August 19, 2004

All the Views Fit to Print

From the Washington Post:

Records Counter a Critic of Kerry

Huh? What? Who is this critic of which you speak? Isn't it interesting that in the case of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the "correction" appears on page one above the fold, while the original news was buried on page 19.


Military records counter a Kerry critic

Say, these headlines look suspiciously similar. These folks aren't cribbing from each other or working from the same playbook, are they?

From the New York Times:

It may seem outlandish to launch a campaign broadside by television ad and book flackery devoted to discrediting the respectable Vietnam War record of Senator John Kerry, who has five combat medals. But that is exactly what a Republican-financed group of partisans is doing in presenting itself as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and tattooing the Democratic presidential nominee with accusations of lying about his service and war wounds. Never in Mr. Kerry's command, but claiming to have served near enough, its members are trying to contradict the firsthand accounts of his crewmates who are vouching for his war record.

And in case you still had a doubt where the NY Times squats:

The attack ads and the book, "Unfit for Command,'' are a visceral part of the anti-Kerry campaign in the battleground states.

For the loyal left, nothing says evil like Republican attack ads, unless, of course, we can drop NIXON into the mix:

The leader of the attack, John O'Neill, a Swift boat veteran and Texas lawyer, has been a detractor of Mr. Kerry for decades, ever since the Nixon White House recruited him to rebut Mr. Kerry's criticism of Vietnam policy.

Case closed. Or minds closed. Well, actually, neither case nor minds ever opened, but the effect is much the same.

Posted by Charles Austin at August 19, 2004 09:36 AM

Didn't Evan Thomas of Newsweek a few weeks back claim that reporters wanted to see Kerry win?

Is today's less than stellar and professional actions by what passes for today's news media any different than when the SUPREME GORON was running?

Posted by: russ at 10:19 AM

The MSNBC story is simply a reprint (properly attributed) of the Post.

Pretty common actually - MSNBC has some deal with the Post to "print" some of the Post's stories.

Posted by: dbett at 10:57 AM

The Swift Boat Veterns nonsense will probably end up backfiring on Bush. Any comparison between Kerry's and Bush's military records will make Bush look bad. In the end, the Swifties accusations will result in Bush looking like a weasel for not serving and showing up for duty. Keep it up...

Posted by: Karl Rove at 02:23 PM

Well Karl, uh Scott, uh whoever you are, thanks for your OT comments. But the only way it could backfire on Bush is if he was behind it, which he definitively is not unless he wants to be in violation of McCain-Fiengold. There is substantially less evidence for this than there is for Kerry ever being in Cambodia, no matter how much you wish for it to be true. And while I know you won't take your fingers out of your ears to hear it, Bush did serve in the National Guard and volunteered to go to Vietnam but wasn't selected.

Feel free to love Kerry, hate Bush, or whatever it is you want to do, but if you want to come around and converse with the adults it would be appreciated if you have at least a passing knowledge of the facts and a willingness to use them in a rational, coherent manner. If not, perhaps you will find yourself more welcome at Democratic Underground where ad hominem attacks, wishful thinking, and paranoid conspiracies are the order of the day.

As for keeping it up, well, frankly that's none of your business.

Posted by: charles austin at 02:38 PM

" Any comparison between Kerry's and Bush's military records will make Bush look bad. In the end, the Swifties accusations will result in Bush looking like a weasel for not serving and showing up for duty. Keep it up..."

Heh. How could Bush be made to look any worse than what MSM has already done? They've well and truly drained that well!!

Simple solution here, Kerry needs to do what President Bush has already done, release all his military records


Posted by: Jim in Texas at 02:51 PM

The phony attacks on Kerry's military record will only serve to contrast Bush and Kerry's military records. Take a look at Jacob Weisberg - - comparison of the Swift Boat ads and a contending ad from which questions President Bush's military service. The exchange is worth your while to read for several reasons. First, in a few paragraphs he shows how the Swift Boat ad is either unfalsifiable claims about Kerry's character, ones that have no basis in available evidence, or are specifically contradicted by the available evidence. In additon, a front page story in The Washington Post asked Thurlow to release his records. He refused because "he was unwilling to authorize release of his military records because he feared attempts by the Kerry campaign to discredit him and other anti-Kerry veterans." It seems he had some reason for concern. The Post got the records from a Freedom of Information Act request; and they back up Kerry's version of events. I have to admit there is satisfaction in seeing Thurlow hoisted on his own petard. But doing so would give these guys too much credit. Catching a liar lying isn't a coup; it's a definition. Indeed, these aren't just lies. The whole campaign is probably literally libelous. What is also clear is how ridiculous it is to even compare the Swift Boat ad with those now being run by One has demonstrable falsehoods, while the other contains two statements which are certainly true and have been reported by newspapers around the country (i.e. Bush got into the Guard with family connections and was later grounded) and another that is almost certainly true but not provable from available evidence. The effort is being put together by the president's supporters. He is benefitting greatly from it. And he and his aides have gone out of their way not to criticize it in any way. On the campaign trail President Bush makes no effort to distance himself from it at all. For these reasons, I beleive the Swift Boat ads any attention they get will have a major blowback on Bush. Take care.

Posted by: Karl Rove at 03:08 PM

Bush didn't run on any military record. Kerry did. Bush is the left calls "cowboy" remember? So the left thought they might need someone tougher like GIJOE. Only problem is this they got GIJOHN. And he's got all kinds of dreams seared into his memory.

Posted by: Gary B. at 03:26 PM

Was Kerry the author of the records they are quoting from?

If Kerry authored the records indicating enemy fire, how can those records be credibly used as a defense to his critics?

Will Senator Kerry file a standard Form 180 and release ALL his records or only the ones he authored?

Posted by: Anyone But Kerry at 03:33 PM

Heard today that Kerry wrote up Thurlow's request, ergo the similar language. Thurlow apparently thought he was getting it for what he did rescuing some guys. States there was NO enemy fire. I wouldn't be surprised if he gives it back.

I am still mystified how one can nominate one's self for a medal. (Not necessarily "Why" as there are numerous self serving answers for that.)

What I find truly weird is Kerry's anti-war stance *before* and after he went to Vietnam, and the viciousness which (by HIS own report in Brinkley's book) with which he claims to have pursued his assignment.

My brother-in-law served as a Naval office and got a star (can't remember which one -- it is in a small frame and hung in a hallway somewhere in their house). I think he was in Vietnam approximately 244 days more than Sen Kerry. He has never talked about it or Vietnam that much I suppose because 1) He has lived a very interesting and happy life since then 2) Real heroes don't talk about their stuff 2) He is a class act overall.

Posted by: JAL at 04:28 PM

And just this morning I read that in Douglas Brinkley's _Tour of Duty_ (Kerry's official, war biography) that Kerry wrote in his diary that he has not yet taken any enemy fire. What is interesting is this entry was made concerning a mission that followed the mission he earned his Purple Heart. Things that make you go, hmmm...

Posted by: Jon at 04:38 PM

Karl/Scott/Whomever -- If you want to rant away OT, get your own blog -- it's a free country, any as yet unstated concerns you might have about John Ashcroft notwithstanding. If you want to post here, might I suggest you stick to the topics under discussion and respond reasonably, rationally, and respectably to all involved. Otherwise, I'm going to ask Andrea to make you go away.

I suggest using your real name to start with. Another helpful hint would be to avoid using as a reputable source -- it's not. No doubt they occasionally get something right, but their blatant falsehoods and thier wicked viciousness have robbed them of a seat at the adult table. Slate's certainly more reputable, but a little selective when it comes to which facts they'll use and which they'll ignore. I take them as a data point, as I do all sources, not as an authoritative oracle.

Anyway, the topic in this thread is how Big Media can't seem to be bothered to touch Kerry in Cambodia with a 10-foot typewriter, unless it is to attack those accusing him, whereas any accusation against President Bush, no matter how lamebrained, gets page one coverage because of, well, uh, the seriousness of the charges, I guess.

Personally, I'm willing to salute Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam and not question it at all. I think it is a little unseemly to question what anybody did over there 35 years ago, but that's not really the point. My issues with Senator Kerry start with when he returned to the US and admitted to war crimes and slandered his "band of brothers." The other men who served in Vietnam have every right to take offense at everything Kerry has done since then and to get their grievances off their chest. Let's not challenge their patriotism or quash their dissent, ok?

Posted by: charles austin at 04:49 PM

didn't bush 'enter the fray' two years after kerry? US sentiment regarding the war was very different by the time bush was ready to 'enlist' whereever he chose. i commend bush for sensibly NOT volunteering to go to Vietnam. what had already become a 'quagmire'. the comparison between the two - kerry and bush - is no comparison. kerry was anti-war, by the time bush began to serve.

Posted by: fairness at 07:54 PM

JAL -- Rassmann says HE put John Kerry in for a silver star for rescuing him under fire. For all we know, it was Rassmanns write up that was used in the citation.

Not having been in either the military or Vietnam, I don't understand how medal nomination and after action reports worked at the time, so it would be nice if the press, when they found out about Thurlow's Bronze Star hadn't stopped there but done the investigating about who had inputs to the citation, who wrote after action reports, what damage was there, was anybody else wounded in this multiboat mission, etc. Instead, it seems like once again once they found info to their liking, they simply stopped.

Posted by: Kevin Murphy at 10:08 AM