Jewish World Review August 27, 2004 / 10 Elul, 5764
They claim prez is a dunce think he would've played right into his opponent's hands?
An axiom of politics is: "don't feed a bad story." By going postal about
the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, John Kerry has laid out a veritable
Kerry has accused the Swifties of smearing him by criticizing his Vietnam
service. But he has gone further, declaring the Swifties to be Republican
shills, put up to attacking Kerry by the evil Bush. Kerry believes that to
acknowledge the real reason why the Swifties hate him because he falsely
accused them and other Vietnam veterans of committing war crimes would
not enhance his appeal to swing voters.
Kerry's "evidence" for this charge is that most of the seed money for Swift
Boat Veterans for Truth came from a $200,000 contribution from Houston home
builder Bob Perry, a frequent contributor to GOP candidates.
The New York Times has tried to help Kerry out by publishing a complex
genealogy which indicates that Swiftie John O'Neill, principal author of
"Unfit for Command" and now a prominent Houston attorney, knows Republicans
who know other Republicans who know Bush. (The Times didn't mention that
O'Neill says he's an independent who voted for Al Gore in 2000.)
If the "Republican attack machine" were behind the Swifties, they did a
lousy job. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had barely $250,000 on hand
when they launched their first ad in three mid-sized markets in Ohio,
Wisconsin and West Virginia. By contrast, the three largest independent
committees have raised and spent nearly $60 million on ads attacking Bush.
No officer of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has a connection to the Bush
campaign. But one of the "527" committees attacking Bush is run by Kerry's
former campaign manager, Jim Jordan, and Kerry recently hired a staffer from
MoveOn.org, the group that produced an ad likening Bush to Hitler.
While evidence of collusion between the Bush campaign and the Swifties
exists only in the overheated rhetoric of Kerry and his surrogates, there is
plenty of evidence to indicate collusion between the Democratic party and
the left-leaning 527s.
On May 9, for instance, the Democratic National Committee issued a press
release which said: "The Democratic Party is partnering with MoveOn.org,
People for the American Way, Campaign for America's Future and dozens of
other groups representing millions of Americans to organize a massive public
Kerry can be confident that while the "mainstream" media will trumpet his
baseless charges, there will be no exploration of possible collusion between
his campaign and these supposedly independent groups.
The biggest unreported story of this campaign is the extent to which the
major media are in the tank for Kerry. But media bias which has reached
comic proportions in the Swift Boat vet controversy may be doing Kerry
more harm than good.
If journalists were more interested in covering the news than in covering up
for Kerry, they would have explored the Swifties' charges back in May, when
the group first raised them. Had due diligence been done then, it might
have been possible for Kerry to put the controversy behind him. At least,
it might have kept Kerry from making his alleged heroism in Vietnam the
theme of the Democratic national convention. Now it has exploded on him at
a critical time, knocking him off message.
When Kerry's attack on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth forced the story
onto the front pages, the media tried to provide damage control. But what
might have been contained as a small fire in May had become a raging inferno
Despite the media attempt at a blackout, the charges made by the Swifties
were causing a hemorrhage of support for Kerry among veterans, thanks to the
efforts of dozens of Web loggers. Still, his escalation of the issue is
puzzling. Thanks to Kerry, many, many more people have heard of the Swift
Boat Veterans for Truth, and are curious about what they have to say. The
publisher of "Unfit for Command" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) can't print books fast enough to meet
While still small potatoes as far as 527 committees go, the Swifties are now
thanks to Kerry relatively flush. The group reports having received
more than $1.7 million in Internet contributions since Kerry attacked them.
They won't be going away anytime soon.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington
and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
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.
Jack Kelly Archives
© 2004, Jack Kelly