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AP defends pix of 'lonely' Cindy book-signing

The Associated Press is defending itself from allegations by Cindy Sheehan that it misrepresented the anti-war activist’s book-signing by showing a virtually empty tent.

Photographers focus on Cindy Sheehan in empty tent waiting to sign copies of her new book (Associated Press)

As WorldNetDaily reported, Sheehan’s Thanksgiving weekend protest near President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch featured a book-signing that turned out to be a barren affair.

Photographs published by wire services including the Associated Press and Reuters depicted a lonely “Peace Mom” in a virtually empty tent awaiting those seeking her autograph on her new book, “Not One More Mother’s Child.”

According to Editor & Publisher, Sheehan issued a statement Tuesday accusing “right-wing” sites of “spreading a false story that nobody bought my book at Camp Casey on Saturday. That is not true, I sold all 100 copies and got writer’s cramp signing them. Photos were taken of me before the people got in line to have me sign the book. We made $2,000 for the peace house.”

Sheehan’s publisher issued a letter to Cindy’s supporters, noting: “AP and Reuters posted photos – I can’t imagine why – of Cindy sitting at the book table between signings, rather than while someone was at the table. And now the smear websites are circulating an article, with these photos, that Cindy gave a signing and nobody came. It’s simply not true. … The benefit book-signing in Crawford, Texas, on Nov. 26, 2005, was well-attended and a huge success.”

Cindy Sheehan waiting to sign copies of her new book in Crawford, Texas (Reuters)

E & P was able to get a response from a spokesman for the Associated Press, stating, “Photographer Evan Vucci, queried about the incident today said that he was present at the book-signing from about 10 a.m. to about 11 a.m. During that time, he said, people were coming in to have their books signed in small groups of a few at a time.

“At the time the photos were taken ‘maybe 5 people had come in,’ Vucci says, and Sheehan was waiting for more to stop by, which they did individually as well as in very small groups. Therefore the wording of the caption is accurate in that Sheehan was waiting for people to show up at her signing.”

The Washington Post reported the scene this way: “Sheehan found herself addressing a crowd of only about 100 on Saturday afternoon. The large tent where supporters had erected a stage hung with the banner ‘Speak Truth to Power’ was only partially full. Earlier, Sheehan signed copies of her new book for an even smaller crowd.”

Sheehan’s son, Casey, was killed in the Iraq war, and Cindy has been on an anti-war and anti-Bush campaign since the summer months when she began a vigil in Crawford gaining worldwide media attention.

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