After President Bush's terrific speech at the Republican National Convention, John F. Kerry decided he wasn't the type to take a piece of political shrapnel in the rear without fighting back. And so he rose to his feet, took a hit of botox and stepped to the microphone. "I have five words for Americans," he boomed imperiously. "This is your wake up call!"
Except that this was six words. Or, as columnist Mark Steyn put it, "It's all very nuanced, according to whether you hyphenate the 'wake-up.' Maybe he should have said, 'I have four words plus a common hyphenated expression for Americans.' I'd suggest the rewrite to him personally, but I don't want him to stare huffily at me and drone, 'How dare you attack my patriotism.'"
But Kerry wasn't finished making a purple-hearted ass of himself. Punch drunk, he explained to the crowd: "Tonight in America, something very important in the fabric of our life took place. Very, very important. The Red Sox pulled to two-and-a-half games out of the Yankees. Now, I think that's important!" Except that the Red Sox had not pulled to within 2.5 games of the hated Yankees -- they remained 3.5 games behind them.
This may sound nitpicky, but there is a point: When John Kerry commits a gaffe, the media ignores it. I searched LexisNexis for the word-counting slip, but not one mainstream newspaper noted it. No one noted the baseball blunder, either.
Yet when President Bush made this error on Aug. 5: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we" -- it received huge media play. It garnered a mocking story from the Associated Press: "President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of 'Bushisms' on Thursday ... " An op/ed in the Chicago Sun-Times commented, Bush "can't think on his feet. The stuff that pops out of his mouth continues to amaze." The New York Times characterized the mistake as a "Freudian slip."
Books written about President Bush's gaffes fill shelves. President Bush even ridiculed his penchant for silly mistakes in his nomination speech: "People sometimes have to correct my English -- I knew I had a problem when Arnold Schwarzenegger started doing it."
Meanwhile, John Kerry sails along, leaving in his wake a string of errors easily as impressive as those of President Bush. So since the mainstream media hasn't covered them, let's review just a few.