Saturday, August 21, 2004

Forget the investigation, media already knows the answers 

This is how the mainstream media - Reuters in this case - is reporting Democrat talking points as fact:
"Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry asked the Federal Election Commission on Friday to force Republican critics to withdraw ads challenging his military service, and accused the Bush campaign of illegally helping coordinate the attacks.

"The Kerry campaign said it filed the complaint against the group behind the ads, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, 'for violating the law with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and Republican National Committee'...

"Bush and a top adviser have long-standing ties to people behind the advertisements, which claim Kerry lied about his Vietnam War service record, but the campaign denies any part in the ads themselves."
In other words, Reuters seems to be so keen to speed up the complaint process that it is already reporting as fact today what the Kerry campaign wants to Commission to establish as fact tomorrow. That's called pre-judging the outcome.

Then again, maybe Reuters doesn't need to wait for the Commission to reach its decisions, now that the "New York Times" (registration required, alas) has passed its verdict:
"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."
This is what liberals call a vast right-wing conspiracy. As Patterico writes:
"The article then spends an incredible amount of space detailing this 'web of connections,' which boils down to this: John O'Neill, a successful lawyer in Houston, knows some influential Republicans in Texas. He even knows people, including current and former law partners, who know George Bush and Karl Rove. Wow."
Let's forget for a moment logical arguments along the lines of "the group received funding from a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library, therefore it's all lies." Let's hope that at least the Commission will be able to finally concentrate on what the media has largely failed to do so far - determining whether the allegations raised by the vets are true or not. The question is not whether you can draw a fancy graph - "web of connections" - that resembles something out of a JFK conspiracy book; it is whether 250 Swift Boat veterans are lying about John Kerry's war record.

Maybe the Vets should have instead made a documentary that alleges, say, that John Kerry had been in cahoots with the Vietnamese Communist Party. Maybe there would be international awards and millions at the box-office instead of a Federal Election Commission investigation anda shrill overreaction from the Democrat candidate.

Michael Moore says that George Bush, in league with the Saudi Royal family, perverted the war on terror and send his country into a senseless war to benefit his corporate buddies. The Swift Boat Vets say that John Kerry lied about his personal military record in Vietnam.

Compare the gravity of accusations. Compare the official reaction of the accused. Then ask yourself, which one of them has better judgment and integrity to qualify them for the top office?


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