Skip to comments.CBS Legitimizes Draft Fear, Driving Mom from Bush to Howdy Doody
Posted on 09/29/2004 9:27:21 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
Five weeks before the election, CBS decided to give legitimacy to Internet rumors by devoting a "What Does It Mean to You?" segment to "fears" of a supposedly Bush-supporting mother that President Bush will impose a military draft. Dan Rather intoned: "A mother worries her son will be drafted. Does she have good reason?" Richard Schlesinger focused his piece around how the mother "is petrified about a military draft, and she's not alone. Mass e-mails are circulating among worried parents." Schlesinger pointed out how both Bush and Kerry deny that they'd institute a draft, but the mother is "not buying it. She's a Republican, but she's also a single-issue voter." He asked her: "Would you vote for a Democrat?" She replied: "Absolutely. I would vote for Howdy Doody if I thought it would keep my boys home and safe." Schlesinger concluded with a warning: "She's a Bush supporter today, but if she doesn't like what she hears between now and November, Beverly could easily cross over."
Earlier, Schlesinger had given credence to her fear: "The machinery for a draft is already in place, and the acting director of Selective Service believes he could start drafting people quickly."
Dan Rather teased at the top of Tuesday's CBS Evening News, with the heading "Draft Fears" beneath video of the soon-to-be profiled Philadelphia mother at the dinner table with her two sons: "A mother worries her son will be drafted. Does she have good reason? We'll tell you where the presidential candidates stand on the draft in the election series, 'What Does it Mean to You?'"
Rather set up the eventual story, as checked by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth against CBS's posting of the text: "It's no secret, the all-volunteer U.S. military, especially the Army, Marines, and many Reserve units, are stretched thin in Iraq and Afghanistan. So what about bringing back the draft? A lot of Americans are worried about that. Where do the presidential candidates stand? CBS's Richard Schlesinger tells you in the 'Eye on America' election series 'What Does it Mean to You?'"
Schlesinger began, over video of Beverly Cocco working as a school crossing guard: "Beverly Cocco has spent most of her life protecting children in Philadelphia. She usually worries about other people's kids. But as Election Day approaches, it's her own two grown sons who Beverly is most worried about."
Beverly Cocco, identified on screen as a "Pennsylvania voter," inside her home: "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."
Schlesinger: "Beverly is petrified about a military draft, and she's not alone. Mass e-mails are circulating among worried parents. But neither President Bush nor John Kerry has said he will re-institute the draft. In fact, they both say they will not."
John Kerry, in May: "I will give us a foreign policy that absolutely makes it unnecessary to have a draft for this country."
Schlesinger: "Kerry says he'll try to get allies of the U.S. to send troops that could relieve American soldiers in Iraq. The Bush administration says that is pure fantasy. The President wants to train more Iraqi troops to take over for the Americans."
George W. Bush: "The war on terror will continue. It's gonna take a while. And no, we don't need a draft." Schlesinger: "But Beverly's not buying it. She's a Republican, but she's also a single-issue voter. Would you vote for a Democrat?"
Cocco: "Absolutely. I would vote for Howdy Doody if I thought it would keep my boys home and safe."
Schlesinger: "In fact, there are at least three votes in this house riding on the draft: Beverly's and her sons Carmen and Nick. Are you guys worried about being drafted?"
Nick Cocco, college senior, inside their home: "Yeah, it's the talk, there's the talks there, and though people aren't actually coming out and saying it, it's there."
Schlesinger: "The machinery for a draft is already in place, and the acting director of Selective Service believes he could start drafting people quickly."
Jack Martin, Selective Service system: "I think that we could do it in less than six months if we got the call."
Schlesinger: "This time there would be no long deferments for college students, and a lot more people could be eligible for the draft than ever before -- men and women aged 18 to 26 could be called up. Of course, there hasn't been a draft since 1973. But that's not much comfort to Beverly Cocco. So she's keeping a sharp eye on the political traffic. She's a Bush supporter today, but if she doesn't like what she hears between now and November, Beverly could easily cross over. In Philadelphia, I'm Richard Schlesinger for 'Eye on America.'"
For the CBSNews.com version of the story, with pictures of the Cocco family:
Cocoa wrote a letter to the editor in the Northeast times. June 17th Letter to the Editor:
Put a chill on the draft bill
Just this week I received an e-mail so upsetting that I forwarded it to all my friends, who then forwarded it to all their friends. We are now a good size group. The e-mail concerned Bill S89 and HR 163. The bill is about reinstating the draft, beginning in the spring of 2005. The draftees will be all males and females between the ages of 18 and 26. There will be no deferments; seniors will be allowed to finish the year, and underclassmen will only be allowed to finish the semester. There is already a document signed between the U.S. and Canada, the Smart Border Declaration, which will prevent crossing the border. Since this is a federal bill, I was advised to contact Sen. Specter, Sen. Santorum and Congressman Joe Hoeffel. Sen. Specters office said that these bills are a secret.
When I told him that the cat was out of the bag, he offered to connect me with the Washington office. That office assured me that the senator was against this bill. I am still waiting for Sen. Santorum to respond, but Congressman Hoeffel is undecided. His office is sending me a letter detailing his thoughts. We are now in the process of collecting as much information as possible about this bill and the candidates.
We keep getting told that there are no sponsors for this bill and not to worry about it. But why did South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings draft this bill, and why is it sitting in the Senate? We think that it is important to find out before the election.
Meanwhile, we are starting an organization called Parents Against the Draft (PAD).
For more information, call me at 215-632-4997. Beverly Cocco Walton Park
Congressman clears the record
Beverly Coccos letter in the June 17 edition of the Northeast Times in which she expresses her alarm about a bill (HR163) currently in Congress that would reinstate the military draft contained a great deal of accurate information, but it had one major inaccuracy. Ms. Cocco wrote that I was undecided about the bill. I am not undecided. I am against the bill.
While I support the fight against terrorism, I do not believe that reinstating the draft or mandating civilian service is necessary at this time. I support the bills emphasis on civilian service, but I do not believe in requiring young people to perform civilian or military service. Instead, I support directing increased funding towards recruitment and retention programs in the armed forces.
Attracting and keeping the highest quality of men and women into the armed forces through increased pay, better career opportunities and enhanced benefits will guarantee our militarys continued ability to respond to threats against our country.
Additionally, I fully support enhanced volunteer opportunities for civilians and have been working with my House International Relations Committee colleagues to see that the Peace Corps budget doubles by 2006, and that funding for travel and exchange programs between young Americans and their foreign peers is increased. By enhancing incentives and increasing possibilities for engaging in volunteer service, we can improve our armed forces without reinstating the military draft.
Joseph M. Hoeffel 13th Congressional District Editors note: Rep. Hoeffel is the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.
Repeating "Sparrow Fall's", a blogger: "hmmm! what's that D there! so why did these honorable gentlemen, scarcely bush supporters, introduce a pair of bills that the white house has said are unnecessary and the pentagon does not want?"
If any of your lib friends come up to you and tell you that the draft might come back, here's what you do:
1. Feign becoming upset.
2. State "I would never vote for ANYONE in a political party that would bring back the draft!"
3. Engage them in a conversation in the topic - get them riled up.
4. Get them to agree that bringing back the draft is a bad idea and that whatever party is sponsoring it should not be running the Government.
5. After they agree, say "We need to do some research, to see what individuals are sponsoring legislation to bring back the draft - and vote everyone in that party out of office!"
6. Walk over to the computer and go to the House of Representatives website http://www.house.gov and look up HR 163 "Reinstate Draft Bill" and while you're doing it with your liberal friend, mumble under your breath "I can't believe these dirty politicians want to bring back the draft - we need to get rid of those guys who are sponsoring it".
7. Act VERY surprised when you look up the sponsor of the bill. "Oh my gosh... it's not a Republican, it's Charlie Rangel, a Democrat!"
8. Look up the co-sponsors, "Oh my gosh... they're ALL Democrats - all 14 of them!!".
9. Say, "Well, let's see what the Senate has to say on this". Go to the Senate website http://www.senate.gov and look up S89 "Reinstate Draft Bill".
10. Say, "We need to vote these guys out too!" Act surprised when you find the sponsor of the bill is Fritz Hollings - a Democrat!
11. Look at your lib friend and say, "We agreed, we need to vote out the party that is trying to bring back the draft - so we have to vote out all the Democrats".
"The machinery for a draft is already in place..." signed into law by Jimmy Carter! CBS is shamelessly working for the DNC. Have to wonder what the payoff is. Do none of them have any journalistic integrity?
I swear I read something yesterday that put Cocco firmly in the Democrat party.
If after she prays, she continues to be petrified by something that "could" happen, she doesn't have alot of faith in whoever she praying to about the ultimate good of what happens.
This person is actually allowed to vote???
Is Dan trying to prove that he is using his nightly "news" program as a corporately funded Kerry for President campaign site?
What other bogus stories is he going to push in trying to "help" Kerry?
If the government upped the military's budget to pay for more soldiers, there would be no need to draft. They'd have plenty of people who wanted to be there. Plus, it's hard to make a draftee learn enough to properly operate many of the systems the military currently uses, making the draft even more cost-ineffective.
At the center of Schlesingers piece was a woman named Beverly Cocco, a Philadelphia woman who is sick to my stomach that her two sons might be drafted. In his report, Schlesinger claimed that Cocco was a Republican and portrayed her as an apolitical (even Republican) mom worried about the future.
Schlesinger did not disclose that Cocco is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft (PAD) which, in addition to opposing any federal proscription, seeks to establish a peaceful, rational foreign policy by bringing all U.S. troops out of Iraq. Like Schlesingers Cocco, the group portrays itself as nonpartisan although its leadership seems to be entirely bereft of any Republicans.
The groups 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 Orwells 1984.
Check this out for the appropriate response to the cBS draft ploy.
Democrats are SOOooo stupid - they have yet again fallen into the mindgame of putting out their talking points first and now Bush can come out and say "there is no plan for a draft - in fact, I purposefully came out with my implementation of shifting troops from places like Germany and So. Korea in anticipation of troop needs for places like Iraq, etc." Draft memo from the DNC will backfire like everything else!
Cocco is NOT just a housewife. Cocco is a chapter president of an advocacy group called People Against the Draft.
I know. What an idiot.
Once again seeBS is full of crap. I guess i'll have to send them another angry letter. I hope everyone else will. Maybe...just maybe enough pressure will get them to shut up. If nothing else they'll see many Americans see through their transparent facade.
"Is Dan trying to prove that he is using his nightly "news" program as a corporately funded Kerry for President campaign site? "
Point is, Dan got away with it and CBS incurred no punishment. They really do not give a dang about ratings. They are already in last place.
The Petrified Mom Vote. Hmm.
O.K., off the top of my brain pan, Bush counsels:
"And I say to ALL mothers: DON'T LOOK BACK! Keep jogging FORWARD to VICTORY!"
So we lose the Sedentary Petrified Mom Vote.
Big Beautiful Deal.
Ever since the bogus National Guard memo blew up in CBS' face, they have been trying to justify their past actions with hit pieces every night.
If I were Bush, I would agree to an interview with Rather. After the first accusatory question question from Rather, I would reach into a desk drawer, remove a loaded Colt .45, hand it to Dan and say: "Go ahead Dan, Shoot. If you've got the guts!"
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