Who Cares About The Rhetoric? What Are The Facts?

Laughable Ron Brownstein navel-gazer in today’s LA Times. Brownstein spends a couple of grafs hand-wringing over how horrible and divisive partisanship is today (hey, Ron, go read a little history before you write another one of these; 1964, 1948, 1884, and 1800 would be good places to start), then weighs in with these pearls of Big Media conventional wisdom:

In his venom, though, [Michael] Moore has been trumped by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Vietnam veterans with strong Republican ties. Last week, the group aired an ad in three battleground states that was to traditional political discussion what a snuff film was to a conventional horror movie.

Yo, Ron. You’re supposed to be a reporter. Can’t you tell the difference between the public statements of guys who actually served with Kerry (spare me the canard about not being in his particular boat–that’s nothing but obfuscating DNC spin, and you know it) and a list of third-hand conspiracy tinkering? You already noted that Moore plays fast and loose with the facts, and mildly criticized him for it. Why can’t you bring yourself to judge the Swift Vets by the same standard–the facts, not the rhetoric?

What difference does it make if their claims are ‘venomous,’ if it turns out they’re telling the truth? I didn’t notice you or your paper discounting Joe Wilson last year, and he was spewing venom aplenty. Heck, you even gave Wilson prime space on your editorial page to attack his critics just last month, while virtually ignoring the oversight reports that found him to be full of partisan hot air.

Given the weight of the Swift Vets’ accusations, and the fact that Kerry has based his entire campaign upon those four months in Vietnam, wouldn’t they have reason to be upset if their claims are accurate?

We’ll never know if Brownstein is on the case. He never bothers to ask the question. Insteand, he goes on to laud John McCain (you know, the same guy who wanted to make it illegal to criticize politicians) for being “willing to set boundaries on the partisan fervor.”

Please. McCain doesn’t like it when anybody disagrees with him, period, and he’s not a bit shy about lashing out harshly when he gets upset (the press only seems to notice–and applaud–this when he lashes out against Republicans). Brownstein and his ilk need to start worrying more over the facts of the Swift Vets’ accusations and less over the “partisan fervor” surrounding the race. For gosh sakes–it’s a campaign! It’s supposed to be partisan!

I’d take the likes of Brownstein a lot more seriously if they’d accord the Swift Vets one tenth of the attention and investigation they spent on Bush’s National Guard records early this year. If Kerry’s critics are all lying, it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out the facts… unless, of course, the media isn’t interested in those facts getting out.