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February 23, 2004

PITCHING SOFTBALLS TO KERRY AT CNN: I think that many of today's journalists, like Judy Woodruff, feel a certain generational antiwar solidarity, so they give him a pass on these things. But by doing so, they simply demonstrate their bias, and highlight his problems:

The press has not pressed Mr. Kerry to explain those charges. A case in point was his interview with CNN's Judy Woodruff last Thursday. Near the end of the conversation, she raised the issue, asking: "It's been reported that, well you're aware of this, Vietnam veterans upset with the fact that when you came back from the war ... you were accusing American troops of war crimes."

Mr. Kerry responded with a falsehood followed by a quick shift, "I was accusing American leaders of abandoning the troops. And if you read what I said, it is very clearly an indictment of leadership ... I've always fought for the soldiers."

Even if Mrs. Woodruff had not read Mr. Kerry's testimony and it is widely available surely she or her producer had seen the day's work of the most widely-read political columnist in Washington, her CNN co-worker Robert Novak. In his Thursday column, "Kerry and Hanoi Jane," Mr. Novak repeated Mr. Kerry's statements to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and also pointed out that Mr. Kerry was the New England representative to an executive committee meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, at which plans were made to sponsor "war crimes testimony" at the United Nations. A follow-up question beckoned.

Instead, Mrs. Woodruff gave Mr. Kerry a pass.

As with Kerry himself, if they thought his stands then were worthy of praise now, they'd be praising them -- instead of concealing them.