Jewish World Review August 24, 2004 / 7 Elul, 5764
Media's in desperation mode and their bias is transparent
After watching Meet the Press this week, I was struck by a few things.
First, the Kerry campaign has obviously adopted a strategy of defending John Kerry's war record by attacking George W. Bush's. Kerry spokesman Tad Devine attacked the President's lack of service while Russert pointed out that the campaign had sent out Wes Clark and Stansfield Turner to bash the President's Vietnam record.
Here are the problems with this strategy:
1. Americans know George Bush has no war record. Therefore, the attacks don't dent his credibility but rather make the Kerry camp look small and mean spirited. And because the Swift Boat ads are 3rd party attacks, you now have a campaign where Bush is calling Kerry's service "noble" while Kerry is calling Bush a draft-dodger. So Bush stays on the high road while Kerry goes on attack and bleeds support because of these ads. The Kerry camp must change this political dynamic quickly.
2. John Kerry has a Vietnam record that his campaign suggests was the defining point of his life. Telling people what they already know about GWB won't get the debate off of the Swift Boat ads. The only way to do that is for John Kerry to continue confronting these attacks as sleazy hit pieces. He needs to let Americans (preferably in swing states) know how these ads break his heart. "Not only are their attacks hurtful to me and my family. They are also slandering those band of brothers who risked their lives alongside of me in Vietnam. And to me, that is unforgiveable."
3. The Bush camp correctly pointed out that $65 million has been spent in anti-Bush ads over the past year by 3rd party groups with close ties to John Kerry. Democratic front groups like moveon.org, ACT, and the Media Fund are all dedicated to electing John Kerry in the fall and have much closer ties to John Kerry than the Texas Republican who spent half a million dollars on this one ad.
The Media Fund is run by John Kerry's former campaign manager and the head of ACT, Harold Ickes, spent his week in Boston holed up in the Four Seasons with John Kerry's top money men. Was their coordination between the two? Of course.
There is a media double standard of titanic proportions in this story. News outlets like the New York Times look silly deconstructing the political connections of this one ad while turning a blind eye to the $65 million in hit pieces run by Kerry supporters over the past year.
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