Thursday, August 12, 2004

Where Your Eyes Don't Go

La la la, can't hear you, move along, nothing to see here. The mainstream media seem to be going to great lengths to distract attention from criticisms of Kerry: Maybe it's naive to assign the disagreements to the inevitable fog of war. But it does not make sense to re-fight one man's actions in a confused war when there is legitimate debate about whether the anti-war activist Kerry overstated claims of widespread atrocities committed by American soldiers in Vietnam. This latter point is what makes some Vietnam veterans seethe the most. Note the sleight of hand here - come on, everyone, let's just move on from the Swift Vets thing - to jump ahead to John Kerry, heroic anti-war activist. Kerry defenders feel safer there, I'm sure; that's a debate that actually has two sides, and the anti- side has long since forced themselves to be acknowledged and even praised for their despicable moral relativism. It's a lot harder to be embarassingly proved incorrect when arguing ideology, rather than concrete facts like geography. Opponents should be able to fill in the blanks of legitimate questions left unanswered by candidates for the highest office. But who decreed that the questions be so vitriolic? I wonder about that myself sometimes. This even manages to be tone-deaf, as well - who's more vitriolic, between the Swift Vets and their critics? Yes, this has been a dirty, dirty campaign, and will likely get worse. But using that fact as an all-purpose excuse to distract from what are fair criticisms is dishonest and a bit obnoxious. But there's more tone-deafness to come (or, rather, as a boilerplate preface to the money grafs above): This is a bipartisan scold. This column previously denounced a New York fund-raiser for Kerry in which various singers and actors profanely labeled Bush a dullard willing to sacrifice young Americans for his own political purposes. It took Kerry some time, but after saying these entertainers represented the "heart and soul of America," he distanced himself from the left-wingers' invective. The difference is that these vapid celebrities performed at a Kerry event. They were vetted by the campaign, and only in retrospect, when their ignorance and hatred became embarassing, did Kerry try to distance himself. Conversely, the Swift Vets aren't associated with the Bush campaign. They're their own interest group, with the sole objective of preventing Kerry from being elected; they were also in favour of other Democrats during the primaries, for the sake of that goal. They are not Bush cheerleaders in the same manner that Whoopi Goldberg and her ilk are for Kerry. Nor do the media at large seem to have put much effort into specifically discrediting Goldberg, Chevy Chase, Paul Newman, Jessica Lange et al. To shiftily attempt to change the subject here, and now, is suspicious at best. What Liberal Media? Oh, right...

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