Sunday, August 22, 2004

The Mainstream Media And Kerry vs. Bush?

The story about the Swift Boat Vets (SBV's) continues to get more interesting. After ignoring the story over the past 10-11 days the press are now finally talking about it. Unfortunately the mainstream press does not seem to be interested in investigating the claims of the group. Much of what we are seeing can only be described as a defense of Kerry and what he did in Vietnam.

Shouldn't the press take a closer look at the claims to see which are valid, which are questionable, and which are incorrect, etc?

Unfortunately they seem to be happy to point out any discrepancy in the claims of the SBV's. Once they do this the general attitude seems to be that the rest of the claims can be dismissed as well.

There is no doubt that not every claim of the SBV's can withstand close scrutiny. However it is equally true that not all Kerry's claim can withstand the light as well. For example, now that the SBV's have come out, Kerry has had to back off his decades old Cambodia story. What else doesn't stand up to scrutiny?

As such, if the mainstream press were really doing their job, they would take a close look at the claims offered by both sides.

If and when the mainstream press does that, both the left and right should admit a few things.

National Review online has said it best. The following quotations are taken from the Kerry Spot

In order to generate more light than heat about what John Kerry did and didn't do back in Vietnam, each side ought to agree to some ground rules and points to concede.

Stuff the Right ought to concede:

* If you sat down and talked politics with each one of the Swift Boat Vets, you would probably find almost of them are Republicans and/or conservatives.
* Almost all of the Swift Boat Vets have disliked, and in some cases, hated Kerry since his 1971 testimony.
* Jerome Corsi has written all kinds of stuff on that would make the average soccer mom's hair stand on end.
* The Swift Boat Vets don't speak for everybody; there are 13 or so guys who served under Kerry who thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread.
* According to the records, Kerry was posted at An Thoi, not too far from the Cambodian border, for about one week in December 1968. Theoretically, he could have crossed the border during that time period, although there's scant evidence beyond Kerry's claims.
* The case of the Swift Boat Vets would be helped if one of their members, Jack Chenoweth, would show his diary to the media.

Stuff the Left ought to concede:

* It is supremely unlikely that each and every last one of the 264 Swift Boat Vets for Truth is nuts, a liar, or a Karl Rove mind-controlled zombie.
* Right now, we don't know who wrote the Navy's records for these patrols at this time. If they were written by Kerry, they are no more reliable than his diary or his current recollections.
* Recollections that are seared — seared! - into Kerry's memory may not be all that reliable after all.
* George W. Bush isn't underwriting anything. Even if he wanted to stop their ads, he couldn't. The Swift Boat Vets wouldn't listen to the president or Rove today, because they're out to nail the guy who trashed their reputations and called them war criminals in 1971. They now have their own donor base of (at last count) 10,000 people.
* If John McCain's disapproval is enough to define someone as beyond the political pale, then Barbara Streisand would have been burned at the stake a long time ago.
* Pointing out that Bush didn't go to Vietnam doesn't really say anything one way or another about whether the Swift Boat Vets' claims are accurate.

We are waiting...


Post a Comment

<< Home