Do Brian Terry’s Parents Deserve Less Attention Than Cindy Sheehan Got?

There are many elements of the ATF’s botched Fast and Furious gun-walking operation that are worthy of attention. It’s a compelling story, really: The U.S. government loses track of an arsenal of weapons that end up being used by a Mexican drug cartel in the murder of a young border patrol agent named Brian Terry. Up to two hundred additional deaths across the border in Mexico are thought to be linked to the missing guns as well. A suspected federal cover-up ensues with the explanation for the failed operation morphing from a sheer denial of its mere existence to Attorney General, Eric Holder’s total unawareness of who authorized it.

To me, however, the most intriguing thing about the story is the mainstream media’s virtual blackout of it.  While viewers of FOX News and listeners of conservative talk radio have been well aware of the details of Fast and Furious for over a year, the rest of the country hadn’t a clue of its existence until President Obama exercised executive privilege to keep sealed documents pertaining to the operation from the U.S. Congress. It was that, along with the Republicans’ threat of holding Eric Holder in contempt, that garnished any sort of attention from the establishment press.

And when that time finally came, most of the networks introduced the story as if it had no history. Anchors like Brian Williams and pundits like Rachel Maddow described it as some sort of out-of-the-blue, partisan side-show during an election year. The reality, of course, is that the Fast and Furious controversy started long before this election year.

The peculiar conduct of the media begs the question of why they ignored it for so long. After all, this is the kind of story that they’ve been all over in the past: A young man is killed while bravely serving his country, after being put in harm’s way by what is perceived to be a reckless decision by the government. The man’s grieving family seeks answers and accountability and goes public out of frustration.

It sounds a lot like the plight of Cindy Sheehan from 2004 to 2006, and Pat Tillman’s family. Both of those sympathetic stories received a huge amount of attention. They made magazine covers, and reporters were at the beckon call of the families whenever they wanted to vent their frustrations.

In the minds of the media, however, they’ve managed to rationalize the death of Brian Terry as a completely different circumstance. For starters, George W. Bush is no longer our president. That’s enough of an explanation in itself. But additionally, border violence isn’t a political issue that liberals want to bring attention to. It introduces complexities to the immigration debate that the Democratic party would rather avoid. War violence, on the other hand, worked quite well for the media when the goal was to hurt Bush.

Speaking of the war issue, isn’t it absolutely miraculous how the anti-war movement either ceased to exist or was completely dumped by the media the moment Barack Obama took office? This despite the facts that Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan and even started one of his own in Libya.

Back to the topic at hand…

In the era of Obama, a murdered border-agent and a government cover-up simply isn’t that noteworthy to the media. It’s just not as consequential of a story, apparently, as crude comments from Rush Limbaugh, Ann Romney’s horseback riding, or Warren Buffett’s secretary.

It’s times like this when the value of the FOX News Channel is underscored. Regardless of how you feel about FNC, there’s no denying that the network provides a small counterbalance to the overwhelming liberal slant of the mainstream media. Without FOX, the public would be completely unaware of important, valid stories like this, and people like Brian Terry’s parents would be left without any kind of voice.

You can’t help but feel terrible for the Terry’s. In addition to the loss of their son, they’re having to deal with an environment where it often takes massive publicity to get any kind of results from our government. Thus, their calls for answers and accountability have largely gone unheard. And only because the overwhelming majority of the media was way too late to the game, are the Terry’s now being insulted by snide people in the media who wish to write off their son’s story as a mere political stunt.

The Terry’s deserve better, and their plight deserves every bit as much attention and sympathy as Cindy Sheehan got.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration (Computer Information Systems), and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. He is the author of the Sean Coleman Thriller series, which is available through all major retailers. John lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
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  • Todd Aus

    Wow: A Republican with Selective Memory Disorder, imagine that.There is a thing called Google it will help all you Right wing Nuts who suffer from this disorder, as well as all your other Hypocritical neurosis and view  points.

    However, for those of us who don’t suffer from this: The Right Wing’s usual Suspects Hannity, O’reily, Limbaugh, Malkin etc.  attacked Cindy Sheehan Endlessly.
    You may consider endless attacks,  “Right Wing Coverage” of the issue. But logical people do not. 

    You insist the Left has not covered Fast & Furious? Again, Google is your friend on this issue. They have given it the  amount of coverage it deserved.  In fact, they gave it more than that.  How long can you cover a non issue, a manufactured story, a story that was devised under King George The Coward.  

    If rational, Non Partisan people were to dig to deep,   I’m certain, it would lead to Cheney’s if not Bushes direct involvement, But we all remember  how cover ups , Botched plans, Leaked info etc. were dealt with under those clowns .  

    So a border agent was killed, Seriously who cares? Is his life more important than the Four Thousand + Soldiers who died In Bush’s retribution war? What about the 30K+ who were seriously wounded? Lets not forget Ten Thousand+ Gun Deaths in the USA every year. The List of Things you all should be concerned about but aren’t  is endless.You people are just Sheep,  calling you Hypocrites is an insult to real hypocrites. 

    If you want the rest of the  media not just Fox ( The True Main Stream Media) To cover your pet neurosis, then you need to have stories based on fact, not Conspiracy Theories, bigotry,  or Clear to everyone with an IQ that isn’t single Digit, Your disgust that a Black Man beat you at your own game and is now the Democratically Elected, Legitimate in every way, President of the united States of America !

      Yes that is correct, another Right Wing Nut fallacy Debunked. Fox News is the Main Street Media! Fox news market share is greater then the rest of the Media Combined, do the math!
    That makes them the Main street media or in the words of your mensa Candidate Wanna-be, Mrs. MaGoo herself,  ” The Lame Street Media”

     This also proves that the  Majority of this country are incapable of free thinking  and intelligent choice, but thats a topic for another day!

    • John Daly

      Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann couldn’t have said it any better.

      • Todd Aus

        Sure they could have, should have and hopefully will !

      • Wil

        John, You are a true believer. How sad! Click on:

        Rush, Fox News and Burt Prelutsky aren’t giving you the truth!

  • Wcobb

    The MSM is no longer reporting the news but “Framing” the news as they want to see it. What/why is Obama claiming executive priviledge now? If it  had been a real issue it would have been used months ago. Open the documents Mr. President if there is nothing to hide you can show that it really is a republican grandstand. Bet he is just hoping to delay until after the elections. Shameful.

    • Todd Aus

       Fox news is framing the news as they want their minions to see it? That’s not right!  Somebody should go on one of their shows and make them aware of it, after all, they are “Fair and Balanced” as long as you use a a blind Fold and broken level to measure “Fair & Balanced”
      Oh wait you are talking about the Minority News Corporations ( Everyone , except  Fox!) who  cater to intelligent, self thinking individuals.

      My Bad

  • Count_E_Limerick

    ATF gun sales got few media mentions,
    Despite murders and Issa Metric tensions!
    Shouldn’t Holder be exempt,
    From our icy contempt?
    Since Fortunately, what counts is Good Intentions?

  • Wil

    I think this Eric Holder issue is nothing, but a “high-tech lynching”.

    • John Daly

      Yeah, we know.

    • Todd Aus

       Fox News & a Lynching

      Say it ain’t so!

      What will the Bleach Blond Bimbos of Fox say to such an allegation!

  • Bruce A.

    The parents of Brian Terry are entitled to hear the truth.

    • Wil

      The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal.

      A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally
      allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came
      to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political
      By Katherine Eban

      • John Daly

        Of course it wasn’t intentional. It was incompetence, followed by a cover-up.

        • ph16

          Exactly right, like most of the things the feds do that turn out badly!

    • Wil

      Mexican gangs killed 
      Brian Terry, end of story!

      • John Daly

        With that logic, then, does George W. Bush bare no responsibility for the soldiers we lost in Iraq and Afghanistan during his terms in office?

        • Wil

          Straws you’re grasping at are getting shorter…How sad!

          • John Daly

            It’s called a ‘good point’, Wil. Explain to me the difference.

          • Wil

            How could Holder not know that “gun walking” was not the policy of the task force, but the action of a single disgruntled agent who didn’t like working for a female supervisor? How could he not know that it was the US attorneys who were standing in the way of wrapping the straw men up and confiscating the guns? Were these the US attorneys appointed by Bush after he fired the whole bunch?
            Questions, questions.

          • John Daly

            Nice dodge. As usual, you can’t answer a simple question, so you change the question.

            If your argument is that the U.S. government has no culpability whatsoever in Terry’s death because Mexican gangs pulled the trigger, you should apply that same standard to our U.S. soldiers who die in the wars that our government sends them to fight in.

            I’ll presume you’ll ignore that point again, and move onto Holder…

            The question isn’t about the semantics of the actual operation. That’s another case.

            The congressional hearing is about the cover-up afterwards. Holder  claimed, under oath, that he didn’t know about the operation at a time  when documents have already shown that he absolutely did. Why would the AG’s office first deny that the operation even existed, then claim that they didn’t know about it when they did?

            The Terry family wants and deserves answers to those questions, just like the Tillmans deserved them when the U.S. military tried to cover up how their son was killed.

            From your response, it seems you couldn’t care less, because defending all and any criticism of the Obama administration is far more important to you than the truth Terry’s parents are seeking.

          • Wil

            The Terry family’s son was killed by the Mexican gang members. The gun used in his death, is inconsequential. 
            Holder had nothing to do with the death of their son. Issa knows this and he even said so, on TV!

          • Jeffreydan

              The fact that our govt, via a reckless agenda, made that gun available to the killers is very consequential.

              Tell me, Wil: do you think the lying, stonewalling, and defiance of Congress is suspicious? If there were really nothing to this, then the DOJ could’ve shut up Issa by simply following the rules.

              The DOJ is covering up something, and it is related to the murders of Terry and others. So again, if was your son, would you want and deserve to know why the AG lied about what he knew about the program that aided in his murder?

              Someone in our govt decided to provide the guns. Do you think the person/people who decided that should be shielded from any consequences?   

          • nameless

            Wil, I hope you or your loved ones get shot by those Mexicans and I hope the same thing for all liberals and their loves ones. Or maybe Wil should be lynched or beheaded.

          • Wil

            The Terry family wants and deserves answers to those questions, just like the Tillmans deserved them when the U.S. military tried to cover up how their son was killed.>>
            Not a peep out of Issa concerning Tillman, how come?

      • Jeffreydan


          Going out on a limb: I assume that if, God forbid, a gigantic mistake by our gov’t leads to the murder of one of your loved ones, you’d disapprove of any DOJ stonewalling, lying, and other bad conduct like Holder is guilty of.

         Long ago you firmly established you are a hyperpartisan liberal, but I honestly didn’t think your ideology had completely eroded your sense of decency. Hundreds of innocent Mexicans were murdered, along with Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata. The murderers used American guns made accessible to them by a bungled U.S. operation. From the very moment this came to light, members of this self-described “transparent” administration repeatedly lied, covered up, and defied Congress. 

          Where are things right now? The man who Holder claimed to have no knowledge of F&F has invoked a privelege not applicable if he didn’t have the knowledge. Also, Holder and various House democrats are saying there is no justification for the investigation. 
          Is this really where you stand? Are you okay with politicians putting their self-interests above justice for your family? Do you seriously think you shouldn’t get any recourse if some member of the DOJ supplies your son’s killer with the murder weapon with no consequences?       

        • John Daly

          Wil must suspect that the Terry’s are Republicans.

      • Todd Aus

         How do we know?
        Maybe there are some American – Mexican Gang members, like that American Al Qaeda  kid from a few years ago.
        Maybe it was Friendly Fire, Maybe it was self defense.

        We will never know, but really, Who gives a Sh@t, other they Bigot Hypocrites like Sean Hannity

    • Todd Aus

       The truth?The truth is his simple: His Chosen Profession  Was / Is a Dangerous one! That’s in in a nutshell, Something you Right Wing Nuts should appreciate.

      One of those Dangers is getting shot and or even killed, be it Accidental / Or Accidentally on Purpose.

      Why do you Chicken Hawk, Draft Dodging, War avoiding Right Wing Lunatics always Cry when big bad America Gets it’s ass Kicked ot the other side simply fights back!
      Go back to Gulf war 1 and watch the tapes of Bush Senior, Cheney, Rumsfield ET all all Crying about treatment of our POW’s and insisting that Iraq follow the Geneva Conventions and must not torture any of them etc….. Fast forward a Decade or so and the same Clowns all developed amnesia on the subject.

      The Right is  so quick to Beat the drums of war, but God Forbid the other side actually fights back, Then it’s the same old, blame somebody or something else,  Cry’s of Unfair Tactics etc. It’s called war, the other side will Fight back and people will die.

      Terry was involved in a never ending border / Drug war… People die, oh well that’s life, deal with it. Maybe a better argument  would be the senseless mass production and easy availability of the Gun that shot him. not how it got to the person who used it. Nah, that would make sense!

      Since none of you have a knowledge of our own history, except to say ” the Constitution says this or that” which, by the way is just as pathetic as when Christians  try and win an Argument by saying ” the bible says….” Here is some history 101. 
      Lesson 1.  In war people Die! We 
      Lesson 2.   Re-read lesson 1.
      Lesson 3.  We ( the USA) won the Revolutionary war by devising and deploying “Guerrilla” type tactics, we hid behind objects deployed snipers, we targeted Officers. In short we  Fought unfairly, according to the losing  Britt’s.  Maybe that is why they came back and torched Washington a few years later, Sore losers? or Fast learners. that is another lesson.
      Lesson 4.  the Britt’s  were still using the more customary (Proper and Gentlemanly way) of having opposing forces face each other (the enlisted men or course, after-all, war is not a sport for Gentlemen, Congressmen, Republicans etc..) and shooting at at each other until one side had no men left or the other side quit for the day, then the officers all went and had a spot of Tea!

      The point is, all is fair in Love & War.
      Just ask Al Qaeda, they didn’t have an Air Force or Cruise Missiles, so they borrowed our’s.  They don’t have Tanks For Armour to Armour battles so they went to Home Depot and Built Road side Bombs  for a couple hundred bucks, to Take out our Multi-Million Dollar gas Guzzling invincible  war machines. The List is Endless and History is rather cruel to those who don’t learn it’s lessons!

       If we ever lose World policeman /  Super Power status ( Inevitable) and the other side gets to right the history books for a change, Their Military historians will look back on these and other lessons taught to us  and consider them True Genius, mark my words.
      “Don’t do the Crime if you Can’t do the time” or in his case ” Dont take The work  if you’re a Right Wing jerk”

  • Ron Madden

    Bernie, do the hundreds of Mexican citizens murdered with Fast & Furious guns deserve less attention? Don’t you think all those Hispanic voters 0bama is desperately courting might find some relevance to the 0bama administration’s callous indifference to the loss of life their gunrunning scheme would undoubtedly bring?

  • Paul Courtney

    John:  I like the comparison/contrast here.  And we would not need a special counsel, or even a DOJ investigation, if the progressive press would not treat Obama like a sacred cow.  Here’s a what if for you-what if some docs at ATF showed this was all a Bush Admin operation that let the guns walk (which was one of the claims by Dems some months back),  think they’d hold those docs under exec privilege?  Think NYT and NBC would follow the story?

  • JBubs

    I seem to recall that Cindy Sheehan received routine television coverage as long as she attacked President Bush and Republicans. The moment she began to attack  Democrats, she became invisible.

  • tgrfan42069

    if i had a son he would look like brian terry.see what i did there? justice for brian

  • Count_E_Limerick

    The national media seem very spurious,
    For holding their guns about Fast & Furious.
    They were always agreein’
    On the importance of Sheehan…
    But on Terry – not even Border-line curious!

    • John Daly


      • Count_E_Limerick

        When your word “word” was generously proferred,
        My brain’s gears, in great confusion they whirred.
        Ideas in short supply,
        ‘Bout the one-word reply –
        It’s out of my range when so seldom is heard!

  • DOOM

    Of course not.  But Cindy Sheehan didn’t deserve any attention.

    • John Daly

      I disagree. A scorned parent of a dead soldier speaking out against the president’s war policy IS a story. It’s just not the TWO YEAR, epic story the mainstream media treated it as, before she became a liability to the left and they dropped her.

  • GlenFS

    Shameful lack of duty and fairness from the media on everything…. this just an example.

  • CCNV

    Each morning I click on the links and say a small prayer for the real heroes and silently thank them and their families for the ultimate sacrifice. Piss on obaMao and his ilk.

  • Nancye

    THIS Cindy Sheehan?

    Cindy Sheehan would have more credibility if she had not changed her story about her meeting with President Bush. Nothing but positive words and appreciation after her FIRST meeting with the President.  Then she did  a 180 degree turn. She allied herself with the fringe-element of the anti-war Left-Wing, the Radical Muslim groups that are clearly anti-American, and with White Supremacists/Nazi groups that share her extreme anti-Semitic views.


    You gotta be kiddin’.   She didn’t deserve ANY attention!!!  Please don’t compare with with a hero like Brian Terry. 

    • John Daly

      I’m not comparing her with Brian Terry. I’m comparing Casey Sheehan with Brian Terry. My point is that if the media gave Cindy Sheehan as much attention as they did, they should do the same for Brian Terry’s parents.

      • Nancye

        Duly noted!

        • Wil

          Watch fox News it’s on 24/7 and covered on the other channels. John, do you own a TV?

          • John Daly

            Covered on other channels? It was blacked out for a year and a half. If you weren’t watching FOX News, you wouldn’t have even had a clue who Brian Terry was until just over a week ago.

  • Bob Weber

    It’s unbelievable how the Obama administration gets a pass on things that would have made front page news during the George Bush administration, or any other republican administration. I remember the Iran-Contra hearings being televised on network TV (of course that was before C-Span)

    Fortunately, in spite of the massive cover up, I don’t think most Americans are fooled into ignoring the President’s ineptitude.

    • Wil

      It’s a witch hunt, Bob.  That’s all it is and Obama isn’t playing their game.  He has the authority to impose executive privilege and did so.  Issa was provided with thousands of documents and last week refused a thousand more.  Issa keeps moving the goalpost so it’s obvious, he’s playing games.