Is Cindy Sheehan’s Divorce Fair Game?
Michele Catalano thinks discussion of the Sheehan divorce is beyond the pale of civil discourse:
Is it really necessary to splash her divorce papers all over the internet? Is this anybody’s business? No, her personal life is NOT fair game. Her family is not fair game. And as much as it takes enormous balls of steel for Sheehan herself to pen a diary at Kos entitled Leave My Family Alone when she’s the one who brought this into the public eye, it takes a person with no semblance of common decency to start gloating over Sheehan’s divorce as this proves something, somehow. Do you know how common it is for couples who have suffered the loss of a child to separate? Do you think this is some win on your part, something to high five each other about? Woohooo, a family is falling apart, another point for our side! That’s sick. SICK. You’re just another kind of leech.
(via Bill Ardolino)
John Cole agrees:
There is no need to go rummaging through her personal life- even if it is Ã¢€˜news.Ã¢€™ It is mean-spirited, unfair, and should be beneath most decent people. And it is irrelevant.
This was apparently sparked by Michelle Malkin‘s original report on the matter, which focused on a very narrow point:
[I]t will be interesting to see if Cindy Sheehan continues to insist that she and her husband “are on the same side of the fence” with respect to her anti-war activism.
Even my co-blogger Steve Verdon thinks this improper, noting Malkin’s objection to the references to Dick Cheney’s family during the campaign.
Neither Malkin nor I are taking joy at someone’s misfortune but rather pointing out that part of their claim to authority is false. The fact of the matter is that Sheehan, through her own conscious choice, is a public figure. The only reason the media is paying any attention to her rantings is that she is capitalizing on the death of her son and claiming to somehow be a spokesman for others who have lost their sons and daughters in this war. Pointing out that she doesn’t even speak for her own husband is hardly meanspirited in that own context. As Jack Army notes in the comments of Steve’s post:
There are thousands of divorces a year and practically none of them get reported on OTB, Malkin, or any other outlet. This one is important because this woman is claiming she has more of a right to speak and be heard because of a family connection: her dead son. Reporting that her husband is divorcing her, a man that has the same dead son but isnÃ¢€™t protesting, helps puts CindyÃ¢€™s protesting into context. The inference has been that Cindy was speaking on behalf of her family. If that inference was wrong, why did the rest of her family feel it necessary to release a statement announcing that they disagreed with Cindy? So, reporting on SheehanÃ¢€™s divorce is no different than reporting on any other public figureÃ¢€™s divorce. Again, Cindy put herself in the spotlight and if she didnÃ¢€™t like that, she shouldnÃ¢€™t have gone there.
Danny Carlton agrees.
(Note: This was originally an update on my brief post announcing the divorce but I’ve moved it up as I expanded my thoughts.)