August 13, 2004

HERE'S A CRACK IN THE MEDIA BLACKOUT over the Cambodia story:

But like an old fish story in which the catch keeps getting larger with every telling, Kerry didn't stop at telling tales of war crimes.

He also told the Senate, in 1986, that he was illegally in Cambodia.

Kerry said, "I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared -- seared -- in me."

Utter lies, total and complete exaggerated lies, the Swift Vets claim. So, this fish tale stinks worse each time Kerry drags it out.

With accusations flying, Kerry's version of free speech has shrunk down to only one veteran: himself. All others must be silenced.

This is called "damage control," folks, and it's in high gear because Kerry knows he's in trouble here. Big trouble.

Of course, this whole matter could be cleared up if Kerry would release his Vietnam records and his personal journal. It's a simple matter to release these records, requiring only a standard Form 180.

I think that Kerry should release those records. (Via John Weidner).

UPDATE: A frequent correspondent sends this:

Mr. Reynolds: In the (unlikely) event you decide to publish this e-mail on your blog, please don't use my name on this one occasion, as I'm divulging some information about a close personal relationship. Anyway, last night I was talking to a friend who is a hardcore liberal Democrat and is, in fact, a first cousin of a very well-known Democratic Senator. He was very upset about the Kerry-Swift Vet-Cambodia controversy. He blamed Kerry for the whole thing, saying he had set himself up for this problem by making Vietnam the centerpiece of his campaign. Two things struck me about this. First, this is a guy who gets all of his news from the biggies - the NYT, NPR, and CNN - and yet he knew all about the story. That means the Big Media filter isn't preventing the story from reaching people. Second, he had concluded that Kerry deserves the criticism and is lacking in credibility. This is a guy who, if there were any yes-but talking points in defense of Kerry, surely would have stuck to them. This says to me that if Big Media is in the tank for Kerry, they may actually have hurt him by not covering this story. They've abdicated coverage of a story that is negative to Kerry to the Blogosphere, thus resulting in more damage to their favored candidate than if they'd reported on the story, but with an eye toward knocking it down. They can pretend the story isn't there, but they can't make blogs go away.

Yeah, and they're damaging themselves as more and more people notice that they're ignoring it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's a link to a poll suggesting that the story's having impact despite the Big Media's treatment. Or maybe because of it. . . .