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Weekly Standard executive editor and Fox News political contributor Fred Barnes said that "the press has created" anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan because "[t]hey hate Bush." Discussing Sheehan's ongoing protest outside President Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch, Barnes said, "She is entirely the creation of the American mainstream press. She has no moral standing. She has no political standing. The press has created her. And why have they created her? It's August. They hate Bush. And they've used her as a mascot to get at Bush. It's as simple as that."
Barnes's comments echoed recent controversial remarks by nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh, who said on August 15 that "Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents. There's nothing about it that's real, including the mainstream media's glomming onto it. It's not real."
Barnes made his comments in the "Fox News All-Star Panel" segment on the August 26 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, where he was joined by guest host and Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle and Washington Post columnist Jeffrey H. Birnbaum:
BIRNBAUM: Well, so she's [Sheehan] not going to be the next president of the United States. I think that it's a mistake to underestimate her as a symbolic presence and a lightning rod for opposition.
BIRNBAUM: And this bus trip that she's about to take, it's clear to me, at least, that she's getting very sophisticated public-relations advice. And Bill Clinton, remember, made a great deal of hay by going through small towns in a bus --
BARNES: -- that Jim would agree with you. Look, she is entirely the creation of the American mainstream press, entirely. She has no moral standing. She has no political standing. The press has created her. And why have they created her? It's August. They hate Bush. And they've used her as a mascot to get at Bush. It's as simple as that. She has no standing. She hasn't triggered any great massive antiwar feelings. All she's done is brought out some of these super-left-wing conspiratorialists. It's as simple as that.