Bumiller, who took over the McCain beat from Marc Santora in January, quoted a 2004 story in which McCain said the Kerry meeting never happened, according to ABC News. McCain, whose temper does flare up at times, told Bumiller that everyone already knows this story, despite her persistent questioning.
Republican Sen. John McCain, showing a flash of the temper he is known for, repeatedly cut off a reporter Friday when asked whether he had spoken to Democratic Sen. John Kerry about being his vice president in 2004.
And conservative blogs and television commentators accuse Mr. Obama of all manner of unpatriotic derelictions....Mr. McCain, for his part, lobbed a few shots over the weekend into the Democratic Party ranks.
If either Democrat withdrew troops from Iraq as proposed, he said in a speech Saturday night before the Republican Governors Association in Washington, Al Qaeda would "celebrate to the world that they have defeated the United States of America."
Earlier, I noted how the New York Times barely touched on adultery rumors about John Kerry four years ago, and how the morning shows lurched into McCain-in-crisis mode at the first shaky Times "romantic relationship" story on Vicki Iseman. The same pattern followed on network TV coverage of the Kerry rumor. It barely surfaced, and never for more than a sentence or two. All three networks heavily suggested to viewers it was bunk, not a crisis. This shows either (a) the trust of the networks in the New York Times or (b) the lust of the networks for Republican dirt or (c) both. Here's how a quick check of the Nexis data-retrieval system looked.
ABC. Peter Jennings was first in raising it and dismissing it on the February 13, 2004 World News Tonight. "Just one other note about Senator Kerry, several times today, including on a national radio program, the Senator was asked whether rumors about him and a young woman had any substance. The Senator denied it categorically. There is nothing, he said, to report."
It now appears, as predicted by yours truly two weeks ago today, that Hillary Clinton will not be our next president, and that Barack Obama is going to be Democratic Party's presidential nominee.
This means that it must be time for Old Media to start playing robust defense on his behalf.
Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press got Old Media off to a "great" start in that regard this morning, as she linked criticism of Obama's patriotism strictly to conservatives, rewrote the history of the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry, played a game of misdirection regarding the candidate's failure to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem, and made excuses for Michelle Obama's quarter-century gap in her pride in being an American.
Pickler's report, entitled "Conservatives Say Obama Lacks Patriotism," starts thusly:
A story that mildly resembles today's McCain "scoop" came four years ago, the charge that young AP reporter Alexandra Polier may have had an affair with John Kerry. No proof emerged. How did the New York Times cover that charge?
On February 17, 2004, on page A-19, the Times ran a 434-word piece by reporter Jim Rutenberg, one of the four reporters on the McCain story today. The rumor had a "vibrant life on the Internet," but not in the New York Times. Here it is:
Someone should tell Chris Matthews to go pick on someone his own size . . .
Matthews enjoyed himself at the expense of a local legislator during last night's MSNBC coverage of the primaries. Kirk Watson [shown in a clip from today's Morning Joe] is a state senator from Texas and an Obama supporter. Matthews cornered Watson at length over his inability to name specific accomplishments by Barack. Credit Kirk for keeping a smile on his face, but there's no denying he was put badly on the spot [HuffPo speaks of Matthews having humiliated the guy].
In MSM circles, "swiftboating" is shorthand for false attacks on Democrats, even though John O'Neill and other members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth stand adamantly behind their allegations about John Kerry's war record.
In an interview of Barack Obama conducted yesterday and aired on this morning's Today, Matt Lauer employed the "swiftboating" code to ask whether the candidate is prepared for the Republican onslaught. For good measure the NBC anchor wondered if Obama is ready for Republican racism.
Lauer, introducing the issue, stated that "Senator Clinton has questioned whether he can withstand negative attacks from Republicans in the fall."
Joy Behar warned of the imminent "Republican attack machine" and of course it’s "lethal." On the February 12 edition of "The View," the co-hosts discussed, surprisingly, that Obama has been getting excellent press. They must have gotten the permission from the Clinton campaign to say that. Sherri Shepherd then noted, if Obama wins the Democratic nomination "it’s going to be unleashed with force."
Joy Behar then jumped in on the "Republican attack machine" and alluded to some attacks against Vietnam veterans such as Max Cleland and John Kerry and promised Obama will get "swift boated." Behar maybe missed the point that John McCain is the Vietnam veteran in the race and Barack Obama has no military service. Who could literally get "swift boated?"
In an issue dominated by rehashing early and modern American campaign history, U.S. News & World Report’s January 28/February 4 issue devoted sympathetic pages to the losing campaigns of two Massachusetts liberals, John Kerry and Michael Dukakis. The cover promised stories on "The Dirtiest Campaigns Ever," and inside the "Down & Dirty" section included reporter Danielle Knight’s story charging the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth made allegations about Kerry’s medals had "little or no merit," according to...The New York Times. In an interview with reporter Bret Schulte, Dukakis claimed that it’s all his fault we’re under the worst administration he’s ever lived under, since he failed to beat "old man" Bush in 1988, but he claimed he was the victim of negative ads that he said he failed to rebut.
Yesterday, the Obama campaign put out an email from John Kerry condemning the "Swiftboating" of Barack. Today it's Michelle Obama's turn, and the candidate's wife has come out swinging. Here's the text of an email from Michelle Obama just received from the Obama campaign [emphasis added]:
In the past week or two, another candidate's spouse has been getting an awful lot of attention.
We knew getting into this race that Barack would be competing with Senator Clinton and President Clinton at the same time.
We expected that Bill Clinton would tout his record from the nineties and talk about Hillary's role in his past success. That's a fair approach and a challenge we are prepared to face.
What we didn't expect, at least not from our fellow Democrats, are the win-at-all-costs tactics we've seen recently. We didn't expect misleading accusations that willfully distort Barack's record.
With less than a year to go until the November elections, it seems a metaphysical certitude any media outlet addressing the campaign efforts of a Republican candidate is going to figure out a way to reference the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
After all, supposedly impartial press representatives in 2004 did everything within their power to discredit the claims against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) made by this organization, so much so that "Swift Boat" has become both a verb and an adverb in political parlance.
Such was the case Wednesday when the Los Angeles Times published an article about Republican Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. Even though the piece dealt with an organization opposing the former New York City mayor, it did so by grossly misrepresenting some pertinent facts about Kerry's detractors (emphasis added throughout, h/t Patterico and NBer Bingo):
"CIA tapes destroyed despite court order" blares an Associated Press headline today. But the court order allegedly breached applied to videotapes in possession of the U.S. military of interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, not videos of interrogations held at secret CIA sites in foreign countries.
But that's okay, insists AP writer Matt Apuzzo as "Attorneys say that might not matter."
But what attorneys? Apuzzo offers up attorney David H. Remes, "a lawyer for Yemeni citizen Mahmoad Abdah and others." According to Apuzzo, he's "asked [U.S. District Judge Henry H.] Kennedy this week to schedule a hearing on the issue. Kennedy gave the government until Friday to respond."
While it's hard to begrudge a defense lawyer from exploring any and all potential legal manuevers to assist his client -- that IS his job, after all -- it's notable that Mr. Remes is also an active Democratic campaign contributor, having given $500 to Sen. Hillary Clinton in July 2007.
A report on Tuesday’s "The Situation Room," which highlighted the anti-Giuliani campaign of some family members of firefighters killed on 9/11, also tried to throw some retrospective doubt on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" who opposed John Kerry in 2004. CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick proposed the following question about the campaign: "is this another 'Swift Boat' situation, in which unsubstantiated attacks against John Kerry's service in Vietnam, scuttled his presidential candidacy. These families say no."
In addition to this question, CNN played two sound bites, one from Sally Reganhard, a prominent member of this campaign, and the other from a Baruch College professor, which reenforced the "unsubstantiated" label used by CNN. Reganhard indirectly accused the "Swift Boat" veterans of using lies. "The difference between the 'Swift Boating' and this is that everything that we are saying is the truth." Also, a chyron during the report proclaimed that "9/11 Families Challenge Giuliani: Efforts Compared to ‘Swiftboating.’"
Did you hear about that challenge famed oilman T. Boone Pickens made on November 6 when he offered $1 million to anyone that could disprove even one charge made against Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?
Like most people that weren't at the American Spectator dinner the evening Pickens made the offer, you probably didn't learn about this until Kerry accepted the challenge ten days later.
I guess that's when media outlets figured it was news, for at that point, they circled the wagons, and jumped all over a story that had gone totally ignored for nine days.
As reported by the Associated Press Friday (h/t Dan Gainor):
Facts apparently don’t matter when they get in the way of ideology on "The View." The same show that never corrected the record when they falsely claimed Vice President Cheney opposes gay marriage, made another false claim about the "Swift Boat" ads in the 2004 election.
Discussing former President Clinton’s charge that Democratic opponents were "swift boating" Senator Hillary Clinton, co-host Joy Behar made this false statement about the "Swift Boat" ads.
"But with John Kerry, and when they swift boated, here’s a man who was a hero in the Vietnam War. And they turned it around to make it that he was a coward and that he wasn’t- and the people who swift boated him, namely the Bush administration, and their cronies, are never even went into the war. They all got out of the war."
The fellow synonymous with "Hardball" showed his soft side today. Interviewed by his wife to help mark the show's 10th anniversary and promote his new book, "Life's a Campaign,"Chris Matthews was frequently emotional as he talked about everything from his heroes [including JFK, Churchill and Hemingway], his drinking days and his admiration for John McCain's patriotism.
In contrast, Kathleen Matthews, a former TV news anchor, exuded a composed professionalism. A nice, cool balance to Chris's fire, it seemed.
Later, John Kerry reminded us of what we didn't, shall we say, necessarily love about the guy.
Do student journalists understand the difference between free speech and common sense? If they are at Colorado State University, the answer appears to be a resounding no. According to the Associated Press, the editorial staff of the student-run Colorado State University newspaper The Rocky Mountain Collegian published an editorial which in its entirety read'Taser This... F*** Bush'. Then the student staff claimed that it was all about free speech,
Collegian Editor David McSwane said a group of seven student editors discussed the statement for several hours before agreeing to publish it. "We felt it illustrated our point about freedom of speech," McSwane told 7NEWS. "I think we could write 250 words and ramble on and I don't think anyone would pay attention."
In a Friday afternoon Newsweek web exclusive, reporter Johnnie Roberts talked to CBS insiders about Dan Rather’s lawsuit against his long-time employer. Don Hewitt, the founder and long-lasting executive producer of 60 Minutes, told the magazine he asked Rather the big bias question: "If this had been John Kerry, wouldn’t you have been more careful about the story?" It’s certainly true that 60 Minutes went easy on Kerry on 2004, with a soft-soap Ed Bradley interview in January, and a syrupy and supportive Lesley Stahl interview in July.
Another anonymous CBS insider says Rather looks "pathetic...the musing of an older man who can’t let go." Roberts reported that while the network wouldn’t comment beyond saying it was old news, others were more forthcoming:
On Thursday's Countdown, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann used his latest "Special Comment" to attack President Bush's "pissy juvenile blast" for the President's criticism of the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad during the day's news conference, accusing him of "hypocrisy" for not criticizing what Olbermann called the Republican "hamstringing of Captain Max Cleland and the lying about Lieutenant John Kerry." Olbermann further accused Bush of "pimping" General David Petraeus and of making the general into a "political hack" at the risk of moving America's government toward a "military junta." Olbermann: "It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a military junta. Get back behind that line, Mr. Bush, before some of your supporters mistake your dangerous and stupid transgression as a call to further politicize our military." (Transcript follows)
Marshall University psychology professor W. Joseph Wyatt should probably stick to psychology as oposed to attempting media analysis. However, he has decided to write an op-ed in the Huntington, West Viriginia Herald Dispatch claiming that media bias is a myth. Professor Wyatt begins by claiming that,
However, a 2002 Gallup poll showed that slightly more than a third of journalists describe themselves as Democrats, meaning that the vast majority are something else, and unlikely to be liberal.
It's a flip-flop that would be the envy of John Kerry in good windsurfing weather off Nantucket. For the last two days, Chris Matthews had been excoriating General David Petraeus for his reluctance to opine on the effect of the Iraq war on America's safety at home. Suddenly this morning, Matthews has decided that -- guess what? -- it's not Petraeus's job to make pronouncements of that sort.
The New York Times is determined to minimize any political traction Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani gets for his leadership after 9-11. Marc Santora's Monday "Political Memo," "In Campaign Year, Invoking 9/11 Raises New Debates," suggested Giuliani is misleading voters by breaking some kind of promise not to talk about his leadership as mayor of New York City after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
"During a Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, Rudolph W. Giuliani asserted, 'The reality is that I'm not running on what I did on Sept. 11.'
"Two days later, a crowd of nearly 1,000 filed into a ballroom here for a 9/11 Remembrance Luncheon. Graphic images of the exploding towers, dust-covered survivors and even a series of photos that showed someone leaping from a tower were flashed on two giant screens flanking the stage where Mr. Giuliani was about to speak.
"'America must never forget the lessons of Sept. 11,' Mr. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, later told the crowd.
While Abu Ghraib represents a low point for the United States in the Iraq War, it is also a symbol of the liberal media run amok. The New York Times ran front page stories on Abu Ghraib for 32 successive days. The media gleefully reported as Democratic politicians, one by one, called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
One of those Democratic politicians calling for Rumsfeld's resignation, Senator John Kerry, just happened to be running for president at the time, and coincidentally Abu Ghraib remained in the headlines from spring 2004 (when the story broke) though the November 2004 presidential election. An opportunistic Kerry used Abu Ghraib not only to criticize Rumsfeld, but also to criticize his campaign rival in August 2004 stating:
Correction (July 31 | 14:40): Colbert's wrist was broken. He injured it running around his studio before a show. I regret the error.
Bob Shrum, the Democratic political strategist who has only slightly fewer losses on his resume than the Philadelphia Phillies, appeared on the Colbert Report last night to tout his book, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Complainer,” err, I mean, “No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner.”
Colbert, who was pretending to be gravely hurt and wearing a fake cast on his arm, was ushered in by wheelchair. Shrum, not missing an opportunity to shill for the Democrats, quipped:
“I hope all the suffering has made you more inclined to support national health insurance, so everybody can get the same kind of risk care you do.”
Clever as ever Mr. Shrum. But that was only the beginning.
Colbert immediately turned his attention to what Shrum, the Susan Lucci of political campaigning, is best known for, losing.
A transcript of Colbert and Shrum’s conversation follows. Colbert’s show is designed as a satirical homage to Bill O’Reilly and usually makes fun of conservatives and certainly Shrum knows this. Even so, he’s dead serious about his Bush-stole-Ohio charge.