August 15, 2004

Why the Dino Media is Dying

Dean is wondering why the mainstream press is still AWOL on Kerry's Vietnam record in general, and the flagrant lie about Cambodia in particular:

It increasingly appears that one of the few of the fellow vets who have been publicly supporting John Kerry may never have served with him at all.

The media blackout on Kerry's Vietnam record is really quite stunning. I've never seen anything quite like this. We know for a fact that 80-90% of working reporters and editors vote Democratic in every election, but this is simply unreal. As John Rosenberg notes, even so respectably mainstream-left a paper as the Washington Post, on its front page no less, is continuing to gush about Kerry's fantastic Vietnam record and the support of his fellow veterans, while saying not one word about any of the Swifties' allegations or the recently uncovered evidence of Kerry's possibly false claims about Cambodia. Or about a man who served on his boat saying he's a liar and a sleaze.

The Post didn't put the gushy praise-sans-criticism in an editorial either. It was there as front page news.

I would have to ask why a single 20 year old drunk driving charge made screaming national headlines four years ago, but none of this is making it into the mainstream press, except on the editorial pages of a few small newspapers.

I am honestly stunned. This isn't bias. This is... it's... I don't even know the word for it. It's obviously not a conspiracy, and people who think it is one should take off their tinfoil hats. But what do you call it? Groupthink? Mass delusion? Blind spot? You cannot gush praise at a guy's military record and then just ignore the fact that he has heavy duty critics. Even if all of those critics were right-wing Republicans, that doesn't make it less of a story.

At this point it is becoming a bit shocking. But look at the polls: Kerry and Bush appear to be in a dead heat, statistically. No liberal editor wants to run a story that might influence a single swing voter in the "wrong" direction.

What's especially hilarious is that a lot of my liberal-left friends maintain that the media bias is in the other direction. Amazing, that.

Posted by Attila at August 15, 2004 08:43 PM

What I find amazing is that I've found more stories denouncing the Swift Vets as a "Republican hit squad" than I've seen of the Swift Boat Veteran's charges.

Posted by: Michael at August 16, 2004 07:34 AM

Have the liberals at Fox picked this story up? I doubt it. Because there is nothing to back it up. It is all just election year, partisan, mud-slinging. It has nothing to do with liberal bias in the media.

It is all coming from Republicans who have made up this crap about Kerry because they know that Bush's military service is pathetic compared to Kerry's.

Bush is no military hero, and Kerry is. Tough break. But, since the pro-war right has placed such a high premium on military service, they are now in a position of having to pretend that their candidate is somehow more of a "military man" than his opponent.

It is really quite a sad thing to see people who claim to value military service rip into Kerry. The principled thing to do would be to just say, "Hey Kerry may be a war hero, but I think Bush sould be prez because of xyz."

Really, what this all goes to show is that, for conservatives, principles are a stick to hit others with, and that all words and actions by conservatives are justified because they believe their cause to be above all others.

Posted by: HipNerd at August 17, 2004 09:48 PM

It is all coming from Republicans who have made up this crap about Kerry because they know that Bush's military service is pathetic compared to Kerry's.

Are you sure? These are hundreds of guys, placing their reputations on the line, subjecting themselves to awful smear tactics in order to say publicly that Kerry's war record is questionable. They've been maintaining this for months, trying to dissuade the Democrats from nominating this man.

As for what happened in Vietnam: they were there, and I was not. The least I can do is listen to what they have to say.

Bush is no military hero, and Kerry is. Tough break. But, since the pro-war right has placed such a high premium on military service, they are now in a position of having to pretend that their candidate is somehow more of a "military man" than his opponent.

I don't think that's so. I don't think most of us on the "pro-war right" really give a rip about whether someone served or not. The concern is more, "what can he do for the country now?"

Also: Bush supporters don't have to attack Kerry's war record. Their guy has four years as Commander-in-Chief, vs. a decades-old three-month-long stint on a Swift boat. (A normal "tour of duty" at that time was a year.)

It is really quite a sad thing to see people who claim to value military service rip into Kerry.

Then what do you say to the men who came back from Vietnam to accusations of "Baby Killer!" because of the way Kerry portrayed the conduct of American soldiers/sailors? A lot of Vietnam vets--including Democrats--are livid about that. Many of them feel betrayed.

We're talking about a guy whose picture is hanging in a museum in Ho Chi Minh City, after all. And we know that the men who were captured and tortured were taunted about the testimony of Kerry and guys like him by the Vietnamese up in Hanoi.

And there was that business about how it was "seared, seared" into Kerry's memory that he was in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, when Nixon was President--except that Nixon wasn't President until the following January, and there doesn't appear to be any way Kerry could possibly have been in Cambodia on that day. Let's say obvious lies like this don't engender a lot of trust.

The principled thing to do would be to just say, "Hey Kerry may be a war hero, but I think Bush sould be prez because of xyz."

I would love it if the issues were discussed more in this campaign. But all Kerry seems to want to talk about is Southeast Asia 30+ years ago.

Posted by: Attila Girl at August 17, 2004 10:48 PM

In fact, the "Christmas in Cambodia" story has changed twice in the past few days. First Kerry was "near" Cambodia at Christmas, and then when that one sank, he was in Cambodia "near" Christmas. Like late January, or maybe early February.

Or so we hear from Kerry's spokescritters. Kerry himself hasn't said anything on the subject. And since his entire campaign platform consists of 4 months and 11 days of service in Vietnam, that's kind of a problem. For Kerry, anyway.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at August 18, 2004 05:53 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

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