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On the August 16 edition of MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast, right-wing pundit David Horowitz claimed that protester Cindy Sheehan "exploits the death of her own son and doesn't respect her own son's life" and "portrays him as an idiot." Sheehan's son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004.
On the August 16 edition of Connected: Coast to Coast, Horowitz was featured as a guest along with John Nichols, political editor for The Nation, to discuss Sheehan's Iraq war protest at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Horowitz said:
HOROWITZ: This is way beyond just criticism of the war. It's very hard to have respect for a woman who exploits the death of her own son and doesn't respect her own son's life. This young man volunteered twice. This is not a draftee. This is somebody who volunteered, did a tour of four years and volunteered back for Iraq, and volunteered for the specific mission. I haven't heard one word out of Cindy Sheehan's mouth that respects what her son did. She portrays him as an idiot who was used by deceitful liars.
Later in the broadcast, Reagan challenged Horowitz on his comments:
REAGAN: You've said some pretty tough things about Cindy Sheehan. I'm not sure how you know that she disregards her son. That seems like a pretty ugly thing to say, frankly. And, frankly, it doesn't do much credit to your side.
HOROWITZ: Well -- look, I've got eyes, and so do you, Ron. This young man -- if I had a son who died and I opposed the war --
REAGAN: But you didn't, did you, David?
HOROWITZ: The first -- look --
REAGAN: You don't have a son who gave his life, do you, David?
HOROWITZ: I -- I have -- I have, myself, lost dear friends to the left in this country, who were murdered by the left. I know what pain is. I don't know what it is to lose a child. That's a terrible thing. But I am telling you, if my child had gone into a war that I disapproved of and was heroic in that war, the first thing I'd do is pay credit to him.
Horowitz also criticized Sheehan in an August 12 entry on his weblog at FrontPageMag.com, calling her "the most prominent symbol and chief mouthpiece of a psychological warfare campaign against her own country in time of war that can only benefit its enemies on the field of battle."