How many times have our most "reliable" hard news outlets passed along this passage of monstrous American evil that so inflames the veterans against John Kerry? A Nexis search reveals a list of some of the national outlets that had never relayed a quote of these words before the second Swift Vet ad was released: CBS, NBC, National Public Radio, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Here are the major newspapers who've captured this testimony exactly once : The Washington Post and The New York Times, buried inside their papers on Saturdays in late February. ABC repeated one snippet of the paragraph, the "Genghis Khan" snippet, in four stories surrounding the anniversary of the testimony in April. Kerry said then: "I'm sorry that they're offended by that, but that's what happened."
Liberal reporters must wonder why they should have to focus on this paragraph. To them, there was nothing outrageous in asserting in 1971 that we were there to kill communism, but "we found instead that we were killing women and children." Or that America's achievement in Vietnam to that date was creating "a nation of refugees, bomb craters, amputees, orphans, widows and prostitutes." (Those lines are from Kerry, too, from his book, "The New Soldier.")
Reporters are supposed to be our best and brightest creators of the first draft of history, but it somehow befuddles them that Vietnam veterans take this wild testimony about daily commander-sanctioned atrocities by U.S. fighting men as a dramatic smear on their reputations.
One would think that newspaper men and women, more than anyone else, would be skeptical of unverified allegations, especially, as the Washington Post's Paul Farhi acknowledged in February, when "many of the alleged atrocities have never been verified, and some have been disproved." Why has Kerry not been pressed on the veracity of his own testimony?
The sad thing is that young Kerry was completely celebrated at that time by the "objective" news media, including a laudatory profile on "60 Minutes" asking if he would be president some day. Did no one care about the veracity of these scattershot smears, or did the press just despise the war so much that any lie that hastened its end was a good lie? Is that good lie the only thing that matters to our media today?