February 17, 2004

What Liberal Bias?

Compare this headline:

Bush Tries to Boost Troop Morale in La.

To the first few words of this AP wire report:

Snapping a sharp salute before cheering soldiers…

And then compare those first few words to the rest of the sentence:

…President Bush put his credentials as wartime commander in chief on display Tuesday against suggestions he ducked his military duty as a child of privilege during the Vietnam War.

No, no bias here. Just the news, strictly objective and impassionate, without pride nor prejudice. But wait! There’s more!

Democrats have questioned Bush's stint in the Texas Air National Guard — how he managed to get in and whether he fulfilled his obligations — at the height of the Vietnam War. The Democrats also have contrasted Bush's stay-at-home duty with the combat-decorated record of Sen. John Kerry, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Under pressure, the White House released Bush's military records last Friday but there was nothing new to document that Bush showed up for service in Alabama when Democrats have suggested he was AWOL, or missing.

Funny how it is never noted that there has yet to be any credible evidence provided that President Bush did not fulfill his National Guard obligations. But you have to appreciate the irony of Democrats and the Left getting so cozy and comfortable with someone whom they formerly would have called a “baby killer.” But wait! There’s still more!

It also was his first appearance on a military base since former chief weapons inspector David Kay concluded that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, as Bush had alleged in leading the nation to war.

Is there any point at all in noting that that is not what David Kay said? Probably not. But, all is not lost if we can judge from the perspective of the troops whose morale President Bush set out to boost:

Staff Sgt. Jim Lee, an Arkansas National Guardsman, said, "I think he did his duty. We're certainly supportive of the president. We're all Guardsmen, so we know what happens when you transfer from one state to another. The records get convoluted."
Pfc. Allen Harmon, also from Arkansas, said, "In a sense you've got to look at people's past. But right now, he's doing a good job."

First Lt. Jason Cannon, a soldier of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment who was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq, said, "I think it was a really long time ago. The press gets focused on things that aren't that important. I don't think he was AWOL. I've been in the Guard. He switched states. It looks like he was looking for a place to drill."

Pfc Willie Wade, a guardsmen majoring in education at Grambling State University, said, "I wondered (about Bush's Guard flap) when I first saw it. I take it he fulfilled his duty. They showed the papers."

I take it that the AP couldn’t even find a single troop to jump on the Bush was AWOL bandwagon. Looks to me as though the President managed more than just try to boost their morale, AP reticence to note same notwithstanding.

NOTE: I didn’t realize that the Professor (and a whole lot of other people) had already hit this.

DOWNDATE: Apparently the wire report has been changed.

Posted by Charles Austin at February 17, 2004 11:05 PM