Saturday, May 27, 2006

So Kerry's still at it. How about the press?

It's nice to read in this New York Times story this morning that Sen. John Kerry is finally fighting back against the 'Swifties,' those tools of Rove who attacked his military record during the 2004 campaign. A little late, I guess, but a good idea nevertheless. Still, that he would have to work so hard to disprove charges that no one outside the rapid reaches of the right give any credit to is absurd. And the Times article has an infuriatingly snarky tone about it, but one that's sadly typical of the US media. Kerry just can't move on, it suggests. Clearly the Times has already moved on, not mentioning once in the article that perhaps major media outlets, like, oh, I don't know, THE NEW YORK TIMES lapped up all that Swiftboat crap during the election like hungry little puppies. But hey, people--that's all in the past.

In related, but much better, rant, see Jamison Foser's Media Matter piece on media treatment of Bush compared to its treatment of the Clintons. Jeesh.


Rob said...

Reading the New York Times article made angry all over again. Every night after work in '04 I phonebanked to swing states during the campaign. Shortly after the swift boat veterans launched their attack, I had people bringing up the the charges as evidence of Kerry's character flaws. One woman in Pennsylvania told me that because Bob Dole said there was something to their accusations on television she couldn't vote for him. Meanwhile the Dan Rather/60 Minutes flap distracted from the substance of his report on Bush and the National Guard which was the truth.

I'm no Kerry fan. I used to be. When he joined the Senate in the 1980s he courageoulsy locked horns with Jesse Helms on the foreign relations committee regarding our Nicaraguan policy. He was the first Senator to stumble onto illegality regarding the Iran/Contra scandal. And he did a tremendous job during the BCCII investigation as well his efforts for reconciliation with Vietnam regarding POW's.

But his support of the war was an unconscionable act of political expediency. I don't believe for one second that Kerry truly supported this war but he voted for it anyway. That's inexusable. It's one thing for a politician to stick their finger to the wind over tax policy. War however must remain a matter of conscious. Of all people I exptected better of him on that.

I supported him in '04 to get Bush out of office like a lot of volunteers. Yes, the swift boat veterans for truth charges were outrageous. But the Democrats ought to do better than Kerry for 2008.

Wulingren said...

I also linked to that. Great piece.

christian_left said...

Very well-written Media Matters link. Thanks for posting it. On a trivial sidenote, as a recent Philadelphia resident I especially enjoyed the cheesesteak angle. (The reporter who looked into W's actual cheese preference vs. the one he claimed should realize, however, that the alternative to American cheese is usually provolone OR whiz, not both together...of course, this doesn't change the fundamental point at all...Myself, I always ordered "provlone without [onions]" although I did from time to time mischieviously persuade out of town visitors to try the whiz...)

As for John Kerry, I might prefer that he didn't keep taking on the swift boat lie brigade (although he is certainly entitled to set the record straight, if he chooses), since it just keeps reminding me of my own discomfort with someone trumpeting and defending his "heroism" in the Vietnam War as some kind of badge of honor. I would have been happier with Kerry all along if he had emphasized some of the better things he did in his life, such as his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War after he returned and his bold foreign policy work of the 80s and early 90s (see Rob's comment for more details on that).