Diana West

Here we are, on the brink, possibly, of electing a man who, as an American officer, parlayed with the enemy, and there have been no questions, no stories in response. No thoughts, no curiosity. We contemplate a new wartime leader whose political epiphany -- the famous Christmas in Cambodia, "seared, seared" into Kerry's memory -- never happened. Stories in the MSM? It's tough to find even one. We consider trusting our very lives to a man who has consistently hewed to the wrong side of history, favoring appeasement and disarmament over democratic principle and strength, but we know nothing of his current thinking on those old positions.

How, for instance, does this American presidential candidate explain his place of honor in a Vietnamese war museum dedicated to an American defeat? Does Kerry believe the anti-war movement in which he figured so prominently bears any moral responsibility for the mass brutality -- executions, re-education camps, boat people -- that marked Hanoi's victory? Indeed, does Kerry still believe North Vietnam "liberated" South Vietnam, and that the conflict itself was not a front in the Cold War? We saw valedictory comments from Kerry on Ronald Reagan's death, but we have no idea whether he still reviles the Reagan years as a "moral blackness."

We don't know because no one in the MSM has asked him. This glaring failure makes a mockery of the media. It leaves us gasping for facts. It also explains the volcanic eruption of alternative sources of campaign information -- Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the newsies of the blogosphere, and a slew of independent ads and documentaries, including "Stolen Honor." Such activity has injected vital blasts of oxygen into otherwise stilted coverage.

But in the land of the free and the free press, we shouldn't have to rely on the unique gumption of, say, a John O'Neill, the Swiftee spokesman who went so far as to write a best-selling book about John Kerry, "Unfit for Command" (Regnery), to publicize crucial information the MSM ignored. I remember well the veritable news blackout on the Swift Boat vets when they first assembled last spring in downtown Washington. The Associated Press didn't even send a correspondent, calling the group's press conference "old news" -- before it happened.

Whatever the final tally on Election Day, we, the people need to take a good hard look at the MSM scorecard the day after.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).