>REACT: Sheehan and Jackson find common bond

>There they are. Anti war protester Cindy Sheehan and serial activist Jesse Jackson in the very same newspaper photo, brought together by a deep common bond. No! I am not speaking of their opposition to the war in Iraq or their mutual genetic aversion to George Bush. I am referring to their lust for the lenses.

The photo captures them in their best crafted poses — a smiling Jackson surrounded by cameras and Mrs. Sheehan drapped on his shoulder giving the photogs her well rehearsed vulnerable look. It is almost too intimate to observe, as each tenderly shares their most precious possession, the limelight.

If there were Academy Awards for “theatrics as news,” these two would win hands down. In their case, paparazzi have no challenge in seeking and shooting their prey. In fact, I can even imagine charges being filed against Jackson and Sheehan for harassing those otherwise annoying shutter buggers in “turn about is fair play.” I can see Jackson and Sheehan ambushing the photogs at ever opportunity, chasing cameramen down the street and jumping in front of their lenses without warning.

While Jackson is the experienced camera hog, Sheehan has one advantage. She is focused (no pun intended) on one issue. Jackson, like an ambulance chasing attorney, shamelessly shows up for every news event that garners more than three cameras.

To that extent, Jackson has made so many appearances on so many issues that his messages are becoming an irrelevant white noise (again no pun intended). Even worse for the good reverend, he is becoming more of a comedic character. Even his son, Congressman Jesse Jackson, makes fun of his father’s publicity craving — noting recently that he (the junior Jackson) had only had five press conferences in 10 year, but his father has that many a day.

On the other hand, Jackson has an advantage over Sheehan. As the war issue ebbs, as surely it will one day, Sheehan will disappear like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland (leaving for last that perma-pout instead of the enigmatic smile). The omni-issue Jackson will continue to find cause in every camera.

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