Do the Benghazi families have absolute moral authority?

A commenter on my recent piece regarding Hillary Clinton’s calling the Benghazi families liars raised a very valid point when he asked whether or not the mothers of the fallen warriors at Benghazi had the same absolute moral authority the media bestowed on Cindy Sheehan.

Remember that woman’s fifteen minutes of fame a decade ago?  Shrieking Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother, whom I accused at the time of using her fallen soldier son’s coffin as a podium from which she attacked George W. Bush and his administration, was the darling of the mainstream media.  Cindy was a California housewife whose son, Casey, was killed in combat in Iraq in 2004.  His death drove his distraught mother into such a state that she left behind and eventually divorced her husband of almost three decades to take to the barricades of peace activism.  The leftist antiwar movement quickly elevated her to celebrity spokesperson status because her son’s death, conferring on her a special cachet to speak with moral authority to the government conducting the war in which her son died.

It was Maureen Dowd, writing about Sheehan’s campaign against Bush in the New York Times on August 10th, 2005, who enhanced Sheehan’s already elevated moral authority (emphasis mine):

Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.

But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.

The rest of the Bush-bashing media immediately seized upon Dowd’s framing of this unquestioned right to speak and be believed without challenge bestowed upon parents of fallen sons.  The antiwar movement quickly molded this moral authority into a club with which they and a compliant mainstream media beat down any Bush supporters who dared question Sheehan’s ear-piercing screeches.  Bush himself was to dutifully accept Sheehan’s shrieking protests without objection, giving total deference to her absolute moral authority.

That was then…this is now.  Can we rightfully expect the media to accord this same absolute moral authority to the Benghazi families who claim that Hillary Clinton lied to them at the ceremony where their son’s coffins were being unloaded from the military aircraft that brought their bodies home?  Now that the boot of moral authority is on the right foot rather than the left, will the media be professionally consistent and march in lockstep with the Benghazi parents, as they did a decade ago with Sheehan and her movement?  And, most importantly, will the mainstream media insist that their much-favored choice for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton, conduct herself in the same manner as they expected of the Bush administration, and allow the assertions of these Benghazi parents to go unchallenged?  Will they ask her to renounce her charge that these aggrieved parents are liars?

I believe we all know the answers to those questions. 

A commenter on my recent piece regarding Hillary Clinton’s calling the Benghazi families liars raised a very valid point when he asked whether or not the mothers of the fallen warriors at Benghazi had the same absolute moral authority the media bestowed on Cindy Sheehan.

Remember that woman’s fifteen minutes of fame a decade ago?  Shrieking Cindy Sheehan, the Gold Star mother, whom I accused at the time of using her fallen soldier son’s coffin as a podium from which she attacked George W. Bush and his administration, was the darling of the mainstream media.  Cindy was a California housewife whose son, Casey, was killed in combat in Iraq in 2004.  His death drove his distraught mother into such a state that she left behind and eventually divorced her husband of almost three decades to take to the barricades of peace activism.  The leftist antiwar movement quickly elevated her to celebrity spokesperson status because her son’s death, conferring on her a special cachet to speak with moral authority to the government conducting the war in which her son died.

It was Maureen Dowd, writing about Sheehan’s campaign against Bush in the New York Times on August 10th, 2005, who enhanced Sheehan’s already elevated moral authority (emphasis mine):

Selectively humane, Mr. Bush justified his Iraq war by stressing the 9/11 losses. He emphasized the humanity of the Iraqis who desire freedom when his W.M.D. rationale vaporized.

But his humanitarianism will remain inhumane as long as he fails to understand that the moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute.

The rest of the Bush-bashing media immediately seized upon Dowd’s framing of this unquestioned right to speak and be believed without challenge bestowed upon parents of fallen sons.  The antiwar movement quickly molded this moral authority into a club with which they and a compliant mainstream media beat down any Bush supporters who dared question Sheehan’s ear-piercing screeches.  Bush himself was to dutifully accept Sheehan’s shrieking protests without objection, giving total deference to her absolute moral authority.

That was then…this is now.  Can we rightfully expect the media to accord this same absolute moral authority to the Benghazi families who claim that Hillary Clinton lied to them at the ceremony where their son’s coffins were being unloaded from the military aircraft that brought their bodies home?  Now that the boot of moral authority is on the right foot rather than the left, will the media be professionally consistent and march in lockstep with the Benghazi parents, as they did a decade ago with Sheehan and her movement?  And, most importantly, will the mainstream media insist that their much-favored choice for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton, conduct herself in the same manner as they expected of the Bush administration, and allow the assertions of these Benghazi parents to go unchallenged?  Will they ask her to renounce her charge that these aggrieved parents are liars?

I believe we all know the answers to those questions.