Thomas Sowell

How is this story played in the media? The front-page headline on the San Francisco Chronicle read: "Bush, GOP seize on Kerry's Gibe to Turn Focus from War in Iraq." The Chronicle has learned well the New York Times' technique of imputing motives instead of reporting facts.

Has any Democrat ever been accused by the mainstream media of "seizing on" some statement by a Republican, much less have bad motives imputed?

This is not the first time the media have circled the wagons around Senator Kerry. Despite the fact that Kerry has shamelessly tried to exploit his military service in Vietnam decades later, Tim Russert is the only major media commentator who has ever asked him why he will not open his military records, as President Bush has done.

Kerry has said that he would, that he has, and yet to this day he has never signed the simple form that Bush signed to make the facts available to all.

What makes this all the more important in the case of Senator Kerry is that he has not only made his military service a claim to national leadership but has put his honorable discharge on his web site -- where its date, years after he left the military, raised serious question about his credibility.

The date of his honorable discharge was during the Carter Administration, when less than honorable discharges were allowed to be upgraded. But why would a military hero need that?

Except for Tim Russert, the mainstream media show no such interest in that question as they did when they relied on a forged memo to trash George W. Bush's military service. Biased? You bet.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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