The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Sunday, February 15, 2004
The really disturbing thing about the Kerry intern story...
...is the moron hacks.
I can't find a transcript online of the Kerry interview on Don Imus' show.
This seems to be how the exchange went :
Imus: Let me ask you this. Is there anything, anything, that's going to come up? Now, for example. There's this Drudge Report about an intern, and I'm sure you've heard about it.
Now, around eighteen hours ago, your humble blogger called that as a non-denial denial. He is not saying anything on the substantive issue: he's just saying that, whatever happened, there's nothing to talk about.
And that precise expression is used in a piece (dated February 17) in Insight.
Worryingly, a lot of journos took what Kerry said for precisely what it had been crafted not to say.
For instance, the Boston Globe calls what he told Imus unequivocal; the Richmond Times-Dispatch says
He categorically denied it.
The Portsmouth Herald says that Kerry denied the allegation.
The Chicago Tribune gives the quote without characterising it.
Now, I assume that the choice of words to Imus had been the subject of long deliberation between Kerry's top people; and that Kerry did not fluff his lines.
But, even if he did, what he said was not a denial. And only someone who wasn't reading carefully would have failed to spot this.
Were the hacks being deliberately obtuse?
There's a postscript: Kerry didn't confine his comments to his appearance on Imus :
Kerry was asked by reporters in Madison if he could issue a clear denial of the rumor.
Why didn't he say that on Imus? Presumably, even if the Madison briefing (or whatever it was) wasn't recorded for broadcast, some of the hacks have got his remarks on tape (audio or video).
Why the difference in formulation between the two occasions?
It seems that the Kerry/Polier business has done for American journalism almost what Lord Hutton did for BBC news output.
And we have eight months of this circus to look forward to. Oh, joy...
The 'great' Andrew Sullivan also fails to pay attention:
On Friday morning, on the Imus radio show, Kerry knocked the story down completely
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