Post's Hatchet Headline on Camp Casey

With Cindy Sheehan's story refusing to leave the headlines, the Washington spin machine's new line of attack, apparently, is to paint Camp Casey as a cesspool of smelly hippy freaks. That's the gist of a bizarre Washington Post story this morning, titled "They are Stardust, and in Texas: At the Crawford Protest Camp, Growing Echoes of Woodstock."

All the stereotypes of counter-cultural decadence are rolled out -- the "hordes" of protesters that "have been sleeping in tents or their cars," the fact that the camp "includes nine Port-a-Potties but no shower." Of course, these all details that could apply to a military survival camp just as much as to a love-in, but the goal here is clear: marginalize the Sheehan protesters as crazed and unkempt Woodstock holdovers, outside of the American mainstream.

But if one actually reads the story, one finds that Camp Casey has not, in fact, been turned into a Jerry Garcia tribute festival.

The second paragraph notes that "The hippie crowd that originally was drawn to Cindy Sheehan's protest is still in town ... But now they have been joined by liberals from throughout the West who are double-parking their hybrid-fueled cars." The story also admits Camp Casey is a highly professional operation, with "a shuttle-bus service and an elaborate catering operation that deposited a 26-foot-long refrigerator truck, generators, and restaurant-quality ranges and warming ovens." Does this sound like the work of the smelly stoners? And then there's this:

Ann Spicer, 46, an event designer from Dallas who is in charge of the kitchen, said she can tell this is not the usual "nuts and berries" crowd that is more typical at peace events because "hardly anyone asked if we had vegan dishes last night."

So the headline sends a message exactly opposite of what the story itself proves. But hey, it's always fun to trash peaceniks. And I'm sure the headline made Karl Rove happy.