Saturday, August 21, 2004

AP Runs Interference For Kerry

Although there are many examples of outright bias in the media, this article by the AP's David Epso may be the most egregious example to date. Epso, who has been covering presidential elections since 1980, begins his article with this paragraph:

WASHINGTON (AP) - John Kerry's Vietnam War service records run to multiple medal commendations and a notation of "conspicuous gallantry" in combat. President Bush's file tracks the stateside career of a National Guard test pilot. Yet the combat veteran is the one under attack as a wartime pretender in the race for the White House.

Pretender? It gets worse from there. In the next paragraph he repeats the talking points layed out by the Democratic Party by linking the controversy or "smear" to the Bush Campaign, and points to the agitators in talk radio, the internet and cable news:

It's a controversy _ Democrats call it a smear _ stirred by the president's allies and aimed at undermining Kerry's truthfulness, personal character and fitness for office as much as his claim to the medals he came home with. Smear or not, the charges are spreading at the speed of talk radio, cable television and the Internet, and affecting the campaign in unpredictable ways.

His next few paragraphs are dedicated to a description of the first Swift Boat Veterans for Truth TV ad. The following paragraphs are as biased and misleading as any I have read:

Like Kerry, the president faces continuing questions about his service during the Vietnam era.

So far, though, the president's critics haven't elevated it as a campaign issue, preferring to stress domestic concerns such as the economy, health care and education. In his speech Thursday, though, Kerry said he was more than willing to take up the issue with Bush personally. "Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: 'Bring it on.'"

It's unlikely the president will. There are lingering questions about whether Bush reported for National Guard duty over a three-month period in 1972. He was in Alabama at the time, having left Texas to work on a political campaign. The most recent batch of records, released on the eve of Kerry's nominating convention this summer, were inconclusive.

The Democrats have not elevated George Bush's Vietnam record to campaign level!? Was Epso on vacation when Terry McCauliffe declared that George Bush was AWOL on national television? Did he miss the repeated White House press conferences during which the only subject the pool reporters asked about was the president's time in the Air National Guard. Did he not see the front page headlines? Did he miss the fact that the Democrats demanded that the President sign the 180 form that made all of his records public? Did he miss Tim Russert asking the President if he would release his records on Meet the Press. Does he not understand that George Bush released all of his records by signing the form 180, something that John Kerry has yet to do? What lingering questions are there about Bush's service? He has released every scrap of paper, down to his dental records and receipts from the time. There are no lingering questions, but apparently David Epso wants there to be. And then to add that the Democrats prefer to talk about the issues. Yes, that's right. Kerry really concentrated on those issue during his acceptance speech at the DNC didn't he David? He barely even mentioned Vietnam, right David? The guy saluted and declared he was reporting for duty for crying out loud!

The article also contains a statement by Michael Meehan, spokesman for the Kerry Campaign:

John Kerry has showed he's earned the trust of the nation to be commander in chief coming out of the (Democratic) convention," says spokesman Michael Meehan. "Republicans don't know what to do with themselves, so they will do anything, including a smear book, smear television ads paid for by Republicans filled with anything they can to stop him."

This is classic Clinton playbook. If there are questions about your character avoid them and launch an all out assault on the questioner. In John Kerry's case it is a continuation of the assault he launched on these veterans in 1971.

A previous post on A Time For Choosing stated that there were two candidates for president of the United states - George Bush and the media. This article by David Epso illustrates this point better than any article so far.