September 29, 2004

EmailGate, Updated: CBS News Fails to Note Its "Worried Apolitical Republican Mom" Is a Committed Political Activist
— Ace

It wasn't just the emails that were phony; it was the main subject of the piece as well.

Although CBS News presented its subject as a "Republican" who didn't seem to care much for politics, it turns out that, of course, she's a rabid political activist:

The person at the center of Schlesinger's piece is a woman named Beverly Cocco, a Philadelphia crossing guard who is "sick to my stomach" that her two sons might be drafted. In his report, Schlesinger portrayed her as an apolitical (and even Republican) mom worried about the safety of her children.

"Beverly Cocco has spent most of her life protecting children in Philadelphia," Schlesinger cooed as he introduced his subject. "But as Election Day approaches, it's her own two grown sons who Beverly is most worried about."

Next the viewer hears an almost perfect soundbite from the "average" mother, carefully selected by Karas.

"I go to bed every night and I pray, and I actually get sick to my stomach. I'm very worried. I'm scared. I'm absolutely scared. I'm petrified."

At this point, an honest reporter would have seen fit to disclose Cocco's political connections. But Schlesinger refuses, leaving his profilee for the moment to cite an anonymous chain letter (more on that later) and then talk about what both President Bush and John Kerry think about the draft.


Beverly Cocco seems nice enough on camera, but she is hardly the "Pennsylvania voter" that CBS News wants you to believe she is. In fact, the apolitical mother of two is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft (PAD) which, in addition to opposing any federal conscription, seeks to establish a "peaceful, rational foreign policy" by bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Like Schlesinger's Cocco, the group portrays itself as "nonpartisan"although its leadership seems to be entirely bereft of any epublicans.

The group's domain is registered to a man named Jacob Levich, a left-wing activist who in a 2001 essay compared the Bush Administration to the totalitarian government portrayed in George Orwell's 1984.

PAD also lists Anita Dutt, a Green Party activist who is also a member of an anti-war group called Bronx Action for Justice and Peace. In a March 3, 2003 New York Times profile of the group reprinted on the organization's web site, Heidi Hynes, one of its leaders, said of her fellow members that "none of us are Republicans."

And of course that's not the first time CBS News has used stealth liberal activists posing as "just normal nonpartisan concerned mommies," as reports.

Posted by: Ace at 07:24 AM | Comments (7)
Post contains 464 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I got a "Forbidden" error from the link, Ace.

Posted by: Brian B at September 29, 2004 07:46 AM (OnnW3)

2 Yes, there seems to be a problem accessing the site. I posted the quotes out of an email they sent me.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2004 08:13 AM (RGQgo)

3 Ace,

Posted by: MeTooThen at September 29, 2004 08:14 AM (GNdXj)

4 I'm not sure what Ratherbiased has posted on this, but one such scam was the "Million Mom March."

March organizer Donna Dees-Thomases was presented as a concerned mom who thought up the march "as she watched footage of a shooting at an area day camp."

However, "Ms. Dees-Thomases has served as the publicist for the CBS News anchor Dan Rather, and is also sister-in-law of Susan Thomases who is a close friend and the chief political adviser to Hillary Clinton."

She organized the march while on leave from her part-time job. Which Job? Free Republic tells us:

"But, speaking of Casts of Idiots, what about CBS? By now, you may be curious about that "part-time job," as NBC coyly referred to it. A couple of waitressing shifts? A little secretarial work for the school district? No, Donna is a part-time publicist for David Letterman's Late Show. Before that, she was a full-time publicist for CBS news anchor Dan Rather.

CBS This Morning was one of the first news shows to report the Million Mom March movement last September, when Hattie Kauffman interviewed Donna. "What," asked Hattie, "turns a mild-mannered suburban mom into an anti-gun activist?"
The correct answer is: "A leave of absence from my employer, CBS, which, by remarkable coincidence, is also your employer, Hattie."

But that's not what Donna said. Only in the last week has CBS News begun disclosing that she's one of theirs. As to Ms. Dees-Thomases' work for those two Dem senators, not one U.S. newspaper or TV network has mentioned them, with the exception of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel.

Posted by: Lastango at September 29, 2004 08:24 AM (NpNhY)

5 did cover that. That's the incident I was alluding to.

Posted by: ace at September 29, 2004 08:27 AM (RGQgo)

6 ---------------------------------------------------
Re: getting Forbidden error when accessing the site, the folks there are aware of the problem and are working on it.

Posted by: conelrad at September 29, 2004 08:27 AM (crXxH)

7 "Worried Apolitical Republican Moms" are no match for "Pissed Hyper-Political ex-Democrat Moms"

Posted by: Jane at September 29, 2004 09:02 AM (hoo48)

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