Wednesday, September 22, 2004

shooting fish in a barrel

This article is so full of lies and misleading statements that it requires a nearly sentence-by-sentence fisking. You can probably guess that the link is from Atrios.
Is there anything more idiotic for the GOP to do than to question John Kerry's war record? Last week, they demanded that he release his full war record, which he did, revealing a man of courage and bravery.
Uh. No, he didn't. He said that he did, but as far as I know he has yet to sign a waiver of privacy rights that would let anyone verify that he has done so. And what's the difference between courage and bravery?
Now, they are bringing up his anti-war positions after he came back, probably not the wisest course of action considering that a) 30 years after the fact, Vietnam is a not a popular cause, even in Red America,
Actually, it is. And even if it weren't, Kerry's slander of his fellow troops would still not be popular.
and b) the similarities between Vietnam in 1971 and the Middle East, 2004 become more and more acute.
Uh, no, it hasn't.
Even the dispute concerning whether or not he ever claimed to have discarded his combat medals in 1971 (the interview in question is unclear as to whether he was referring to his medals or the medals of other soldiers)
No, it's not unclear. I've listened to the relevant part of the interview.
only reminds the public that he won medals in the first place, at a time when most of his adversaries had "other priorities".
along with most of his supporters.
Kerry should do whatever he can to ensure that this story stays on the front page for as long as he can, even if it means dissembling, stonewalling, prevaricating, or just plain flip-flopping; the comparison between the brave patrician warrior and the president for whom truth is a flexible concept can only benefit the challenger.
That's the spirit!
UPDATE: The ABC news producer who broke the story, Chris Vlasto, is well-known for his far-right connections.
Yet in all the following, you couldn't come up with any? And even if he did (just because you're incompetent at proving it doesn't mean it ain't so, I guess), so what?
In 1994, he acted as an emissary from Ken Starr to lobby both James and Susan McDougal to cooperate with his inquisition.
Well, according to the link,, he advised McDougal, who was apparently a personal friend, to cooperate with Starr. I guess that's sort of like being an emissary. If you believe every rumor the Democrats post on a web site, anyway.
In 1995, he produced a report on ABC that accused Hillary Clinton of perjury, based largely on a doctored video clip of the First Lady.
This one is rich. ABC is being unfair to Hillary because they cut out the part of the quote where she specifically admits billing for work she didn't do and only left in the part where she says " It was not an area that I practiced in."
In 1998, he threw a celebratory party for Paula Jones and her attorneys after Bill Clinton was forced to testify before the Lewinsky Grand Jury.
Well, if you go to the link you will see that it actually says he "picked up the tab". We don't know why. And we don't know how anyone has confirmed this, just that it's a rumor passed on by an anti-Republican partisan. And it's not, like, you know dishonest to pick up a tab or anything. Even for a group of people that were mean to Bill Clinton.
In October, 2001, he produced a report that claimed a connection between Saddam and the anthrax attacks on Senator Daschle, et al., as well as being one of the first journalists to detail a link between Muhammed Atta and the government of Iraq; both allegations were subsequently discredited.
Never heard of the anthrax thing, but he can hardly be faulted for reporting on an investigation. The on-line article is careful to point out conflicting evidence. Second, the link with Muhammed Atta has not been discredited.
More recently, Vlasto ran a misleading report suggesting that Howard Dean had covered-up incidents of alleged domestic abuse by one of the state troopers protecting him; it was repudiated as "slime" and denounced by those denizens of the far left, Andrew Sullivan and John Ellis.
No, he didn't suggest any such thing. He reported that Howard Dean filed an affidavit on behalf of an alleged wife-beater. As far as I know, the story was accurate. And it was no more slime than reports of, say Republican candidate going to sex clubs. I wonder how worked up Steve Smith got about that?
And now comes word that the tape itself was made by the Nixon Administration, which viewed Kerry as an "enemy". Despicable.
And the relevance of this is? Oh, that's right, anything Nixon did was despicable. No need to dig more deeply on that one.

One of the most striking things you will see, scanning through leftwing web sites is the lack of even the faintest gesture toward evenhandedness or objectivity. It never even breaks the surface of their little ocean of bile.

Contrast the conservative AIM, for example with the leftist FAIR. FAIR has unflattering pictures of conservatives, nasty articles on conservatives, and articles whining about how they think their side could have been portrayed more flatteringly in news articles or how the reporters could have made the leftist case better. By contrast, AIM has well-researched articles actually comparing the coverage of the left vs. the right. They give numbers on how many stories the media did on two similar events, one of which favors Democrats and one of which favors Republicans. They at least make an effort to give objective evidence. FAIR makes no effort whatsoever.

I would like to believe that most on the left are just well-meaning people who are wrong about matters of fact. But the more I read leftist blogs, the more convinced I become that many of these people are just plain vile, hate-filled partisans with no interest in fair play or the democratic process. It's win at all costs, by whatever means necessary. And the bloggers that fit this profile are frightingly popular.

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