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August 20, 2004
NY Post: Blogosphere Now Leading Edge On Kerry Vetting

The New York Post's Deborah Orin writes a great piece on the failure of the mainstream media to do their jobs in vetting John Kerry's campaign claims, especially when it comes to the Viet Nam service he has long proclaimed as his central qualification for the Presidency. As CQ reader Amelia discovered when she read the piece, Orin credits Captain's Quarters for uncovering the Alston dodge, which Tom "River Rat" Mortensen and I spent a lot of time and effort outlining:

THERE'S now some real angst in Democratic circles be cause of the growing evidence that Democrat John Kerry's claim to have a memory "seared in me" of spending Christmas 1968 in Cambodia was false and just didn't happen.

But what worries some pro-Kerry Democrats is the fear that Kerry has, as one put it, "an Al Gore problem" that he's a serial exaggerator. (Remember how Gore claimed to have invented the Internet and inspired the novel "Love Story"?)

Remember Kerry's claim that "I've met foreign leaders" who told him he had to beat Bush? Turned out he hadn't met any foreign leaders in years.

Kerry's campaign Web site claimed credit for Vietnam missions when another man, Tedd Peck, was the skipper (that was removed when he protested) and last week was claiming credit for former Sen. Bob Kerrey's service as Senate Intelligence Committee vice chairman.

"John Kerry, Bob Kerrey similar names," blithely explained Kerry campaign spokesman Michael Meehan, as if Kerry didn't know his own bio.

Orin steps through more of the list of known Kerry lies and embellishments that are out in the open -- and it's an impressive list -- before drilling down to the crux of her column. In a year where the Internet was expected to play some role, if tangential to the main thrust of the well-heeled 527s and the party machines on both sides, the blogosphere has instead turned into a powerfully influential force. Orin uses our Alston coverage as an example:

The other fascinating part of this story is the key role that bloggers on the Internet have played in pointing out the holes in Kerry's story even as much of the press tries to ignore them.

For instance, when Team Kerry held a press conference featuring his crewmates this week, one was conspicuously missing David Alston after the Internet-fueled revelation that he may have only served on Kerry's boat for one week.

A Web blogger, captainsquartersblog, began questioning whether Alston (who has spoken emotionally about how they "bled together") ever served with Kerry. National Review examined the records and concluded maybe for just one week.

This has been the second mention for Captain's Quarters in the mainstream media in the past two days. I'm thrilled, and in this case even more so, as Orin mentions other bloggers hanging tough on Kerry's factually-challenged account of his service record. Roger Simon and Hugh Hewitt also get well-deserved credit for their tenacious efforts in keeping the light shining on Kerry. (Coincidentally, or perhaps not so much so, the three of us spent two segments of Hugh's show together last week discussing the Cambodian Christmas myth.)

What may be more fascinating is not that what we wrote here affecting the media coverage (which is what we intended, after all), but we had an impact on the campaign itself. I had not realized that David Alston had been removed from the campaign trail until Orin wrote that today. Did we do that? It's hard to say; Byron York's piece on NRO had to have had an impact, and while I think that York may have been too credulous with Fred Short, his story confirmed what we already knew: Alston and Kerry had lied for a long time about their inclusion in the actions of 28 February and 29 January, respectively. And that started here and with Bandit on his forum.

It's all very heady stuff, and everyone who contributed to the Alston story should give themselves a hand.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at August 20, 2004 5:19 AM

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Congratulations to Captains Quarters Blog. Columnist Debrah Orin of the New York Post mention's the blog in regards to the effect that it had in poking holes in Kerry's Christmas in Cambodia story. Here is an excerpt: The other fascinating... [Read More]

Tracked on August 20, 2004 2:33 PM

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