukmejian (1982), Senator Alfonse D'Amato, New York
(1992), Governor George Pataki, New York (1994), presidential bids
by Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch and The Recall of Governor Gray
Absent an actual pay stub, I couldn't prove in a court of law that
Russo Marsh + Rogers are putting on these pageants on behalf of the
White House, but their brags give the game away. There can be no doubt
that the "smoking gun" in this PR game is in the hand of
RS&R -- a hand that's significantly clad in surgical gloves.
Unfortunately, they didn't quite cover up all the traces.
According to "What Really Happened"
Note that the report came during the original MAF
attack: Trying to get theaters NOT to show Michael Moore's
"Fahrenheit 911" in 2004. But RS&R registered the domain
in 2003, evidently anticipating the creation of their astroturf golem.
The coverup is probably more significant than the ownership
information. It tells us a lot about how these people work, and think.
June 12, 2004
WHO PAYS THE BILLS FOR "MOVEAMERICAFORWARD.ORG"
A web site has launched a campaign to deter theater owners from
showing Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9-11". A list of
theaters currently committed to showing the film is provided along
with exhortations to call and demand that the film be dropped. Some
theater owners are reporting receiving death threats.
This web site, "www.moveamericaforward.org", is actually
an alias for "www.moveamericaforward.com". A DNS check
reveals that "www.moveamericaforward.com" is being run by
a Public Relations firm out of San Francisco. [sic]
Russo Marsh & Rogers [emphasis added]
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
Domain name: MOVEAMERICAFORWARD.COM
Lorenz, Douglas email@example.com
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-441-3734 Fax: 916-441-6057
that fax number again!]
Lorenz, Douglas firstname.lastname@example.org
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-441-3734 Fax: 916-441-6057
that fax number again!]
Registrar of Record: easyDNS Technologies, Inc.
Record last updated on 18-Nov-2003.
Record expires on 18-Nov-2004.
Record created on 18-Nov-2003.
Domain servers in listed order:
PDF file of original WHOIS info for MoveAmericaForward.org showing
ownership and administration by Russo Marsh & Rogers.
Russo Marsh & Rogers is a political public relations firm with
strong ties to the GOP. Sal Russo, a principle in Russo Marsh &
Rogers, served as advisor for the "Recall Grey Davis"
So, I guess we know just who is behind the campaign of threats and
harassment against theaters showing Moore's film!
UPDATE: Following the first publication of this article, the WHOIS
database for moveamericaforward.org has been changed to conceal
their links to Russo Marsh & Rogers.
Created On:18-Nov-2003 18:00:16 UTC
Last Updated On:12-Jun-2004 22:50:51 UTC
Expiration Date:18-Nov-2004 18:00:16 UTC
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
Registrant Name:Howard Kaloogian
Registrant Name:Howard Kaloogian
Registrant Organization:Move America Forward
Registrant Street1:P.O. Box 1863
Registrant Postal Code:95812
that fax number again!]
Admin Name:Howard Kaloogian
Admin Organization:Move America Forward
Admin Street1:P.O. Box 1863
Admin Postal Code:95812
Tech Organization:Move America Forward
Tech Street1:P.O. Box 1863
Tech Postal Code:95812
Note the phone number on the above record, 9164416192. It's actually
the phone nuber of a BAR in Sacramento called "The Downtown
Purgatory".! The FAX number 1.9164416057 is the FAX number for
Russo Marsh & Rogers
ANOTHER UPDATE - The DNS record for moveamericaforward.org has been
changed yet agian to remove all names.Nothing is left now but the
name server lookups and the registration company. The registrar's
name has been removed.
Sal Russo himself is still listed on the MoveAmericaForward site.
And now, on Saturday, their bogus group "You Don't Speak for Me,
Cindy!" will be holding a rally in Crawford, Texas tomorrow
(Saturday). Michelle Malkin ... er, WHOOPS! Melanie Morgan will fly in
to "lead" the "protest rally."
In other words, the PR arm of the White House, paid for by the White
House, has put together a "tour" to protest the protesters.
So watch the news media coverage of this phony event.
Oh, and note how close they come to the "10,000"
counter-demonstrators they have been PROMISING during their tour from
the Bay Area down to San Diego, and thence, over to Crawford, Texas.
I have a story to finish here, and I don't quite
know how to do it. I've been immersed in the data stream for most of
the day, now, and I've absorbed a nearly toxic dose of hate from
right-wing websites. There are too many lies to even begin to
untangle in any kind of rigorous manner: the simple fact is that
tracking down these endless incestuous interconnections and front
groups is akin to tracing the lineage of Qliphotic demons.
And he who touches is touched.
Where was I?
A. The Den of Serpents
First, a correction that will take us into it: The "front"
group for all of this is "Move America Forward," and not,
as I've erroneously reported "Move Forward America." The
acronym is, therefore, MAF, and not, as I mistakenly stated MFA --
which are the initials for a phrase that describes these weasels
more precisely, if less politely.
But the real reason that I can't seem to keep their name in focus is
that it's transparently a ripoff of MoveOn.org -- which was founded
(I've been there from the beginning) as a petition movement to MOVE
ON and end the whole malignant impeachment. MAF is a hollow shell, a
golem, an undead thing: a monstrosity that flickers in and out of
existence in memory like a will o' the wisp.
MAF, as reported, was created out of whole cloth by Sacramento
Political Consultants Russo Marsh & Rogers. According to Mike
Malloy, when you call MAF, you get the RMR receptionist. We already
know that RMR registered the domain, and covered up their
involvement. But something came to light today that cements their
connection to the "inner circle" of the GOP even more
According to Source Watch -- a project of the Center for Media &
Retrieved from http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Russo_Watts_%26_Rollins
Russo Watts & Rollins
Russo Watts & Rollins is a Republican political consulting
firm based in Sacramento, California.
Ed Rollins (partner)
Sal Russo (partner). Also a principal in Russo Marsh and Rogers.
Doug Watts (partner)
Bill R. Phillips (1987-88)
Nancy J. Risque was from June 1986 Vice President with Russo,
Watts & Rollins, after which she went on to be Assistant to
the President and Cabinet Secretary under president Reagan in
February 1987. 
Another unindicted co-conspirator from the Reagan
era, in other words.
Ed Rollins is a pollster and political consultant, best known for
his work on the 1984 Ronald Reagan relection campaign and as
Co-Chairman and Campaign Manager of Ross Perot's 1992 Presidential
campaign.  (http://www.edwardsly.com/whitmanc.htm
Following the 1992 elections, during a breakfast debriefing,
Rollins admitted to journalists that one factor in the success of
Christine Todd Whitman in the New Jersey governor's race against
incumbent Democrat Jim Florio had been the distribution of
"walking around" money to influential persons in
inner-city precincts, including African-American pastors.
According to Rollins, workers who had been hired to help get out
the Democratic vote were told, "How much have they paid you
to do your normal duty? . . . We'll match it. Go home, sit, and
watch television." In addition, Rollins said, "We went
into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had
endorsed Florio, 'Do you have a special project?' And they said,
'We've already endorsed Florio.' And we said, 'That's fine, don't
get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. . . . Don't get up there
and say it's your moral obligation that you go out on Tuesday and
vote for Jim Florio.'" Ministers who cooperated, Rollins
said, received contributions to their "favorite
charities." As a result, Rollins said, "I think, to a
certain extent, we suppressed their vote."
Subsequently, the Democrats launched a lawsuit as Rollins'
comments were alleged to be an admission of illegal behavior. When
cross-examined by Democratic attorneys, Rollins claimed that his
comments had been no more than part of a "psychological
warfare" game he was playing with James Carville, the
campaign manager for Whitman's opponent. A federal grand jury
investigation proceeded, but eventually the grand jury concluded
that no evidence had been presented to show that any laws had been
A biographical note describes Rollins as having worked as
Assistant to the President for Political Affairs in Reagan's first
term and then as "the national Campaign Director for his 1984
re-election campaign". He then rejoined the Administration as
Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Political
and Governmental Affairs.  (http://www.ashbrook.org/events/lecture/1992/rollins.html
Prior to working for Reagan, Rollins worked as the Republican
chief of staff, Principal Assistant to the Republican Leader, and
Assistant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly.
"Rollins has held managerial positions outside of politics
including stints as a university administrator, college instructor
in Public Administration, Dean of the faculty of the National Fire
Academy, head of Congressional relations for the U.S. Department
of Transportation and as a management consultant to major U.S. and
international Fortune 500 companies," his biographical note
Now, the criticism might be made here, and following, that I am
creating guilt by association, but I will argue that this approach
is entirely fit and proper: these vultures have torn at too many
carcasses together, for too many years NOT to appreciate the gestalt
that they've created politically: the smears, the manipulation of
media, of polling, of slandering and other dirty tricks to win at
all costs. So, no, this is NOT guilt by association. It is merely
shared complicity. So:
Meanwhile, Source Watch notes this about RM&R:
In June 2004, RM+R formed a front organization called Move America
Forward. Its stated aim was to "to stand up and support the
brave men and women of our Armed Forces"  (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/
). However its chief preoccupation seemed to be a campaign against
the showing of Fahrenheit 9/11 (movie 2004) in movie theaters.
In July 2005, O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that "the Kurdistan
Regional Government has hired Republican lobby firm Russo Marsh
& Rogers to get 'free media' to promote the interests of the
Kurds in the post-Saddam Hussein Iraq."
One goal of the Kurdish leaders is "the return of Kirkuk,"
an oil-rich northern Iraqi city populated by Kurdish and Turkmen
people. O'Dwyer's notes that the head of RM&R, Sal Russo, is
no stranger to international politics, having "worked on the
campaign of Violetta Chamorro in Nicaragua." The Kurdish
contract was announced as Move America Forward, a group RM&R
helped found and whose "chief strategist" is Russo, is
going to Iraq. Move America Forward's "Truth Tour" is
bringing conservative talk radio hosts to Iraq, to "report
the good news on Operation Iraqi Freedom you're not hearing from
the old line news media."  (http://www.odwyerpr.com/members/0705kurds.htm
RM&R principal Joe Wierzbicki told journalist Bill Berkowitz
that his firm's Kurdish campaign "will thank the American
people for supporting the war in Iraq, and encourage Americans to
visit and invest in the Kurdish region."
Yep. RM&R is the "PR" firm for the Kurds, as of July.
One might well ask HOW this plum assignment was procured. But that
would imply that the Bush Administration is handing out contracts to
its cronies, and, while I'm not going to go that far, here, you
should note that the "PR" firm of Russo Marsh and Rogers
has a vested financial interest in maintaining a US presence in Iraq
for as long as possible.
But here, let me tie this all back to the Swift Boat Moms in
Winnebagos, and Melanie Morgan, courtesy of (apparently) Michelle
Malkin, posting on Sean Hannity's website:
"... Radio Hosts Joining the
Do you recognize those radio hosts? Of course,
you probably don't. They are the SAME radio hosts who accompanied
Melanie Morgan (at taxpayer expense) to Iraq for the Right Wing
talkers' "Truth Tour." And keep in mind that Melanie
Morgan is the "Chair" or "Co Chair" or
"Vice Chair" of Move America Forward, along with Howard
Kahoolian, ex-California legislator, failed U.S. Senate candidate,
failed recall gubernatorial candidate, and current leader of MAF.
Kahoolian was prominent in the sound bites, today.
Talk radio hosts are helping to promote this event -- with many
joining the caravan along the way.
The caravan kicks off in San Francisco where Melanie Morgan of
KSFO 560 AM will lead her listeners along the first leg of the
caravan. Morgan will also travel to Dallas, Texas on Friday to
join the final two legs of the caravan into Crawford.
"For the past few weeks this nation has heard from those
voices in America who advocate surrender in the war against
terrorism. Now, it's time to hear from the other side of this
debate. We are going to rally Americans together to show the
terrorists overseas that our nation has not lost its resolve nor
its nerve to prevail in the fight against their violent, extremist
agenda," said Melanie Morgan who serves as Chairman of Move
When the caravan arrives in Sacramento, California it will stop
off at the studios of KFBK 1530 AM -- where KFBK's Mark Williams
will interview the caravan attendees as he fills in for the
"Tom Sullivan Show." Williams will get live reports on
the caravan each day before he flies to Dallas, Texas on Friday to
join the final two legs of the caravan into Crawford.
"Since our region of northern California is the place Cindy
Sheehan calls home, we owe it to the nation to present another
voice from this area. That's why Deborah Johns, the Marine mother,
and I are heading to Crawford, Texas. We have a message for the
President and the American people: Now is not the time to pull our
support from the heroic mission our sons and daughters are serving
in Iraq," said Williams.
Talk show host Martha Zoller of WDUN 550 AM Atlanta/Gainesville is
also heading to Dallas to join the final two legs of the caravan
and she's invited her listeners to come down for the caravan and
pro-troop rally in Crawford on August 27th -- to stand by her
"I am going on the "you don't speak for me, Cindy"
tour because of the American heroes who have lost their lives in
the Global War on Terror. Casey Sheehan is an American hero and he
had to live with the knowledge that his mother didn't understand
what he was doing...he had to die with that knowledge, too. The
media has elevated Cindy Sheehan as the voice of those families
who have lost loved ones, but Cindy Sheehan speaks for a very
small minority. We're going to tell the rest of the story
now," said Zoller.
Also traveling from the Atlanta area is Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson
(Ret. -- U.S. Air Force) who broadcasts "The Buzz Cut"
radio show on the RighTalk Radio Network.
Patterson shares something in common with the other talk show
hosts heading to Crawford, Texas -- he just returned from Iraq as
part of the 10-day "Voices of Soldiers" tour.
"Our troops serving in Iraq made it very clear that they
believe in the mission they are serving in. We must stand by them
now, for if we don't we only will embolden the terrorists who are
doing everything they can to weaken America's resolve. If we turn
our backs on the mission in Iraq now, then our sons and daughters
who have been killed in this conflict will have died in
vain," said Patterson.
Additionally, caravans to Crawford to join the August 27th rally
are being planned from Louisiana, Florida, Connecticut and other
areas throughout the nation. Many caravans are being organized in
conjunction with the supporters of Free Republic at their website,
Starting Wednesday this week, Move America Forward will begin
airing a 60-second television commercial promoting the
"Support Our Troops & Their Mission" rally in
Crawford, Texas. The ad is expected to air nationwide on cable
news networks. You can view the ad online at the Move America
Forward website -- www.MoveAmericaForward.org
Move America Forward will provide continuous updates on the
caravan and rally at its website -- www.MoveAmericaForward.org
Now that you know a little about them, let's focus on one, in
particular, Mark Williams.
B. Sacramento Republican Stooges
It's no accident that so many of the players here are intimately
connected with Sacramento. RS&R is a Sacramento "public
relations" firm, of course. ("Public relations" here
is strictly a PR euphemism for "partisan demons from
hell"). And Ed Rollins was a Sacramento denizen who went to
Washington with old Ronnie Reagan. As did Sol Russo start on
Reagan's 1966 gubernatorial campaign.
And that brings us to Mark Williams, Sacramento talk show host,
another Hannity wannabe in the city that spawned Rush Limbaugh --
remember that Limbaugh's format and radio success came with his
Sacramento talk show. It was there that he coined "feminazis"
and "liberal" as a dirty word.
When they kicked him upstairs directly to New York City, he left
every crypto-fascist wannabe in Sacramento with the dream that he,
too could someday be Rush.
And there is little doubt from Williams' demeanor that he cherishes
the Dream. Here, to bring us current, is a partial transcript from
his August 22 appearance on "Hardball" on MSNBC (Note,
O'Donnell is guest hosting for Chris Matthews):
O'DONNELL: Let me bring in Mark Williams, who
is a radio talk show host and is launching his caravan tour from
California, heading to Crawford today.
But, at this point, I realize that I may have
stretched your patience to the breaking point, and you are asking
yourself, What does this have to do with Sacramento?
Why have you launched this tour?
MARK WILLIAMS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the pontifications of a
self-serving Democrat political candidate notwithstanding, this
tour is neither anti-Cindy Sheehan, nor is it pro-war.
I have not spoken with a single individual in the last three years
who is pro-war, nor anybody who is anti-Cindy Sheehan. What we are
against is the damage she is causing. I just got back from Iraq,
talking with the troops, talking with the Iraqis. And I see the
damage that's done by pathetic creatures like the woman I'm
talking to and Cindy Sheehan.
O'DONNELL: What specifically do you mean, Mark?
WILLIAMS: I'm about to get to that.
When they get up there and they present this country as divided,
as still arguing issues that were decided, debated and voted on
three years ago, that both demoralizes our troops and invigorates
the insurgency. And it's no mistake that the lion's share of the
violence is in and around Baghdad. That's where there are more
Western news cameras per capita than probably any other city on
the planet Earth. Where they see this kind of division, they use
it as a fund-raiser and a recruiting tool.
ROWLEY: Mark, if you don't mind, you're making the case that Cindy
Sheehan is hurting the morale of our troops?
WILLIAMS: She is aiding and abetting the enemies of this country
and the people who killed her son.
WILLIAMS: Right now, Casey Sheehan is spinning in his grave.
O'DONNELL: Coleen, can I get your response to that?
ROWLEY: Well, I actually was called a traitor even for speaking
out before the war was begun and cautioning officials that it
would prove counterproductive.
If we fall into this other speaker's mode, we simply will not have
a country that is acting judiciously, because we will all simply
have to be quiet. We won't have our freedom of speech either and
we will-none of us will be able to challenge incorrect and
actually very dangerous policies.
WILLIAMS: Once again, this was debated, voted on, decided three
years ago. We have men and women right now dying on our behalf and
on behalf of the Iraqis.
It's our obligation as a society to stand up and support those men
and women and make sure that the 1,800-plus who are now dead
didn't die in vain. And I'm not quite sure what your alternative
is, but perhaps we should open the doors to Saddam Hussein's
prison cell, reinsert him as the leader of that country, allow him
to start feeding people into wood chippers again feet first, give
him back the chemical weapons and nerve gas weapons that the
United States and that the United Nations was in there destroying,
rescind the war authorization of 1991, and just go along our merry
way, with our apologies to all of his future victims.
WILLIAMS: What about the 300,000 in mass graves that he engaged in
acts of genocide?
WILLIAMS: If this was anything but an American action, the
American left would be all over the White House to get involved in
O'DONNELL: Coleen, can I ask you what is-please. You may respond,
but, also, what is the alternative? The president saying again
that we-that a policy of retreat and isolationism will not bring
us safety. What is the policy of the Democratic Party? You're a
Democrat. What is it? Cindy Sheehan seems to be advocating cut and
run. Is that what you embrace?
ROWLEY: Well, I'm just going to back up.
The last speaker, of course, kind of exhibits this mentality that
has not allowed us to have a fair debate. When he said that we
debated this and voted on it, he is ignoring what most Americans
know now -- now know, that the weapons of mass destruction
arguments that were used were very misleading, false and
WILLIAMS: Tell the 300,000 people of Saddam's chemical weapons.
O'DONNELL: Mark, she's allowed you to finish.
WILLIAMS: Why did John Kerry vote to authorize this war? Why did,
through his entire presidency, Bill Clinton advocate taking down
O'DONNELL: Mark, we play polite on this show.
Coleen, you may finish.
O'DONNELL: Yes, I'm going to go to your question, then, because,
again, I think most Americans know that this was not presented in
a very honest manner.
And I think there are answers now. I think we actually do have a
potential to stabilize Iraq. That's what winning should look like.
It should be stabilizing that country and stopping the violence in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
WILLIAMS: And how do we do that? By cutting and running and
leaving them to their fate? Well, that's exactly what we're doing.
I just came back from there. I saw the soldiers going out. I went
out with them. I saw them giving food and candy and toys to the
kids. I saw the Iraqis crowd around their Humvees and thank them
for being there. I had Iraqis walk up to me and thank me for being
there and telling me to tell America not to leave them to their
fate. Stabilize it? That's exactly what we're doing.
Well, let me answer that question and one more besides:
Date: 18 May 2004
Yup. Not only has Williams been working with
Deborah Johns (the Swift Boat Winnebago Mom) but they've known each
other for some time ... and not always for nice little photo ops.
Deborah Johns was featured on the popular Mark Williams Show on
KFBK tonight with an update from her son Will in Iraq and a
progress report to KFBK's listeners on the Yellow Ribbon Day
Project leaders and staff should take advantage of the opportunity
to briefly highlight your project for Saturday on Night Talk Live
- 7 to 10:00 week nights. Tell Mark's listeners what your doing,
why and your hopes for the future. Include your website
www.patriotwatch.com and don't be shy to ask for volunteers.
Johns lives in the Sacramento area. Williams' station is in ... you
guessed it ... Sacramento, California, the capitol of California,
and home (formerly) to the Gipper and (currently) the Gropenator.
Oh, and KFBK?
"NewsTalk 1530 KFBK launched the talk
radio career of Rush Limbaugh in 1984, where he tackled the issues
of the day with tenacity and vigor. Since his humble beginnings in
Sacramento, Rush's popularity has skyrocketed and he is currently
broadcasting on well over 600 radio stations nationwide with an
estimated audience of nearly 20 million people. There's no doubt
that Rush Limbaugh is a powerhouse in AM radio, as well as a
testament to talk radio."
from the KFBK website: http://www.kfbk.com/rush.html
C. The Plot Thickens
Deborah Johns didn't just appear out of nowhere, nor did Cindy
Sheehan ignite her anger. She's been an angry zealot for a long time
now, and, as if it were surprising, in cahoots with Mark Williams,
who currently warms the Rush Limbaugh chair at KFBK in Sacramento,
The Conclusion: WALPURGISNACHT
"We have long since lost count of all
the historic turning points and fast-evaporating victories hyped
by this president. The toppling of Saddam's statue, "Mission
Accomplished," the transfer of sovereignty and the purple
fingers all blur into a hallucinatory loop of delusion."
In the end, it didn't amount to much: the
"ten thousand" counter-demonstrators didn't show up, the
media didn't pay much attention, the pro-war crowd showed themselves
to be either thugs, buffoons, or both; the ever-compliant Angela K.
Brown of the Associated Press mindlessly equivalenced the whole
thing as "dueling demonstrations" -- a brain-dead idiot
observation that was rapidly adopted as the "hook" by most
of the rest of the MSM. Aand talk-show host Melanie Morgan was
reduced to yelling about numbers on today's Sean Hannity show.
-- Frank Rich, THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 28, 2005
Most media reported about fifteen hundred
"counter-demonstrators" or "pro-war"
demonstrators at the pep rally at Crawford, Texas' (pop. 700)
appropriately named "Pirate field."
That's right, campers, the Crawford high school mascot is the
pirate. No wonder the Idiot Bastard Son feels at home there. (cf.
Frank Zappa, "We're Only In It For the Money.")
The actual California "caravan" group (and its joiners
along the way) only comprised twelve or fifteen vehicles, with
additional troops bused in. According to reports, several chartered
buses were cancelled when no riders could be found to ride on them.
The Move Forward America spin machine originally claimed 3,000
pro-war warriors, but, by this afternoon, Melanie Morgan -- the
oh-so-self-promoting KSFO hate jock who doubles as the Move Forward
America co-chair -- was claiming 4,000.
And, in an eerie bit of synchronicity, CNN radio, notable for its
invariable choice of the most right-wing sound bite, or the one that
upholds the Administration's point of view, decided to run Deborah
Johns' mischaracterization of Cindy Sheehan's statements along with
her moral high dudgeon. This vile bit of Straw Man fallacy would
have passed right off of MY radar ... except I happened to be
working on this piece, and had in front of me, the exact transcript
of her sound bite -- give to hate radio talk jock Mark Williams on KFBK
in Sacramento a week earlier.
Here 'tis: "Cindy Sheehan made the comment that our
military men and women that carry a gun are nothing more than
terrorists, and that the true freedom fighters are the ones that are
fighting against our men and women over there in Iraq," Johns
said. "That's a pretty twisted statement to make."
Well, it matches her "boots on the ground" statement. MAF managed to get an AP story out of it, and something over 600 papers,
blogs and TV stations picked up on it: "It absolutely
mushroomed, but that's our liberal media*," said Johns.
"They continue to like to hear the negative and not the
positive that's going on."
(*Note the code use of the phony term "liberal media."
Having turned "liberal" into a dirty word, the following
campaign is to add "media" to it, so that the
snivelization of the neocon slandery can thus emerge triumphant.
Thus far, they are succeeding.)
Which is the whole purpose of the PR campaign: create a false
"counter-movement," push the patriotic button, find shills
to scream that Cindy Sheehan "doesn't speak for me,"
scream that their son's name is on one of the crosses in Crawford
... WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION!!
Funny. I don't note any of these "patriots" minding that
the Bush Administration is slapping ITS PR logo on the graves of the
Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon
This is public relations gone mad: smearing a
mother for asking why her son was killed, after a phony PR campaign
to sell a phony war; slapping their PR slogan on the graves of the
dead; hiding the actual casualty numbers (you have to have DIED in
action to be counted. Dying in the ambulance doesn't count); hiding
the caskets, and, finally, hiding from Cindy Sheehan behind the
fence -- helicoptering in and out of the ranch (at enormous public
expense) so that Mad King George won't be troubled by having to look
at the protesters through armored doors and tinted, bullet-proof
Associated Press; August 24, 2005
ARLINGTON, Va. - Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington
National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or
Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the
Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.
Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have
the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved
with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation
Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in
Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes
the operation names.
The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are
inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank,
military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and
foreign country in which the person served.
Families are supposed to have final approval over what goes on the
tombstones. That hasn't always happened ...."
Where, I would submit, is the reality principle here? Hell, the
counter-protester site at Camp Casey I -- demonstrably almost never
visited -- has the Orwellian moniker "Camp Reality." What?
You might note that one of the hallmarks of the modern political PR
campaign (and never found in actual human beings) is the repetition
of simple slogans; the endless reiteration of soundbites.
All of which only reinforces the conclusion that Deborah Johns was
recruited (probably through Mike Williams of KFBK, Sacramento, the
"birthplace" of Rush Limbaugh) for this Russo Marsh and
And make no mistake: this IS a counter-attack. CAPITOL HILL BLUE
reports (and, while apocryphal, it seems too true to deny, given
Bush's VIRTUALLY UNREPORTED flipping off the press last month!):
Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White
By DOUG THOMPSON
Jun 4, 2004, 02:17
President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide
mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides
privately express growing concern over their leader's state of
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the
President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene
tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he
classifies as "enemies of the state."
Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge,
increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a
public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.
"It reminds me of the Nixon days," says a longtime GOP
political consultant with contacts in the White House.
"Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's
the mood over there."
Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White
So, don't doubt for a minute that the RM&R
"Move America Forward" campaign is anything OTHER than
revenge and counter-attack. Bush cut short his vacation to
"tour" Idaho and Utah (and Arizona and San Diego today
while the hurricane devastated "Bush Country") because one
mother asking one simple question has completely unmanned him.
By DOUG THOMPSON
Aug 25, 2005, 06:19
While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a
last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble
frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an
increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts
at anyone who dares disagree with him.
"I'm not meeting again with that goddamned bitch," Bush
screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan,
the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. "She can go
to hell as far as I'm concerned!"
Bush flashes the bird, something aides say he does often and has
been doing since his days as governor of Texas.
Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into
tirades over those who protest the war, calling them "motherfucking
traitors." He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of
Foreign Wars members who wore "bullshit protectors" over
their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he
told aides to "tell those VFW assholes that I'll never speak
to them again if they can't keep their members under
White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over
mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority
of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the
"Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say," he
screamed at a recent strategy meeting. "I'm the President and
I'll do whatever I goddamned please. They don't know shit."
Bush, while setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA
bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say
the President often "flips the bird" to show his
displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to "go to
hell" or to "go fuck yourself." His habit of giving
people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides
admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were
widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent
video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking
also recently surfaced.
Mr. "Guts" and "Noble Purpose," right?
And his harridan is Deborah Johns.
Lord knows, she's had some practice. Here's one of those amazing
documents that puts all the perpetrators at the scene of the crime,
hands locked, arms linked, and I'll let you figure out how intimate
the connections run:
From [Melanie Morgan's] KSFO webpages:
Sacramento Bee story on anti-war protest
Anti-war display a flash point
And, just for fun, here's Mark Williams on Fox
News talking about Cindy Sheehan (while hyping Deborah John's
Outrage at Land Park pair's use of uniform may stifle dialogue.
By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, February 15, 2005
An American soldier's uniform has become a lightning rod for anger
and anguish after a Land Park couple posted it on their house,
accompanied by anti-war signs.
Talk radio has jumped aboard. TV crews filmed it reportedly being
torn down. Cable news and Internet bloggers have given it a
national audience. Military family supporters are planning a
It makes a crucial point, though, said one of the pair, Stephen
"It's a message of dissent over the war in Iraq. ... The
soldiers are being left out to hang" under misguided American
policy paid for with U.S. tax dollars, he said.
"We are decent people. We do have reasonable views,"
said his wife, Virginia Pearcy.
The Pearcys, both attorneys, have placed uniform displays outside
their home twice -- and twice they were torn down, most recently
on Monday. Stephen Pearcy said they'll keep on mounting displays
to provoke important discussion.
Still, Deborah Johns of Roseville, co-founder of Marine Moms and
Military Families, has asked police to investigate the Pearcy
display as a hate crime.
"My son wears that uniform every day. It's an insult to hang
it up like that."
Johns said she has never heard an anti-war message that strikes
her as truly respectful and kind.
All she wants is to have someone say they respect what her son
believes in and is trying to do -- before they tell her they're
against the war, or even against all wars and all military forces.
The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the
hate crime allegation and expects to have a decision in a few
A man identified by police as Bryan Mathew O'Malley went to
authorities with his lawyer Monday to discuss last week's removal
of the Pearcys' display, and his name will be forwarded to
prosecutors with a vandalism report, said Sacramento Police Sgt.
Justin Risley. Police are looking into the second removal.
A Sacramento-based group called Move America Forward, which
describes itself as a national movement to support U.S. troops,
has called for a candlelight vigil outside the home in the 2700
block of Marty Way at 7 p.m. today to send its own message of
dismay. "We believe this family has the right to free speech
... but speaking freely does not mean all sentiments should be
warmly embraced," said Siobhan Guiney, executive director.
The Pearcys say they'll be there and hope their friends and allies
will be, too.
And Mark Williams, a Sacramento talk radio host whose "Night
Talk Live" show airs on KFBK (1530 AM), is offering a $100
reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of
the vandals -- while still deploring what he considers an attack
on America's military, perpetrated by those who hate America.
From the August 24 edition of Fox News Live:
WILLIAMS: Cindy Sheehan is on a mission to
figuratively urinate on her son's grave and make his death stand
for nothing. She represents and symbolizes all those who would cut
the legs out from the men and women who are fighting now as we
speak, to defend us and to build a new country in Iraq. Cindy
Sheehan's not interested in the memory of her son. She's only
interested in using her son as a prop to advance her own hatred
for the American troops. I've got to tell you something: Since we
started our "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" tour caravan
to Crawford -- I'll be speaking there, at the Crawford community
center Saturday -- I've received hundreds, hundreds of death
threats from Cindy Sheehan's supporters because I dare to speak
out and support our troops. My dog is getting death threats, for
God's sakes. These people aren't peaceful. These people aren't
anti-war. These people are creeps who hate this country and
everything it stands for.
WILLIAMS: Cindy Sheehan has been at every pro-America, pro-troop
rally that I've staged for the past year to demonstrate against
those concepts. She's one of our local whack-jobs here. She's --
I'm sure she misses her son -- but he's far more valuable to her
as a propaganda tool for she [sic] and her friends, and you're
right, the president met with her on June 24, 2004. She didn't
have enough nice things to say about him when she came out of that
meeting. It's only as she's become more radicalized that she's
adopted her son's death as some sort of cause celebre.
The Mike Williams/Deborah Johns connection is a strong one, and more
Let's start out with a seemingly "innocent" connection, www.caseyskids.org
I know. It's a "cute" little dog that's asking for money
to give stuff to Iraqi kids. Innocent, right? Read on:
"Welcome to CASEY'S KIDS-TO-KIDS!
Oh, and this at the bottom:
My name is Holly Williams. When my husband, KFBK Sacramento, CA
radio talk show host, Mark Williams, and I, traveled to Iraq with
a group of other talk show hosts and documentarians for a week in
July 2005, we got to see first-hand the country and the people. We
were able to visit our troops and see the good works that they are
accomplishing over there.
And so on behalf of myself, Deborah Johns,
co-founder of Northern California Marine Moms and Siobhan Guiney,
of Voices of Soldiers 2005, please help us and Casey help the
children of Iraq. Please donate whatever amount you can give to
help us get these essential supplies to the children of Iraq.
Yeah. THAT Deborah Johns. Oh, and
"Casey"? He's SUPPOSED to be a dog they found. But what
are the odds that it's a coincidence, given the long enmity towards
Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq? Either way,
Mark Williams and Deborah Johns are MORE than just close pals. But
it's an "innocent" endeavor, right?
Please send a check to "CASEY'S KIDS-TO-KIDS," 4120
Douglas Blvd. #306-442, Granite Bay, CA 95746 or please click on
the "Donate Here" tab on the menu to the upper left.
Thank you for your generosity and please keep visiting our website
where you can see how CASEY'S KIDS-TO-KIDS is helping the Iraqi
Holly Williams, CEO
Deborah Johns, CFO
Siobhan Guiney, Secretary
CASEY - Once lost, Forever found.
Well, not so innocent. First, the domain was "Created On:
02-Aug-2005 21:16:42 UTC" according to domain registrar easyDNS
And the fellow who registered it?
According to SOURCEWATCH:
Douglas Lorenz is the Advisory
Board Director of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which describes
itself on its website as 'The conscience of the Republican Party'.
Hmmm. Wasn't Howard Kahoolian the HEAD of Recall
Gray Davis? And wasn't Sol Russo (of Russo, Marsh & Rogers) the
advisor and PR agent of Recall Gray Davis? And isn't Lorenz their
(and, therefore MAF's) computer database guy?
Lorenz started out in 1990 as the principal in his San Francisco
based computer consulting firm, Lorenz Technologies. According to
a biographical note he then returned to college where he
"created the first online presence for the California College
Republicans" as well as completing a Bachelor of Arts degree
at California State University Sacramento in Public Relations,
with a minor in Economics.
"Douglas came to the political consulting firm Russo
Marsh and Rogers in 2000, and developed the company's
current information technologies capabilities. Subsequently,
during Bill Simon's campaign for Governor of California, Douglas
served as the campaign's Director of Information
Technologies...," his biographical note states.  (http://www.rlc.org/?p=Bios
Lorenz was also head of the advisory board of the Recall
Gray Davis campaign  (http://www.recallgraydavis.com/QA.asp).
Gee, these coincidences sure are getting thick.
And Lorenz is a piece of work, kiddies. Here's from a right-wing
blog thread: The Washington Note: Comment on Move America Forward's
Tally Supporting Bolton 216 (99%) to 2 (1%) :
Hey, just passing by to see how this line of
discussion is going and I thought I'd throw in some info...
OK. You get the point. I have more
"hits" showing the Mark Williams/ Deborah Johns connection:
Mark Williams posts on one of the Sacramento blogs that he and
Deborah Johns are friends and work closely together. That he's
writing a check to Johns' send stuff to the Marines charity, etc.
That they worked on the "Yellow Ribbon Campaign" to get a
"Yellow Ribbon Day" through the California Legislature
(there are lovely pictures of a triumphal Deborah Johns holding the
typically overwrought California proclamation of same in the Capitol
Some people earlier were discussing the issue of anti-semitism and
political ideology. When I was working with Move America Forward a
while back on the Michael Moore thing, we received the following
I've cut and pasted the message over completely. If you want to
write the woman who wrote that message, I have included the email
address that she sent her hate from, which appears to be a law
firm in Los Angeles...
Remember, if you want to find a group of people who are well and
truly anti-semitic, you need look no further than the United
Nations. They have a long history of coddling nations who are less
than subtle about their desires to eliminate Israel as a nation
and kill every Jew they can find.
Do you really believe that the nations which the U.N. represents
are working in the best interests of the American public? And if
they aren't, then why should we be giving them our money? Even
hard-core liberals should be able to find a lot better things to
spend this money on...
My two cents...
Posted by Douglas Lorenz at March 23, 2005 03:27 PM
(Don't doubt that Ms. Deborah Johns is planning a political career.)
But the Swift Boat Mothers in Winnebagos tour was a bust. Melanie
Morgan's little stab at becoming a National Figure kind of fell
short -- not that it will stop her. She got on Hannity (FreeRepublic
reports that "Hannity almost came on" the "Truth
Tour") http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1434416/posts :
After a post from Melanie Morgan and Howard Kahoolian on the
"Truth Tour" to Iraq last month stating, in part:
"In addition to live shows broadcast by
the radio talk show hosts in attendance, we will also be providing
special reports and segments to Sean Hannity's nationally
a Freeper seemingly in-the-know (self-named Impeach98)
"Sean Hannity almost came on the trip -
and in fact if all goes according to plan Melanie will be calling
into the radio show. Not sure what the deal with the TV show is...
Melanie's working on this angle."
(For a recitation of the lies that came out of
that "Truth" tour, go to: http://mediamatters.org/items/200508240013
Ain't that sweet?
Casey's Kids. Sean Hannity. Recall Gray Davis. The Free Republic dot
Com. And the Department of Defense. Let's not forget them:
This was reported by Marie Therese (among others cited)
July 06, 2005
So, Howard Kahoolian and Melanie Morgan and
"Move Forward America" are taking free junkets at taxpayer
expense to help move the war effort forward for the Pentagon. And it
was evidently a successful junket at some level.
... According to Media Matters:
"Joining [Kaloogian] on the trip will be Melanie Morgan (KSFO,
San Francisco), Mark Williams (KFBK, Sacramento), Lt. Col. (USAF-Ret.)
Buzz Patterson, Martha Zoller (WDUN, Gainesville/Atlanta), Michael
Graham (WMAL, Washington, D.C.), two reporters from David
Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine and Center for the Study of Popular
Billboard Radio Monitor reported on July 5th:
"The Department of Defense has stepped up the number of
sponsored media tours it is bringing into Iraq and Central Asia.
The latest trip kicks off this Friday (July 8) and is sponsored,
in part, by DoD's office of Central Command, which is based in
Tampa, Fla., and is responsible for all military operations in the
area that includes Iraq and other parts of Central Asia."
The tour kicks off on Friday July 8th with a big "Thank You
BBQ" at CENTCOM HQ in Tampa, Florida. FOX News host Sean
Hannity's Radio Show, among others, will be carrying the
"live from" broadcasts.
DoD's Office of Media Outreach already sponsored a similar junket
in April, also reported by Billboard Radio Monitor:
"Seven talk show hosts and one
classic-rock radio personality are in Iraq, courtesy of the
Department of Defense, as part of a new initiative by the DoD's
Office of Media Outreach. In some cases, the hosts are
broadcasting live back to the U.S. or blogging or taping for
later broadcast. Virtually all expenses are being picked up by
the U.S. government, with the exception of broadcasters
providing their own means of broadcasting or delivering their
But, as I said, the next project, the Winnebago Swift Boat Moms,
didn't go as well.
The ever-compliant media merely characterized it as "dueling
protests" and missed the entire point.
No one could properly figure out what the role of protesting the
protesters was, and several embarrassing and thuggish incidents took
Face it: these are Bush's Brownshirts. As the Nazis took Germany by
intimidation, the attempt here was to intimidate the protesters away
from Incurious George's front gate.
I know that the last two postings and this one have been tough
going, but bear with me just a little bit longer.
The Sydney [Australia] Morning Herald reported Saturday's protests
"... Hundreds of protesters on both sides
descended on Crawford, Texas, on Saturday for the most openly
hostile exchange since Ms. Sheehan arrived early this month.
[from story Anti-war vigil draws
protesters; August 29, 2005]
"Ranged against her are conservative activists and military
families, including the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!"
tour, which began in Ms. Sheehan's home town of Vacaville,
California, and was due to arrive in Crawford yesterday.
"Its figurehead is Deborah Johns, the mother of a marine
serving in Iraq." [sic: Her son is currently rotated back to
the US, in either California or Florida - depending on the
And The Independent (UK) reported:
There could have been no starker symbol of the
political divisions vexing George Bush's America this weekend than
the railroad track running right through the heart of Crawford,
home to the president's summer holiday ranch in the scorched
plains of central Texas.
[Story: Across the tracks at Crawford,
Texas, a divided nation bares its pain and fury, By Andrew Gumbel in
Crawford, Texas; Published: 29 August 2005]
It's no surprise that Fresno's own Howard Kaloogian got his
soundbites at the Saturday anti-protest protest (the MAF stooges are
currently screaming that the liberal media has tarnished them with
the stamp "pro-war." Well, hell, if the jackboot fits,
wear it, guys.)
CBS News reported:
Several thousand people descended on President
George W. Bush's adopted hometown Saturday, most in a
cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support
an anti-war demonstration led by grieving mother Cindy Sheehan.
[story: Voices Collide In Bush's
Backyard, CRAWFORD, Texas, August 27, 2005]
Bush supporters gathered for an event marking the culmination of
the "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" tour, which started
last week in California. The crowd of about 1,500 chanted,
"Cindy, go home!"
"You are giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of
America," said former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian,
a Republican who co-founded the group that coordinated the rally.
Kaloogian also got his sound bite in the AP story: "You are
giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of America," said
former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, a Republican who
co-founded the group that coordinated the rally." Weird
how it's EXACTLY what CBS claims it reported, but hey. Must have
been THE oratorical flourish of the afternoon, right?
But, really, MOST reported were two incidents in which the pro-war
idiots managed to shoot themselves in the collective foot. In one, a
Freeper showed up with a sign that called Cindy Sheehan a
"ditch bitch" (a reference to her accommodations in
camping out to wait for Bush) and "how to ruin a marriage in 30
days" -- ostensibly referring to the divorce papers that
Sheehan's husband filed. The MAF coordinators didn't appreciate the
Freeper's exercise of his First Amendment rights (other signs were
equally hateful), and a brouhaha ensued when he was asked to take it
down, resulting in the Freeper's arrest.
Ouch, if you're into "P.R."
The other incident was one in which a couple fellows showed up with
signs that were too clever by half for the general intellect of the
gathered Pro-War demonstrators. The AP story continues:
"There also were some heated moments at
the pro-Bush rally when Bush supporters mistakenly identified two
people as war protesters. The two walked in with a sign that read
"Say No to War -- Unless a Democrat is President."
There were other vicious little anecdotes, but
the bottom line was this: the "Pro War" caravan was a
monumental bust by PR standards. By Sunday, the usual suspects were
grousing about the biased liberal media, and coming up with every
possible rationalization to explain why the outcome of the Battle of
Crawford had been a rout on the level of First and Second Manassas,
and for the same reason:
"Many Bush supporters only saw the top of the sign and
believed the men were war protesters, so they began shouting and
chasing the pair out. One man tore up their signs.
"When Will Marean of Minneapolis kept repeating that he was
on the Bush side, one Bush supporter shook his hand and
The Anti-War protesters had steadfastly refused to fight. The
Pro-War protesters were unable to maintain discipline, and made
jackasses of themselves.
And THAT was what made the front pages and the phosphor tubes, and
So, Deborah Johns and her slimy backers might as well have stayed
Well, you've read this far. You might as well know what she claims
her motivation was (as the mother of a living soldier) for attacking
the mother of a dead one.
Trip to support troops -- Roseville
military mom leading 'You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy' caravan to
And that, Nancy Stapp, is my long-winded answer
to your radio question on what I thought about the "Truth
Tour" of Melanie Morgan and her right wing cronies.
By: Sherri L. Shaulis, The [Roseville, California]
Press-Tribune Friday, August 19, 2005 2:53 PM PDT
... [Roseville's Deborah] Johns said she understands Sheehan's
grief at losing her son, but feels Sheehan's message is not
representative of most military families.
"I would like to know exactly how Cindy Sheehan has supported
our troops since her son was killed," Johns said. "I
don't see it. What she is doing is just destructive
... Johns noted she's received phones calls and e-mails of support
from through the country, including some from Sheehan's family
members. But the most important support Johns said she's received
comes from her own soldier.
"Just the other day I was able to speak with my son,"
who is now attending dive school in Florida through the Marines,
Johns said. "He asked me, 'Mom? Have you seen that woman on
TV? When is someone going to do something about her?' When I told
him what I was doing, he just said, 'Way to go, Mom.' "
Ain't you sorry you asked?
© 2005 Hart