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Free Pass
By Ed Driscoll · August 11, 2004 01:34 PM · Oh, That Liberal Media!

Brent Bozell asks a good question:

The John Kerry candidacy was built on an audacious rewrite of history. The man who roundly condemned the war effort, accusing his fellow soldiers of unspeakable acts of barbarism, would run as a hero of that war, surrounded by his "Band of Brothers." How could any self-respecting journalist covering this charade remain silent?
Evan Thomas and Tim Graham have good answers.

Graham writes:

It all seems so familiar now. In their overt desire to reject a second term for a President Bush, the liberal media elite allows the Democratic candidate to create a legend around himself and his past. Whatever inconvenient holes or weaknesses there are in his personal history are whitewashed out. When the Democrat's critics challenge these legends, only then is it time to travel beyond the mythology and launch into investigative journalism but only to expose the cynical conspiracies of the partisan plotters against the Democrat.

This entire cycle, which recalls 1992 and then repeats in every other year of the Clinton era, is now coming around again with the ad and book campaign of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In Clinton-era terms, it could echo the Paula Jones case. Like Jones, the vets held a press conference (at the National Press Club in early May) that most national media outlets strenuously ignored. So months later, they created another splash to draw the media out, only to be sharply criticized.

But the better Clinton-era comparison for the swift-boat veterans are the Arkansas state troopers. Obviously, Vietnam was no walk through a Little Rock nightclub. But these men know Kerry, as the troopers knew Clinton. They say they are eyewitnesses to some moments that do not match the much-seen flattering filmstrips of his wartime experiences. It is the very possibility of their persuasive power that causes Democratic-media apparatchiks to decide they must be discredited. Their motives for lying were the primary focus, and reporters rarely sought to confirm the negative stories, preferring to leave them unsubstantiated and uncirculated.

Fortunately, things have changed a little since 1996.


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