- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 9, 2004

In addition to the $233 million John Kerry raised before the Democratic convention, the $75 million in taxpayer funds he received afterward and the $200 million or more that will be spent by Nov. 2 on his behalf by Democratic 527 organizations and the Democratic National Committee, he is now the beneficiary of the valuable services of the news pages of The Washington Post and the New York Times. Both liberal newspapers, whose front pages strongly influence the political coverage of the broadcast networks and CNN, have shamelessly begun running interference for Mr. Kerry.

For nearly two weeks, the Times virtually ignored the political firestorm ignited by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group comprising hundreds of Vietnam vets who launched a campaign in early August criticizing Mr. Kerry’s record in Vietnam and his antiwar activities afterward. Then, on Aug. 20, the Times published a 3,400-word front-page assault attacking the swift boat ads and the best-selling book written by one of the group’s leaders. Despite the fact that the Kerry campaign had already admitted that Mr. Kerry distorted the truth about fighting in Cambodia on Christmas eve in 1968, the Times article had all the appearances of a legal brief written by Mr. Kerry’s campaign.

The day after Mr. Bush delivered his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, the Times published an article titled “The Record: Comparing President’s Address and History.” The story delineated several examples that purported to differentiate between a “President’s Statement” in the speech and the actual “Fact.” Among other minor quibbles, the Times took issue with the president’s declaration that he “brought Republicans and Democrats together to strengthen Medicare.” In its small-minded, blatantly pro-Kerry manner, the Times begrudged the president’s assertion of bipartisanship despite the fact that fully 24 percent of Senate Democrats joined Republicans to pass the Medicare prescription-drug plan — an issue on which Mr. Kerry couldn’t even bother himself to remain in Washington long enough to cast his vote. Even more telling is the fact that the Times, not surprisingly, never published a comparable article differentiating “Kerry’s Statements” in his acceptance speech from the “Facts.”

On the same day the Times took issue with the president’s speech, The Post printed a front-page story above the fold titled “For the Record: GOP Prism Distorts Some Kerry Positions.” The article asserted: “Kerry did not cast a series of votes against individual weapons systems, as Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) suggested in a slashing convention speech, but instead Kerry voted against a Pentagon spending package in 1990 as part of deliberations over restructuring and downsizing the military in the post-Cold War era.” Now, whatever The Post may have inferred from what it said Sen. Miller “suggested,” the fact is that Mr. Kerry won his Massachusetts Senate seat in 1984 — at the height of the Cold War — by promising to oppose all three legs (air, land and sea) of America’s strategic nuclear-modernization program.

To appreciate how truly radical Mr. Kerry was, let’s compare his positions with Jimmy Carter’s. The strategic systems Mr. Kerry wanted to cancel included the B-1 bomber and the air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) it could carry (President Carter opposed the B-1, but supported ALCMs for deployment on B-52s); the stealth B-2 bomber (Mr. Carter wanted to deploy 132 B-2s, while only 21 were produced); the long-range, land-based MX missile (Mr. Carter wanted to deploy 200 MXs, while only 50 were produced); and the Trident submarine (Mr. Carter wanted to build dozens of Trident subs, each capable of delivering about 200 nuclear warheads). Altogether, Mr. Kerry wanted to cancel 27 weapons systems and reduce 18 other weapons programs, including the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the M1 Abrams tank and the F-16 jet fighter.

The same Post article asserted that Mr. Kerry’s October 2003 vote against the $87 billion supplemental appropriation for military and reconstruction operations in Iraq and Afghanistan “was rooted in a dispute with the administration over how to pay for $20 billion earmarked for reconstruction in Iraq.” In fact, when Mr. Kerry was asked in a September 2003 appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” how he would vote on the $87 billion bill if he lost the battle over how to pay for it, he replied: “I don’t think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That’s irresponsible.” He added: “I don’t think anyone in Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to defend themselves. We’re not going to cut and run and not do the job.” But that is precisely what he did the following month when he voted to oppose the $87 billion spending bill.

Not only do The Washington Post and the New York Times refuse to hold Mr. Kerry accountable for his own words and commitments, but the papers literally make up excuses for him.

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