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You Can?¢â??¬â??¢t Dust for Ghosting

In the posted comments section after yesterday’s Cindy Sheehan piece at HuffPo, a reader asks, “Cindy, who is your ghost writer and when did you start using them? Is it a team, or a rotation, or the same person each time? The structure, content and points are obviously professionally crafted.”

Let’s see if this comment-writer is on to something.

Read the paragraph below (bolding is mine):

There is another and more important reason that I was smiling. I had not genuinely smiled since Casey was killed in Iraq. I thought my hope was buried along with my son and I was in a pit of hopeless despair. Camp Casey gave me back my hope because America came out in huge numbers to support us and they raised their voices with ours in unison to take our country back and to hold this administration accountable for the lies and mistakes that are killing tens of thousands of innocent people. There were hundreds of thousands of regular Americans who came out to protest the war and Bush’s policies this past Saturday. Hundreds of faithful Americans turned out for our interfaith religious service Sunday night next to the Washington Monument. The so-called religious right doesn’t have a monopoly on God. I am so pleased that the people of America are becoming active participants in Democracy and America is ready to put their money where their collective mouths are: to bring our troops home and hold BushCo accountable. It is a wonderful thing to be doing something that makes a difference and it is a wonderful and miraculous thing to have my hope back. That is why I am smiling.

Now look at the paragraph that immediately follows the one you just read. Note especially the shorter sentences:

Now about Hurricane Rita: I woke up on Saturday morning filled with excitement. I knew that the rally and march were going to be amazing events and I was thrilled to be a part of them. I switched on the TV and turned on CNN and for 2 hours, I watched one of their reporters in front of the same downed tree and it wasn’t even raining. I knew that there was a hurricane and it was damaging. At the point of the news cycle though, I thought CNN could be covering other news. 40 soldiers have been killed this month so far in Iraq and countless Iraqis have been killed. The war is still going on and the news has been dominated by hurricanes and the terrible aftermaths. I actually think the mainstream media has been doing a good job of pointing out the dropped balls in the Gulf States. However, CNN and other mainstream news outlets ALWAYS report other news besides the illegal occupation of Iraq.

It sure doesn’t seem like the same writer. In Hollywood, a startling transition like this is known as a jump cut. It’s a bad thing because viewers are reminded that what they are seeing isn’t real.

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Mr. Moffat is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.

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