Skip to comments.Taking Lead from Kerry Campaign, Morning Shows Begin to Cover Swiftees' Charges
Posted on 08/20/2004 4:39:35 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbestEdited on 08/20/2004 4:45:50 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
So long as the Kerry campaign chose to largely ignore the charges of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT), the morning shows dutifully imposed their own blackout on the story.
But when Kerry broke his silence on the campaign trail yesterday, dusting off his hackneyed "bring it on" boast, it was clear that the honchos at the morning shows got the word from the DNC: start covering the story - using our talking points, of course.
And so each of the morning shows, for the first time to my recollection, had extended pieces on SBVT. Flipping madly among the channels, it is difficult to distinguish which network said what, but the basic approach was - predictably - consistent throughout.
Rather than focus on the substance of the charges, the emphasis was to suggest that this was effectively a Bush campaign plot.
One of the shows began its coverage by describing the SBVT TV commercials as "Republican-funded." Another breathlessly reported that John O'Neill, in forming his organization, had sought legal advice from a lawyer with Republican connections.
The one thing that was lacking in the network coverage: any serious attempt to refute the *substance* of the SBVT's charges. The closest to an attempted refutation were on-air statements from two members of Kerry's "band of brothers" that some VC (OK, I was flipping wildly by this time and am not sure if it was perhaps the teenager that Kerry ultimately killed) had lifted a grenade launcher, and if Kerry had not acted, "we would all have been history."
But that is a total strawman. O'Neill has explicitly and often said that no one is criticizing Kerry's decision to kill the VC.
What I did NOT see was anyone denying the SBVT claim that one of Kerry's Purple Hearts derived from a self-inflicted wound that needed nothing more than a band-aid. Nor was there refutation of the allegations that there was no firing from the shore that night. Nor that there was no firing at the time Kerry retrieved Rassman from the water. Rassman was shown on one of the shows saying something about the incident, but being in the water he was not in much of a position to know about firing and I do not recall him claiming there was any.
Good Morning America brought "analyst" George Stephanopolous in and Robin Roberts sagely inquired whether Kerry's demand that W call for ads to stop had not put the President "in a corner." Steph gravely agreed that indeed W was somewhat cornered. He concluded by stating that the Bush campaign would not ask the SBVT to stop because . . . "the ads appear to be working."
As lopsided as was the coverage, we should actually take heart. It is obvious that the networks are starting to cover the story for the same reason that the Kerry campaign is starting to respond - the ads, in revealing Kerry's fabrications and embellishments of his war record - are taking a toll. Indeed one of the shows displayed polling data indicating that, and one of the anchors nervously quoted "Democratic party leaders" as criticizing the Kerry campaign for not having forcefully responded earlier.
So for all the liberal media bias, every minute of coverage they devote to the issue is one minute not spent glorifying some new Kerry spending proposal, bashing W over the 'jobless' recovery, condemning the troop redeployment as 'pure politics,' etc.
We are winning this issue.
Today Show ping.
Sheesh. Old media is so lame.
"Isn't it, uh, sorta understood that the Swifties probably wouldn't be funded by, you know ... Democrats?"
Exactly. Funny, but I haven't heard the morning shows breathlessly report that Move.on's ads are funded by Democrats.
LOL! Even the WP gets it.
Washington Post: 'No Evidence of Direct Connections' (President Bush/Swiftboat Vets)
CNSNEWS.com ^ | 8/20/04 | Susan Jones
Posted on 08/20/2004 3:58:27 AM PDT by kattracks
It will be interesting to see if all the networks use the same talking points...
And by the way, Kerry wants sportsmen to know that he is also a . . . Deer Hunter.
Sounds like non-denial denials all around this morning.
It's my belief that when Jf'K got home from Vietnam and began spewing venom while our guys were over there he turned many into Republicans.
When I saw my then young Navy LT husband ordered to wear his civilian clothes to Pentagon and remove his uniform because of all the harrassment from protesters (lead by Guess-Who), it made US BOTH Republicans!
I wonder if Al Gore is sorry he invented the internet. :)
We'll know they're series/serious when they invite some Swifties on...don't hold your breath...
> So for all the liberal media bias, every minute of coverage they devote to the issue is one minute not spent glorifying some new Kerry spending proposal, bashing W over the 'jobless' recovery, condemning the troop redeployment as 'pure politics,' etc.
I hope you're right. They say there's no such thing as bad press; I don't think I agree. We've got the column inches now, but is this an innoculation against the truth of the charges? The battle for truth rages, domestically as well as in Najaf.
Unless the extra-strength Sumatra coffee was getting to me, I think I did see a brief clip of O'Neill on one of the shows. Not a live interview - where he couldn't be edited - but at least some coverage.
I'd put it this way: Kerry is reduced to playing defense. And some of the charges are clearly sticking with some of the electorate. I really don't see any downside, unless it could conclusively be proved that the Bush campaign was secretly behind this - and that's not going to happen.
The VRWC strikes again. Or maybe it's just that the Truth wants out? Nah. That's too scary for the lib crowd. Back to scrambling the message.
If and when Kerry really starts to sink in the polls, how long will it be before the MSM starts whining about "the 2004 equivalent of the Willie Horton ad"?
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