web counter Media Lies: Thomas Sowell tackles the Swiftvets story

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

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Thomas Sowell tackles the Swiftvets story

If you're not reading Thomas Sowell, you should be. He is one of the premier conservative writers today and has a keen sense of the key issues that confront us. (You should also be reading Christopher Hitchens, a principled liberal who pulls no punches.) Sowell has recently been addressing the media's failures with regard to the Swiftvets story in a series of articles. Rather than give you links to each article, I'll just point you to his archive which, if you're at all like me, may keep you busy for quite some time.

Sowell's first, and most obvious, point is that Senator Kerry is the one who made Vietnam an issue, but he does it in a way that exposes Kerry's superciliousness.
Unfortunately, Senator Kerry himself has made it matter by incessantly parading his four months in combat long ago. There are men who served in combat for years, who have sustained devastating wounds in battle, and who have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, who don't talk about it as much as John Kerry does.
That's the crux of the issue, is it not? It took Sowell no time to arrive there. Yet many media "experts" aren't even headed in that direction yet.

In his second essay, Sowell again pierces the bullseye.
Yet some in the media and elsewhere have acted as if it was heroic for John Kerry to have enlisted in the Naval Reserve and cowardly for George Bush to have enlisted in the National Guard. But none has bothered to show what essential difference -- if any -- there is between these two back-up branches of service.
This is precisely what the problem with the media is - hypocrisy. Regarding the Swiftvets story Thomas Oliphant sniffs imperiously, "You haven't come within a country mile of meeting first-grade journalistic standards for accuracy."

What standards would those be? The ones that decide, before even bothering to investigate the charges, that the Swiftvets story is "wrong" and that old media now is being forced "to say this is wrong, and here is why."?

I've shown you in previous articles that the old media doesn't even have a grasp of the most fundamental details of the Swiftvets story - how many boats Kerry commanded or who was on those boats with him, for example. Yet they already know the story is "wrong"? This isn't journalism. It's advocacy. Krugmann can bleat all he wants about the media being objective, but the facts refute him decisively.