Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Stuck In The Mud

The White House just can't seem to disassociate itself from the Swift Boat Slime.

From the Dallas Morning News:
Houston home builder Bob Perry, a key bankroller for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is listed as the co-host of a New York City fund-raiser next week for the Harris County GOP, whose guest list includes President Bush's top political adviser...

...Invitations to the Harris County reception and fund-raiser Sept. 1 at Tavern on the Green name Mr. Perry as an event sponsor, and those on the invitation list include former President George Bush, presidential adviser Karl Rove and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
Meanwhile, from NPR's John McChesney:
"And over the weekend, another swift boat Veteran, William Rood, also broke 35 years of silence to support Kerry's version of how he won a silver star. Rood is now an editor with the Chicago Tribune. The Bush campaign denounced Rood's article in the Tribune as politically motivated."
The Swift Boat Slander has become too much for some people to bear, like the editors at the Los Angeles Times:
The technique President Bush is using against John F. Kerry was perfected by his father against Michael Dukakis in 1988, though its roots go back at least to Sen. Joseph McCarthy. It is: Bring a charge, however bogus. Make the charge simple: Dukakis "vetoed the Pledge of Allegiance"; Bill Clinton "raised taxes 128 times"; "there are [pick a number] Communists in the State Department." But make sure the supporting details are complicated and blurry enough to prevent easy refutation.

Then sit back and let the media do your work for you. Journalists have to report the charges, usually feel obliged to report the rebuttal, and often even attempt an analysis or assessment. But the canons of the profession prevent most journalists from saying outright: These charges are false. As a result, the voters are left with a general sense that there is some controversy over Dukakis' patriotism or Kerry's service in Vietnam. And they have been distracted from thinking about real issues (like the war going on now) by these laboratory concoctions...

...No informed person can seriously believe that Kerry fabricated evidence to win his military medals in Vietnam. His main accuser has been exposed as having said the opposite at the time, 35 years ago. Kerry is backed by almost all those who witnessed the events in question, as well as by documentation. His accusers have no evidence except their own dubious word.

Not limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: These charges against John Kerry are false. Or at least, there is no good evidence that they are true. George Bush, if he were a man of principle, would say the same thing.


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5:56 AM  

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