web counter Media Lies: What are they thinking?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

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What are they thinking?

By now you must be aware that the old media is in full attack mode. They've "discovered" that Bush was AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard and Kitty Kelly has uncovered some more dirt about President Bush that even WaPo feels should be handled with rubber gloves. (How bad does it have to be for them to say that?)

All of this is old news, of course, but old media apparently feels compelled to come to the defense of John Kerry, who has taken quite a beating from the Swiftvets. Apparently the thinking is, "If Kerry's military record isn't off limits, then by golly neither is Bush's."

To anyone who has a pulse, this has to be a "Well, duh!" moment. Of course Bush's record isn't off limits. It never has been. They've been attacking his Guard record for years, without success. But in the grand old tradition of "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again", old media is trotting out the charges one more time, hoping maybe this time they will stick.

The timing of all this is rather interesting. The Boston Globe has published a story claiming Bush didn't fulfill his committment to the Guard and at the same time insisting there's no bias. CBSNews is doing a big interview with Ben Barnes in which they will reveal {{gasp!!}} that Barnes helped Bush get in the Guard, even though he admits that the Bush's didn't know about it at the time.

The Associated Press, that bastion of fairness and accuracy, has uncovered more of Bush's records that, well, don't really tell us anything that we didn't already know. Terry McAuliffe gets his two cents in of course, and a new 527 org, Texans For Truth is releasing an ad claiming Bush was AWOL from the Guard, er, I mean, some guys who were there don't recall seeing him there. (Of course I've already dealt with Bush's presence in Alabama which is confirmed by at least three witnesses.)

None of this is coordinated by the Kerry campaign, of course. They don't do things like that. Only the Bushies coordinate with 527s, you see. All these old media outlets just happened to be working on this story at the same time. Pure coincidence that they should all publish on the same day.

I've been thinking about this all day. Does this attack reveal stupidity, blind arrogance or pure desparation? I can't decide. On the one hand, you would think that the old media would realize that this obvious coordination would hurt their credibility, which is already almost nil. On the other, perhaps they really do believe Americans are that stupid that they'll believe this is more fairness and accuracy in media. Michael Moore certainly thinks we are stupid.

Or maybe, just maybe, old media doesn't care anymore. Like a dinosaur caught in a tarpit, they are aware of their impending demise and they will lash out at anything within range.

In any case, I will enjoy seeing how the Bush camp deals with this latest salvo. If they do well, the contrast with Kerry's anemic failure to handle the Swiftvets controversy should just about seal the election.

Of course this is being blogged all over the place. Tom Maquire is covering it. Instapundit discusses it. Swimming through the spin points out AP's hypocrisy. Just to name a few.