Captain's Quarters Blog


« CBS Poll: Kerry Losing Ground In August | Main | It Wasn't Tet, Either »

August 19, 2004
Gray Lady Hides Kerry Behind Her Skirts

The expected broadside to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth came this evening, as the New York Times advances the campaign strategy John Kerry launched this afternoon -- ad hominem attacks and screeching about funding sources while paying little factual attention to the well-documented allegations from the Swiftvets. Trying to paint the 250 decorated Viet Nam vets as stooges for eeeeevil Republican-machine leaders, the Paper of Record manages to counter a story it ignored with copious silence over the past two weeks:

Mr. Kerry called them "a front for the Bush campaign" - a charge the campaign denied. A series of interviews and a review of documents show a web of connections to the Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush's chief political aide, Karl Rove.

Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.

So they received about $200,000 dollars from Republican Bob J. Perry a few weeks after forming a 527 with the explicit mission to reveal John Kerry's lies about Viet Nam and his service? Well, isn't that shocking? Did anyone labor under the impression that the Swiftvets would get their money from billionaire George Soros? Oh, wait, sorry ... Soros' money is tied up in activist groups like Americans Coming Together and MoveOn.org dedicated to unseating George Bush -- to the tune of at least 25 times that amount.

I assume the big expose' of MoveOn as a dirty-tricks front for the Democrats will be forthcoming from the New York Times. I'll start looking tomorrow.

Unfortunately, half of the article is dedicated to the list of influential people SBVT founder John O'Neill knows through his law practice in Houston the way the Old Testament documents its geneology: O'Neill represented Falcon Seaboard, and so he knows David Dewhurst, who was (cue heavy music) "a central player" in the Texas redistricting plan. O'Neill's practice also brought him into relationships with Perry and Harlan Crow, who donated money to his cause. And because Perry was active in Texas politics, you know who he knows? Karl Rove, the eeeeeevil genius behind eeeeeevil Republicanism.

If you can sit through this litany of begats and connected-tos that lead to no conclusion whatsoever, the Times then begins to use memes that had been discarded before they wrote the article to cast doubt on the Swiftvets' credibility -- amazingly, without bothering to provide any resources to actually investigating their claims:

Mr. Elliott, who was in charge of the process of awarding medals in Vietnam, had signed one affidavit saying Mr. Kerry "was not forthright" in the statements that had led to his Silver Star. Two weeks ago, he told The Boston Globe that in retrospect he felt he should not have signed the affidavit. He then signed a second affidavit that reaffirmed his first, which the Swift Boat Veterans gave to reporters. Mr. Elliott has refused to speak publicly since then.

Elliot has repeatedly stated that his remarks were taken out of context, and that he told the Globe that he only regretted one small part of the affadavit regarding an event that he personally had not observed. Compare that to the martyr treatment that the Times gives Patrick Runyon for the same exact thing for which they hang Elliot:

Patrick Runyon, who served on a mission with Mr. Kerry, said he initially thought the caller was from a pro-Kerry group, and happily gave a statement about the night Mr. Kerry won his first Purple Heart. The investigator said he would send it to him by e-mail for his signature. Mr. Runyon said the edited version was stripped of all references to enemy combat, making it look like just another night in the Mekong Delta.

"It made it sound like I didn't believe we got any returned fire," he said. "He made it sound like it was a normal operation. It was the scariest night of my life."

I'm willing to accept Runyon's clarification, but it's worth noting that his recollection conflicts with Kerry's own journals, which clearly state at 11 December 1968 that he had not yet been shot at.

The Times also reviews the Letson testimony, if only to note that he disputes the record and says his only evidence is his own word. They cover the Bronze Star story in more detail, using today's Washington Post story regarding Larry Thurlow's Bronze Star citation as an impeachment against his testimony. However, Thurlow has repeatedly stated that he never put himself in for a medal, and that the only report that mentioned incoming enemy fire was Kerry's.

Curiously, the story that the Times has yet to cover for its readers is put last on the list: the Cambodian Christmas myth. After impugning the credibility of the Swiftvets for four full sections, the Times finally acknowledges that the Swiftvets were right about the story that Kerry once said was "seared -- seared" into his memory and has used for at least 25 years to explain his political activism (as opposed to a narcissistic egomania):

This week, as its leaders spoke with reporters, they have focused primarily on the one allegation in the book that Mr. Kerry's campaign has not been able to put to rest: that he was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968, as he declared in a statement to the Senate in 1986. Even Mr. Brinkley, who has emerged as a defender of Mr. Kerry, said in an interview that it was unlikely that Mr. Kerry's Swift boat ventured into Cambodia on Christmas or Christmas Eve, though he said he believed that Mr. Kerry was probably there shortly afterward.

In an article of over 3,500 words, those 99 are the only coverage the Gray Lady provides for the embarrassing debacle of the campaign's last two weeks. No mention of Kerry advisor Michael Meehan's clumsy geographical explanations of how the Mekong Delta formed the border between Cambodia and Viet Nam, which the London Telegraph noted was a "geographical area not found on maps." Not a word about how the Kerry campaign insisted that Kerry never said he had been in Cambodia, hastily reversed itself when shown the Congressional Record for March 27th, 1986, and then went silent for two days while it concocted the ludicrous notion that Kerry had meant he was near Cambodia -- which makes no sense of this supposed epiphany. Finally, they dragged up Douglas Brinkley to assert that Kerry made secret missions with Special Ops guys and promised to write all about it in the next New Yorker -- and instead has hidden himself from all contact in the media.

None. Not a word over 99. And that 99 comes five paragraphs from the bottom of a 73-paragraph article.

After studiuously ignoring the raging controversy, the New York Times finally reported on it on the same day that Kerry "came out swinging," in the words of another media outlet, charging his fellow combat veterans Republican stooges. How ... convenient for Kerry that the Times had written an article that fits his campaign strategy so very well.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 19, 2004 10:04 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gray Lady Hides Kerry Behind Her Skirts:

» Kerry's Vietnam Lies are Catching Up to Him from infidel cowboy
updaet: Captain Ed has more, much more! update: as the crushkerry.com link below predicted, the brown books are out and being utilized by the lamestream media sympathetic to Kerry to smear the swiftboat vets. Regular WaPo readers must wonder what... [Read More]

Tracked on August 19, 2004 11:21 PM

» NYT late and lame to the SwiftVets controversy from BeldarBlog
Beldar stifles a yawn, a belch, and a tired shake of the head in reading the Kerry Camp's predigested tripe regarding SwiftVets vs. Kerry regurgitated almost verbatim by the New York Times. [Read More]

Tracked on August 19, 2004 11:26 PM

» Run out the guns, wait till you hear the hulls scraping then fire! The New York Times drifts lazily into the sights of the new media from The Pink Flamingo Bar grill
The New York Times is acting like the 2 FBI agents in Die Hard, bring out the standard playbook because that has always worked before. Because it did work with Clinton and the State Troopers, but bloggers werent around then to FACT CHECK THEIR ASSES. W... [Read More]

Tracked on August 19, 2004 11:32 PM

» Washington Post Finds Cambodia from Slings And Arrows
They thought it was missing for good, but someone must have looked under the couch because the Washington Post has finally found Cambodia: While Kerry struck back at the group, he did not address some of the accusations, including the... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 12:45 AM

» New York Times Hit Piece on the Swift Vets Finally Comes Out from Patterico's Pontifications
Tomorrow, the New York Times will publish its expected Washington > Campaign 2004 > Friendly Fire: The Birth of an Anti-Kerry Ad" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/20/politics/campaign/20swift.html?ex=1250740800&">hit piece on the Swift Boat Vets. T... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 1:51 AM

» Chris Matthews Creates a Story from Demosophia
Everyone's all hot and bothered, because Chris is all hot and bothered, about some new trumped up allegation from the evil right-wing conspiracy that Kerry wounded himself deliberately in order to get out of Vietnam. I have to tell you, [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 1:56 AM

» Too Late, NY Times from LeatherPenguin
You guys blew it. The SwiftVets announced their intentions back in May. The rumbling grew and grew and you ignored it. You knew it was out there; knew it was... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 7:25 AM

» New York Times Weighs In from Somewhere on A1A...
You might say, "At least they're covering the story," but the Times article gives rise to more questions than they answered. Yes, they attack the messenger, and their attack did manage to raise some questions about the Swiftee's claims... The... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 8:56 AM

» The Birth--and, perhaps, death?--of an Anti-Kerry Ad from QandO
The New York Times has an article on the Swift Boat Veterans sure to propogate around the blogosphere in short order today. Kerry supporters will write--not unreasonably--that it is a vindication of Kerry, and a refutal of the Swift Boat... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 8:59 AM

» The Birth of an Anti-Kerry Ad from Outside The Beltway
Quite some time after the story hit the Drudge reports and came under cross-fire from the blogosphere, the NYT has decided that the controversy generated by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth should be investigated. The result is a long piece that fron... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 9:36 AM

» Knight-Ridder: More Shameless Than the NYT from Strange Women Lying in Ponds
Knight-Ridder continues to pimp for the Kerry campaign with this article: "Military records support Kerry's account of Vietnam service": The long-ago Vietnam War has suddenly become a central issue in the presidential campaign. Hardly sudden, guys. It ... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 10:18 PM

» The Washington Post gets curious from Ereblog
After somebody there "looked under the couch" and "found Cambodia" (as Slings and Arrows memorably puts it), the Washington Post got curious. They have dragged it out from under there and shone a big spotlight on the whole Swift Vets/Kerry conflic... [Read More]

Tracked on August 21, 2004 3:06 PM

» The Media Reports For Duty from New England Republican
The mainstream media finally reported for duty this week regarding some of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth accusations against John Kerry. Unfortunately, their commanding officer appears to be none other than John Kerry himself! [Read More]

Tracked on August 21, 2004 8:37 PM



Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios





blog advertising



button1.jpg

Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!