Tuesday, August 24, 2004
On this day:

How John McCain Suffered Thanks to John Kerry / Media's Bias and Blogger Impact

Lee from Right Thinking on the Left Coast writes: "John Kerry, in his own words. Wow, this one is devastating. And before Kerry’s newest, bestest buddy, John McCain, whines about this new ad, let’s not forget what McCain himself said on this very subject."
[A]fter he was released from the Hanoi Hilton in 1973, McCain publicly complained that testimony by Kerry and others before J. William Fulbright’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee was “the most effective propaganda [my North Vietnamese captors] had to use against us.” “They used Senator Fulbright a great deal,” McCain wrote in the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S. News & World Report. While he was languishing in a North Vietnamese prison cell, Kerry was telling the Fulbright committee that U.S. soldiers were committing war crimes in Vietnam as a matter of course. Sen. Ted Kennedy, a key Kerry presidential backer, was “quoted again and again” by jailers at the Hanoi Hilton, McCain said. “Clark Clifford was another [North Vietnamese] favorite,” the ex-POW told U.S. News, “right after he had been Secretary of Defense under President Johnson.” “When Ramsey Clark came over [my jailers] thought that was a great coup for their cause,” McCain recalled. Months earlier, Sen. Kerry had appeared with Clark at the April 1971 Washington, D.C., anti-war protest that showcased his testimony before the Fulbright Committee. “All through this period,” wrote McCain, his captors were “bombarding us with anti-war quotes from people in high places back in Washington. This was the most effective propaganda they had to use against us."
See also Glenn Reynolds on responses to the media "spin" of Kerry's Vietnam "service." New York Post: KERRY CAMP FRETS OVER CAMBODIA TALE By Deborah Orin
This whole story could be a test of the Internet's impact in this campaign. While most papers have been ignoring the story — until Kerry went ballistic at the Swift vets yesterday — bloggers have been examining it in detail. On Web sites like Instapundit.com, captainsquartersblog.com, hugh- hewitt.com and rogerlsimon.com, skeptical veterans are trading details on Kerry's service and raising intricate questions about his veracity based on their own experience. Their online dialogue is punctuated with questions about why the "mainstream media" have been mostly ignoring this story — and why the 13 pro-Kerry vets are automatically assumed to have more credibility than 264 anti-Kerry vets. Just imagine the coverage if 264 vets who served with Bush in the Texas Air National Guard made similar charges. For those bloggers, this story has become a test of the mainstream media's credibility — and its liberal anti-Bush bias.
UPI: Ex-POWs slam Kerry's war-protest activities by Richard Tomkins
Paul Galanti, a former Navy pilot who spent 2,432 days in captivity and worked on the 2000 primary campaign of fellow former POW Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., also remembers the broadcasts. "It was propaganda. They stopped torturing us after Ho Chi Minh died pretty much, but all that stuff we got banged on -- they wanted us to say and to confess to war crimes and killing babies and all this other stuff," he said. "They kept talking about Vietnam Veterans Against the War, they had seen the right way and blah, blah, blah, and they were on our side, they had crossed over to the peoples' side and all that stuff." Galanti said he didn't know Kerry's name then, although he had seen a newspaper photograph while in captivity that showed someone who looked like Lurch (a character in "The Addams Family" television show in the mid-'60s). Like others, they had only heard newscasts about a former Navy lieutenant and the anti-war movement. "I figured out who it was later," he said.
Thanks to Right Thinking, Nikita Demosthenes, the Mudville Gazette, and Instapundit.