Indeed, Edwards responded to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth political advertisements only after Kerry delivered the first blow…On Aug. 19, at the
Edwards didn't weigh in until Aug. 21, with a more measured response demanding that Bush call for the ads to be taken off the air, deeming it "a moment of truth for George W. Bush."
Klein’s story notes that the Kerry campaign initially decided not to respond to the charges. But he accuses Edwards of backing away from this fight when Kerry joined it. But Klein is being very disingenuous. The Swift Boat charges were personal and pertained only to Kerry, not Edwards.
On August 5, 2004 the vets charged that Kerry had told 2 different stories about his 1968 Christmas. They also charged that Kerry received one of his 3 Purple Hearts for a paper-cut sized wound that required only a band-aid. Clearly these claims were Kerry’s to refute, and Edwards was hardly in a position to discuss them authoritatively.
The fundamental problem faced by the Kerry campaign was that Kerry’s 4 months is
Actually, Kerry’s campaign undoubtedly did more than just hope the story would go away. They tried to manage it away as well. The Boston Globe, the New York Times and many other mainstream media organs chose not to report the swift boat stories during the 2 weeks following August 5. Like the Kerry campaign, these newspapers also kept silent. Was their neglect just a happy coincidence? Not likely. It was more likely a case of editorial politics or liberal bias taking precedence over journalism.
With help from Newsbank, (see the results below) I have queried to find the Boston Globe content that contained the terms “Kerry” and “swift boat” from Aug 5 through August 18, 2004. There were 7 items. They are:
1) August 6, a story alleging that one Swift Boat vet disavowed his statements to the group.
2) August 9, letter to the editor saying Bush should disavow the ads.
3) August 15, letter to the editor in support of Kerry.
4) August 15, letter to the editor in support of Kerry.
5) August 15, letter to the editor in support of Kerry.
6) August 17, an Op Ed column by Joan Vennochi advocating Kerry address the charges.
7) August 18, a story buried on page A10 that discussed a days-old Kerry campaign press release on the
You can review the posts to this blog during August, 2004 to see my own growing incredulity about this mainstream media silence.
On August 19, Kerry and his campaign counterattacked, and from that point on, the Boston Globe began extensive coverage of the Swift Boat charges. Yet another fortunate media coincidence for the Kerry campaign! The 2-week-old Swift Boat charges were suddenly newsworthy!
The non-coverage of the Swift Boat Veterans by the Boston Globe was the Globe’s most incredible demonstration of liberal bias during the entire 2004 campaign. If this organization possessed measurable journalistic integrity, they would have apologized, explained the reasons for their lack of coverage, and taken steps to avoid a repetition. They didn’t bother.