Jewish World Review Feb. 17, 2004 / 25 Shevat, 5764

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Consumer Reports

Rumors: A double standard | Journalists descended on the Philadelphia suburb of Malvern the day before Valentine's Day to lay siege to the home of the parents of a young woman who has been linked romantically to Sen. John F. Kerry.

"Several news trucks and assorted gawkers loitered outside the home of the parents of Alexandra Polier after her dad was quoted in a British tabloid that Kerry was a 'sleazeball' who had shown an interest in his daughter," said William Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The Sun contacted the Poliers after Matt Drudge reported on his web site Feb. 12 that retired Gen. Wesley Clark had told a dozen reporters "Kerry will implode over an intern issue."

Kerry, 60, has denied having an affair with Ms. Polier, 24, who is now in Kenya. Two other British tabloids report that she has taped an interview with an American television network saying he did.

"(Alexandra Polier) is claiming a two year affair," the Mail quoted an unidentified American television executive as saying. "The problem is that no one is believing her."

The media has shown restraint in reporting on the rumored affair. This is as it should be. A rumor is not a fact. Kerry should be given the benefit of the doubt unless and until it can be proved that he is lying.

But the media have a blatant double standard. Rumors about Kerry are not reported until they can be confirmed, and the burden of proof is on those who are circulating the rumors. But the media flog as hard as they can malicious rumors about President Bush's National Guard service that were investigated four years ago, and found to be false, by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and George magazine.

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Journalists trumpet these recycled and discredited allegations as if they were new, and demand that President Bush prove they are not. Kerry is innocent until proven guilty. Bush is guilty until proven innocent, and no amount of proof keeps biased journalists from "raising questions." As radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt said: "the hypocrisy is so enormous it defies categorization."

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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