August 13, 2004

BIAS

George W. Bush misspeaks, and the press even as far away as Australia reports it, includes video links, and runs reader polls.

John F. Kerry misspeaks (to say the least) for decades, and the major press ignores it.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 13, 2004 10:24 AM
Comments

How long till Paul Krugman tells us that what John Kerry said was "essentially true"?

Posted by: PW at August 13, 2004 at 10:36 AM

Bush misspeaking is a man bites dog story. Doesn't usually happen because he's so eloquent. So the press kind of feels obligated to cover it. They may never get another chance.

Kerry misspeaking, on the other hand, is a dog bites man story.


Right?

Posted by: MattJ at August 13, 2004 at 10:51 AM

The good news is that media coverage generally follows, with some time lag, the general sentiments of the public.

Before the invasion of Iraq you couldn't write anything close to critical of Bush or the pending desert boner. Today, people look at you sideways if you still don't get it.

Posted by: KevinG at August 13, 2004 at 11:00 AM

If Kerry also remembers seven lean fish and seven fat fish rising from the river, it means taxes have to be raised.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at August 13, 2004 at 11:06 AM

The media magnifies Bush's flaws and overlooks Kerry's?

The media helps create the idea that Bush has LIED, when all he did was either believe what 99% of other world leaders believed or make poor judgment calls?

The media ignores well documented accounts of Kerry's lies about his Vietnam service and the lies he has helped spread about the Vietnam vets as 'baby killers'?

This CAN'T BE TRUE!! We've been told and told that the media has no bias and that journalists report EACH SIDE FAIRLY.

Since we've been told the press are fair and unbiased, it MUST BE TRUE. I've read articles, in the unbiased press, testifying to how unbiased their reporting is. I'm sure the ladies and gentlemen of our press would NEVER try and shove their personal agendas down our throats by slanting their coverage of the news.

/sarcasm

I'm sick to death of the various press outlets so transparently advocating a certain point of view.
Thank God for the Net. At least we know not all journalists have been assimilated by the 'Borg Press Collective' we see on display.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 13, 2004 at 11:35 AM

As the comments on Vodkapundit suggest, this is a bit of a non-story. Where's the misspeak? All I can see is that Kerry's not telling the whole truth about his involvement in Vietnam, but who gives a rats? Both sides have done their fair share of stretching truths and it's not like the media hasn't been reporting the GOP's attempts to expose something nasty in Kerry's 'Nam history.

Bush's latest misspeak, on the other hand, had me rolling around with laughter. Whatever your political alignment, it's hard to deny the guy's an idiot. He'd better start learning to think while he talks.

Posted by: karl at August 13, 2004 at 11:44 AM

Karl,

It'd be a lot easier for us Bush supporters to agree with you that he would benefit from improving his public speaking skills, if people like you didn't always immediately throw the word "idiot" onto the fire.

As though you've never known anyone who was a sharp cookie on paper but sucked behind a microphone. Or as though you've never heard of a Nobel Laureate who stuttered or spoonerized.

You guys would piss of a lot fewer people if you didn't insist on making this incendiary logical fallacy a central part of any participation in a topic like this.

Posted by: Brian Tiemann at August 13, 2004 at 11:54 AM

Karl:

"All I can see is that Kerry's not telling the whole truth about his involvement in Vietnam, but who gives a rats?"

Quite a few people 'give a rats'. You wouldn't realize this from the mainstream press, or from reading only rabid pro-Kerry sites.

Of course, your last comment made me realize *why you* don't 'give a rats'. (I bet you would if the SwiftVets were testifying about lies Bush told.) I have a feeling you're mind is closed and there is no curiosity about what the vets have to say.

As Brian stated:

"It'd be a lot easier for us Bush supporters to agree with you that he would benefit from improving his public speaking skills, if people like you didn't always immediately throw the word "idiot" onto the fire."


I doubt your comments will influence the famous 'swing voters' that Kerry needs to win. Your comments may actually work agent Kerry.

I voted for Gore last time. I was undecided until about 3 days before the election. What tipped the balance to Gore were the rabid Bush supporters who kept speaking nonsense. Much like you are doing.

Don't know if you realize this, but there are many people who are NOT rabid Bush supporters who are voting for Bush this year. We may have considered a viable alternative. Too bad there isn't one.

If Kerry *is* a viable alternative then make the case. Don't keep telling us how Bush is an idiot.
Tell us, using Kerry's senate records, what he will do for us that is better than what Bush will.

What particular pieces of legislation has Kerry championed that you are particularly pleased with?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 13, 2004 at 12:17 PM

And Monsewer le Kerry should be working up some lather, so he can lay a big, GRATEFUL wet one on the 'proud gay American', soon-to-be-ex governer of New Jersey. If ANYthing could knock Cambodia back into the Mekong Delta, it would be a scandalous homosexual dalliance, complete with scorned lover-lost-his-job retribution. Drunken gunfire aloft for dirty doings in the Garden State!

Posted by: tree hugging sister at August 13, 2004 at 12:56 PM

> All I can see is that Kerry's not telling the whole truth about his involvement in Vietnam, but who gives a rats?

"who gives a rats" would be a lot more compelling if it was stated before that story started working against Kerry.

Kerry was claiming that said details were a significant reason to vote for him.

He's used said details as political clubs for the last 30 years.

Given that, why shouldn't the truth about those detail matter? Hint - "that doesn't put Kerry in a good light" isn't an acceptable answer.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at August 13, 2004 at 01:12 PM

Ok, here's the thing. I seem to have been mistaken for a rabid Kerry supporter. I'm not. I think the guy's dodgy. But bush worries me too. Luckily I'm Australian and don't have to choose between them.
And sure I've heard of bright sparks who fail in the area of public speaking, but the president needs to be a strong communicator. That's not flawed logic. That's common sense.

"It'd be a lot easier for us Bush supporters to agree with you that he would benefit from improving his public speaking skills if people like you didn't always throw the word 'idiot' onto the fire."

I'm not exactly sure what "people like you" is referring too, but the devotees of this website are in no position to pull someone up on their use of manipulative language. Some of the things Margo Kingston's been called here have been seriously offensive. And no, I'm not a supporter of her views either. There's political debate and there's downright maliciousness. Make the choice.

Posted by: karl at August 13, 2004 at 01:13 PM

swade:

"Idiot, Idiot, Idiot.
It would be a lot easier for all of to agree if we all thought like you. Thankfully, we don't.
There's plenty of anti-Kerry press out there, all the more at groupthink sites like here.
Can I say it again?
Idiot."

With the well thought out logic and reason presented by Swade, how could anyone disagree?

For all the Kerry supporters:

If you wish to persuade people to vote for Kerry PLEASE do more than call people idiots. Do you have any arguments for Kerry that don't involve tearing posters down, or mentioning Bush?

Pretend Bush doesn't exist. Provide a list of Kerry's achievements in the US Senate. Provide a list of the plans he has to lead us for the next 4 years.

DO NOT mention Bush in any list. Concentrate only on Kerry and what HE has done and will do. It's not enough that he's ABB (anyone but Bush).

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 13, 2004 at 01:17 PM

The media have determined that:

Kerry's "misspeaking" shows us only that his brain gets erroneously seared. (Instead of Christmas in Cambodia, he actually meant to say "Valentine's in Vail" for his Congressional testimony.)

Bush's misspeech, however, indicates he is an idiot imperialist savant. When Bush stumbles on a word or phrasing, his entire foreign policy suddenly becomes suspect.

That's fair, yes?

Posted by: c at August 13, 2004 at 01:20 PM

Karl,

The tenor of this thread is that the liberal media have done their best to belittle Bush at every opportunity, yet they are always hestant to put Democrats in a bad light when they inevitably trip over their words. The interesting thing is that when George Bush makes his big speeches they come off really well. In contrast, Kerry's speech at the DNC failed lamentably. he is no communicator. But Bush somehow manages to convey his charm and good sense.
I am becoming more and more convinced that the voters will re-elect Bush comfotably, in reaction to the media blitz against him.
After all, even the polls are saying that it will be close, when the media have thrown everything they can at the President.

Posted by: Toryhere at August 13, 2004 at 01:23 PM

I think it's time to agree to disagree. But let me say one more thing. With all this scrutiny from GOP supporters regarding what good (if any) Kerry has done to deserve the presidency, may I ask what Bush did to deserve it? Was it something to do with hanging chads, daddy, deregistration of legal voters and cocaine? Best not go searching for skeletons when your own are twice as scary. And that goes for both of them.

Posted by: karl at August 13, 2004 at 01:37 PM

Karl:

You may not be a rabid Kerry supporter. (I'm not a rabid Bush supporter and didn't even like the guy last time he ran for president.) However, when you made the remark about Bush being an idiot, you lost all claims to being unbiased, rabid Kerry supporter or no.

I'll grant you that some of the remarks here can get a bit malicious. However, I won't agree they are manipulative.

BTW: Who is being manipulated, and to what end, by the remarks you see here? (Just curious.)

you said:

"There's political debate and there's downright maliciousness. Make the choice."

Pot, meet kettle.

You see nothing malicious about maligning Bush by referring to him as an idiot? For you, perhaps it's so self evident that it's just stating what 'everyone already knows is true'?

You call Bush an idiot. Posters here have been known to say equally unkind things about Margo. I can't really see that you have taken the high road so can condemn people here.

I believe you, and anyone else, has a perfect right to believe down to the tips of their toes that Pres. Bush is a moronic, Hitler-like, stupid cowboy. Shout it from the rooftops. Publish it on the front pages of all the world's major papers. Speak your mind about Bush's stupidity wherever you can.

So, although I disagree with your characterization of Bush and also believe you've maligned him, it doesn't bother me. I was under the impression you were a Kerry supporter from the US and wanted to let you know that the 'Bush is an Idiot' mantra will not gain support for Kerry.


Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 13, 2004 at 01:46 PM

What is going on here, folks, is a sophisticated Dem effort to overload peoples' short-term memory with anti-Bush impressions.

After Bush wins this year's election handily, the Dems will (they think) have a rich treasure trove of (false) impressions, implanted in peoples' memory by the media, of what they will surely call the phony re-election of Bush. Their trove will come in quite handy (they think) in 2008.

It's almost as if the Dems raided former Soviet archives to glean their techniques of mind control.

Anything else I can clear up for you?

Posted by: -Ed. at August 13, 2004 at 01:48 PM

Karl,

What do you do for a living? Are you more accomplished than the "idiot" Bush?

More likely you're many orders of magnitude less accomplished and many orders of magnitude more of an idiot.

Posted by: Mark at August 13, 2004 at 01:54 PM

Karl,

You ask what Bush had done to merit the Presidency. Unlike Gore or Kerry, Bush has run a business or two and a damn big state. Pretty well, too.

What about how the absentee military ballots were thrown out in the Florida election? That was a real infraction, as opposed to the deregistration charges, long since debunked.

And what about cocaine? Do you seriously suggest that Kerry hasn't done his share of booze and drugs along with the caviar? He probably still does.

Posted by: c at August 13, 2004 at 01:57 PM

Karl may not be a Kerry supporter, but he sure loves 'em canards of the Left. I suspect Kerry's too centrist for Karl.

Posted by: PW at August 13, 2004 at 02:03 PM

"Luckily I'm an Australian and I don't have to choose between them".
I am an Aussie as well Karl and although I won't vote in the U.S. election I find a couple of similarities between our 2 countries electoral choices.
1)Howard was in the U.S. 9/11 and understood the implications of the Islamo-fascist threat immediately and deeply.He also, as I believe G.Bush does understand the importance of solidarity with friends and leadership.
2)Latham and Kerry strike me as similar characters. Always looking for a gymick or pose to strike. Hoping to affect a posture of strength,but not quite carrying it off.

If Latham and Kerry get in prepare yourself for spin /dialogue with whoever wants to attack our countries.As John Howard would say ,"they don't have the ticker for leadership".
I hope and believe the electorate in our two countries can pick the real deal from the fake,even if some of their words are misspoked.

Posted by: gubbaboy at August 13, 2004 at 02:38 PM

Karl,

Who gives a rats? Wake up, the two year theme of the DNC is that Bush LIED to invoke his policies. In fact Bush relied on faulty intelligence. In contrast, Kerry repeatedly LIED about Cambodia in order to have his policies adopted by America. The DNC should give a rats, but they lack the morals to be upset with Kerry.


Posted by: perfectsense at August 13, 2004 at 02:53 PM

Well I agree with Karl. It is easy for us RWDBs to become apologists for politicians on the right, but better for us to remember that right wingers should be cynical about all politicians, and be happy to pronounce them all unnecessary at least, or idiots if we are feeling light-hearted.

Also, shouldn't the press concentrate on the mis-speaking of Bush, simply because he's President? Kerry is merely the pretender, and no-one pays as much attention to him. Imagine in 4 years time, and Kerry is president (heaven forfend!): wont the press highlight his mistakes much more that his Republican rival?

Posted by: Peter at August 13, 2004 at 03:42 PM


Peter's made a fair point.

There's anti-conservative bias, and then there's anti-incumbent bias. If you want to isolate the former, a more telling comparison is Bush's treatment in the media vis-a-vis the media's treatment of Clinton in the 1996 election. Comparing Dole-Kerry is likewise valid.

The results of that comparison are still damning.

I don't know if anyone remembers, but there was an incident involving Bob Dole falling over at a campaign rally. It made front-page coverage of several major newspapers, and was treated as a metaphor for his campaign, which was "falling down."

Fast forward to 2004, and John Kerry falls over while skiing. Or, to adopt his interpretation of events, "that SOB," his Secret Service bodyguard, pushed him over. This was at the time of Bush's first major advertising blitz, a period during which Kerry was down in all the major polls. But it wasn't treated as a methaphor for a stumbling campaign.

It was hardly even reported.

Posted by: Grand Old Elephant at August 13, 2004 at 04:04 PM

Some points:

I know I was being malicious. But I stand by my belief. The comment about making a choice was that you can either have sensible political debate and rebuke those who comment maliciously, or you can shoot your mouth off as much as you want but you'd be hypocritical to pull others up on their use of "manipulative language", by which I mean those evocative, weighted terms like "the racist right", "the whinging left", "un-American", "fascist", "conspiracy theory", "communist" and, yes, "idiot".

Regarding Kerry being too centrist for me, I don't buy into the whole left/right dichotomy. Politics is about making the right decisions, not supporting your team. I feel if you become too fanatical about your team, you lose the capacity to think clearly about the issues. That's just my personal preference for thinking about political issues.

Does it matter how accomplished I am or how intelligent? Last I heard, I wasn't president of the United States. Bush may be fit for many great jobs, but I don't feel he's fit to be president. If you really want to know, I'm a journalist and although I do the odd story for the SMH, I doubt my articles about spirits and bartenders in Good Living contain much politically biased material for you to paint me with the leftoid scumbag brush.

Perfectsense wrote: "Kerry repeatedly lied about Cambodia in order to have his policies adopted by America." Exactly when were Kerry's policies adopted by America? And if you believe the line, "We didn't lie to you, we were misled," you're somewhat naive. If Bush really believed his reason to go to war was based entirely on "false evidence", he wouldn't still be so adamant that going to war was the right thing to do. Also, I think you'll find there are a number of DNC folk who are upset with Kerry (like those who didn't support him as candidate!) - don't pay so much attention to the party line. It's a device to imply solidarity. None of you Aussies really believe Howard and Costello and great mates, do you? You really think every member of a party supports every bill the party introduces?

Gubbaboy: I have serious problems with your view that Howard and Bush are two level-headed, compassionate, astute leaders, while Kerry and Latham are always looking for a gimmick or pose to strike. Show me a politician who doesn't use gimmicks or spin and I'll show you a politician who's not doing his job. You must understand the nature of the game to understand the moves. It's like the way the Liberal Party in Australia has been so opposed to Green Party policy, yet they've started doing deals with the Greens. The mayor where I live is a Green. He is the only Green on the council but the only way either the Greens or the Liberals could gain the balance of power was to do a deal and take turns with the mayorship. Politics, above all else, is a game of opportunity.

Now, watch this drive.

(I wonder if Bush put spin on that shot)

Posted by: Karl at August 13, 2004 at 04:08 PM

Gee, that post didn't seem so huge when I wrote it. Just wanted to say thanks to Peter and Grand Old Elephant for making a little more sense of what I'm trying to say. But remember, the media is not a singular entity (even the word "media" implies plurality) and as such does not have a singular agenda when it comes to politics. There are leftist (groan) and rightist (groan) publications. If you believe in the big media conspiracy against Bush, you may as well start hanging out with Margo.

Posted by: Karl at August 13, 2004 at 04:18 PM

Karl:

Exactly when were Kerry's policies adopted by America?

Exactly how is this relevant?

If Bush really believed his reason to go to war was based entirely on "false evidence", he wouldn't still be so adamant that going to war was the right thing to do.

WMD was only one of the reasons Bush gave for invading Iraq. It was promoted strongly because it was the only reason that might convince the UN to take action. As it turned out, nothing could convince the UN to take action. The UN was quite happy with the tens of billions of dollars it was raking off.

The invasion of Iraq was entirely justified on humanitarian grounds alone. The reason Bush is convinced it was the right thing to do is that it was the right thing to do.

I have serious problems with your view that Howard and Bush are two level-headed, compassionate, astute leaders, while Kerry and Latham are always looking for a gimmick or pose to strike.

Well, your problems are your own. Kerry and Latham are substance-free, pure politicos. Howard and Bush actually have values other than their own personal gain. So too do Joe Lieberman and Kim Beazley; unfortunately, neither of them got the nomination of their parties. If they had, these elections would be much less fraught, because they would be perfectly viable leaders.

Kerry has only his service in Vietnam to stand on, and that is swiftly unravelling.

Latham has, as far as I can see, nothing at all.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at August 13, 2004 at 04:37 PM

If Bush really believed his reason to go to war was based entirely on "false evidence", he wouldn't still be so adamant that going to war was the right thing to do.

Nice strawman, completely ignoring the multitude of humanitarian reasons brought forth by the Administration before the war.

You may not "buy into the whole left/right dichotomy" (I hear Margo Kingston doesn't either), but you sure sound like the average lefty passing through this site as far as your oeuvre of comments about Bush and the Iraq War goes. More well-spoken perhaps, but just as fact-challenged.

BTW, further up the thread, did you really chide people here for reacting to Margo's clearly anti-semitic comments the other week with ad hominems rather than "political debate"? In case you honestly think there's room (or even a necessity) for "debate" with people who think that "fundamentalist Zionists control the media", I truly feel sorry for you for not realizing that some things simply are beyond the pale of reasoned debate.

Posted by: PW at August 13, 2004 at 04:48 PM

C _ Actually, Kerry's memory is erratic because it was only seared, seared on one side: over easy. Kind of like his policies...

As to who gives a rats', I attended a rally in Santa Monica today. Brought along my sign that reads: "KERRY LIED ó SUE ME." A LOT of people driving by laughed and gave it a thumbs up... far more than I expected would. I think a lot more people may be bypassing the mainstream media than are being counted.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 13, 2004 at 04:50 PM

And if you believe the line, "We didn't lie to you, we were misled," you're somewhat naive. If Bush really believed his reason to go to war was based entirely on "false evidence", he wouldn't still be so adamant that going to war was the right thing to do.

This is why I believe Kerry supporters are so obviously panicking, particularly about Cambodia. The "Bush lied" line relies almost entirely on this sort of ridiculous Mooreish type of supposition i.e "no proof but I'm sure he lied"

Whereas Kerry has now admitted that despite telling us he had a seared in memory of being in Cambodia at Christmas, he was actually somewhere else. Its an actual proven lie (that he repeated many times)
There's a huge distinction and if this ever gets any mainstream attention the public will easily make that distiction.
Thats why blogs are currently been hit by Kerry supporters with the only possible defence to this nightmare for Kerry i.e."who cares...move along"

Posted by: Michael at August 13, 2004 at 05:05 PM

There's no media conspiracy, it's just that, broadly speaking, (if we can change continents for the example) the Canberra Press Gallery is further to the left of the Labor Party while the ABC is further to the left of the Greens. That's not a conspiracy, it's a fact.

Good Living may be a politics-free zone, but many Fairfax reporters do drop little political asides into their work.

The ABC reflexively betrays its biases - the other night someone was talking about Cuba, saying that some Cubans did not actually support Castro, and the response from the ABC radio host was an incredulous 'Oh really?' Another leftie's dream of Communist solidarity sadly shattered.

Not a conspiracy.

Just too many freakin' lefties, is all.

Posted by: ilibcc at August 13, 2004 at 05:17 PM

I think it's worth pointing out that there are more reasons to vote for Bush than "Kerry sucks", too.

It's not just that scandals from Bush's past (cocaine, hanging chads, business failure, etc) can be shown to be unimportant or whatever. It's not even because he's principled.

It's because he has a plan for the War on Terror, a plan that's intended to take a very long time to prosecute. It encompasses the entire Middle East. It encompasses Israel and its own terrorist problem. It encompasses Iran and the Saudis. Afghanistan was the opening decapitation strike, as it were; Iraq was the first real strategic step. It's by no means the last. Now we've got American troops and US-friendly governments in the two states surrounding Iran, an alternate source for oil on the off chance that the Saudis should turn hostile, and a major PR coup for the "Arab Street" in that we fulfilled one of our until-last-year unfulfilled promises, e.g. to remove Saddam and free the Iraqis. If all our goals are met, the Arab world will be democratic and free, with no dictators or theocracies to oppress their people and allow them to delude themselves with fantasies of bloody revenge against the West.

We're on our way toward the goal that Bush and his planners see on the horizon. One of the most frustrating things about this long-term strategy is that Bush can't talk about it on the record, because it would be a diplomatic nightmare; but it's real, it's vital, and it's a very delicate process that stands to fail as soon as we blink.

Kerry shows no understanding of the nature of this waróor if he does, he shows no willingness to see it through. Under his Presidency, we won't just blink, we'll go to sleep, pull the covers over our heads, and hope the monsters don't get us.

I refuse to give away all the gains we've made in this potentially world-changing effort for broad social change in a part of the world that's never known freedom, just through electing a President who doesn't believe the war is worth fighting. A succession of Presidents with wildly different political values never wavered on Communism and the Cold War; but if we elect Kerry, this equally long-term and global effort will not even get off the ground.

The fact that there is a significant portion of America that thinks that's a good thing is very disturbing.

Posted by: Brian Tiemann at August 13, 2004 at 05:41 PM

PW, firstly, I'm not sure how my belief in questioning ALL politicians makes me a lefty. Secondly, Iím proud to stand up and say Margo Kingstonís rather bizarre claims need to be debated. Just imagine someone less informed read Margoís tirades and, allah forbid, started to believe some of it. Calling Margo every name under the sun isnít going to sway them. Refuting her statements might. There is an advantage to sounding like the voice of reason. Consider Mark Latham and his ďarselickerĒ comment. Those who were already his supporters bleated it ad nauseum and laughed at how amusing they were. To those who didnít agree with the underlying sentiment and, I imagine, many who were undecided, it just came across as vulgar. Politicians donít just use conservative language because their mothers might be watching.

To everyone else, thank you for such a stimulating debate today. I appreciate all your different perspectives and hope youíve appreciated mine. Long live critical thought. Long live freedom of speech. Long live the alternative media.

Posted by: Karl at August 13, 2004 at 06:02 PM

Gotta love this bit too:

Sydney Morning Herald headline: "New CIA chief: I am not qualified"

Actual story: Porter Goss gave an interview back in March (to Michael Moore, for some reason) in which he happened to mention (damned if I know why) that the CIA probably wouldn't hire him in the sort of position he used to hold nowadays because:

a) He's an expert in romance languages rather than, say Arabic, and
b) He's an old fogey without all those skills in these new-fangled computing machines.

Posted by: Jorge at August 13, 2004 at 06:13 PM

Tim,

You're hardly someone who should be stomping about accusing other people of bias.

Posted by: Darp Hau at August 13, 2004 at 06:30 PM

Sorry folks but GW's mistake was very funny. I laughed my nuts off.

Kerry's story about Cambodia is important only because he has made it a major plank in his platform. Otherwise it would be an incident of no importance from long ago.

The reason that so much of the Media hate GW so much is because he is so un-elite, the opposite of the way they see themselves.

Posted by: Jon at August 13, 2004 at 06:42 PM

Karl, you've made some valid points. Your point about serious debate, "...you can either have sensible political debate and rebuke those who comment maliciously, or you can shoot your mouth off as much as you want ...", is quite true.

I think you'd find that most posters here are quite capable of serious debate sans malicious language. If you look through the archives you'll discover quite a bit of serious discussion on issues.

The reason you see the language you do now is, I believe, because most of us have had the serious discussions already. Some discussions have taken place here on the board, many others elsewhere.

Don't be so quick to place everyone who supports Pres. Bush into one neat little box. I know people who identify as Liberals who are voting for Bush this year.

I am not a supporter of any one party or political ideology. I am one of those 'swing, or undecided voters' that we hear so much about. I generally don't decide who I like until the last few weeks before election. I'm surprised that I've decided so early this time. It seems odd to me. But, Bush has been a good (not perfect nor without faults) president. For the times we are in, I want someone like him in the White House.

The reason you were identified as an anti-Bush leftie is because of how you seemed so comfortable referring to him as an idiot. The 'Bush is an idiot' mantra is one of the pet phrases of the left. I may not be a 'Bushie', but I'm REALLY tired of hearing that phrase.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 13, 2004 at 08:05 PM

Peter:

"It is easy for us RWDBs to become apologists for politicians on the right, but better for us to remember that right wingers should be cynical about all politicians, and be happy to pronounce them all unnecessary at least, or idiots if we are feeling light-hearted."

If you say so. Since I'm neither a RWDB nor a right winger, I'll take your word that's good advice for whoever identifies as such.

"Also, shouldn't the press concentrate on the mis-speaking of Bush, simply because he's President?"

The press has been concentrating on this LONG BEFORE Bush was president. It's a little obsession they have that's become VERY annoying over the years.

I'm quite surprised that as a self proclaimed RWDB, you are unaware of how long this has been going on.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 13, 2004 at 08:20 PM

..all I can see is that Kerry's not telling the whole truth about his involvement in Vietnam, but who gives a rats?...

The voters, bozo.

That's why the Dems are desperately trying to silence the Swifties.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at August 13, 2004 at 08:29 PM

..some of the things Margo Kingston's been called here have been seriously offensive...

Margo Kingston is a vicious anti-Semite who should have been dismissed from the Herald years ago. Like most lefties you have no moral compass, Karl.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at August 13, 2004 at 08:33 PM

..imagine in 4 years time, and Kerry is president (heaven forfend!): wont the press highlight his mistakes much more that his Republican rival?...

Of course not.

They'll ignore, excuse and refuse to investigate, just like they did with Clinton. Just like they're doing with Kerry's war record, now.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at August 13, 2004 at 08:38 PM

..politics, above all else, is a game of opportunity...

Think so? We'll find out later this year, Karl. My bet is opportunists, like your boys Kerry and Latham, will lose.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at August 13, 2004 at 08:42 PM

It's a liberal media conspiracy! *yawn* Doesn't Tim realise he is just aping the leftwingers and their corporate-controlled media schtick? If you're going to talk of biased or slanted media, isn't something like this Washington Post article, a more relevant link to make? You know, since it's concerning war and people dying and all that jazz.

"There was an attitude among editors: Look, we're going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?" (from the WaPo link)

Posted by: Dan K at August 13, 2004 at 09:07 PM

You're hardly someone who should be stomping about accusing other people of bias.


So far as I can see, Tim has never claimed to be an unbiased observer, (unlike the media) but can you explain why being a biased observer disqualifies him from stating his opinion. Or maybe you can explain why your bias seems to disqualify you from arguing the point instead of attacking the man.
Or maybe its just that you don't have anything to argue the point with, after all, the facts here are fairly indisputable, the press did give a massive and entirely inappropriate level of coverage to a misspoken word that was mildly amusing and hurt no-one, Yet Kerry gets irrefutably caught out in a Micah style lie that he has often repeated, that clearly speaks volumes to his character, and almost the entire world media are suddenly pretending to be looking the other way!
Not even the dopiest of moonbats would seriously consider this to be anything but bias. The fact is they love the way the media is treating this, just the way RWDB's would love it if the media was on the other side.

Posted by: Michael at August 13, 2004 at 09:53 PM

"just the way RWDB's would love it if the media was on the other side."

Not this RWDB Michael

Posted by: Gary at August 13, 2004 at 10:51 PM

What I, as a CWDB, want to see is the end of journalists and a return to reporters. You know, people who report stuff. Stuff happens, reporters report it.

As for la Margo, she is not only a vile anti-Semite and a clueless lefty moonbat, she is also a abysmally poor writer and utterly incompetent to fill whatever the heck role she is supposed to be filling. Unless the SMH has a staff position marked "Easy Target for Tim Blair".

Posted by: Pixy Misa at August 13, 2004 at 11:49 PM

Brian Tiemann. Well said.

Karl, you're a slippery one. You seem to have some Kerryesque qualities, yourself: i.e., you make a statement (idiot) and then back away from it using all kinds of reasonable language declaring your true intent is nothing more than honest debate. As with Kerry, we shall see.

Posted by: Rebecca at August 14, 2004 at 01:15 AM

Exactly when were Kerry's policies adopted by America?

The policy in question, the one in support of which Kerry claimed to be in Cambodia for Christmas, was a ban on U.S. support for democratic forces in Nicaragua. It was only because this policy was imposed that the Reagan administration saw fit to resort to the "Iran-Contra" workaround.

Posted by: triticale at August 14, 2004 at 01:32 AM


The focusing on Bush's speaking has always struck me as the left relying on past jibes. Remember Dan Quayle? Afterwards the left had Clinton to wax lyrical over. There was a list of Quayles mistakes in speaking, and they were quite amusing. A similar list has been done for Bush, and the list was really stretching.

The media running a story on this mistake is also stretching in my opinion. I have read it, and it just doesn't seem significant.

Posted by: madison at August 14, 2004 at 02:42 AM

And hardly anyone has touched this yet......

Posted by: Crusader at August 14, 2004 at 07:23 AM

I don't buy into the whole left/right dichotomy. Politics is about making the right decisions, not supporting your team. I feel if you become too fanatical about your team, you lose the capacity to think clearly about the issues

I agree with Karl. Even if he's not on my team. Not that I have a team.

Posted by: wardytron at August 14, 2004 at 07:23 AM

"Politics is about making the right decisions, not supporting your team."

If this is the case, why is the DNC pushing voting against Bush more than voting for Kerry?

At least the Republican party discusses the decisions made by Bush and Kerry -- all the DNC can talk about is how Bush lied and speaks poorly, and Kerry's war record. Haven't heard much from the Kerry camp about his political career, have we?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 14, 2004 at 07:52 AM

Haven't heard much from the Kerry camp about his political career, have we? -Real JeffS

Damned little, compared to how much we've heard about his four months in Viet Nam. You'd think that around two decades in the Senate would give us more of substance to discuss than four months, but...

Of course, it seems like any time Kerry's record comes up, the Dems start frothing about "how dare we question the patriotism of a decorated war hero".

I'm not impressed.

Posted by: rosignol at August 14, 2004 at 11:27 AM

I think that the American Media has pushed their luck a little too far with this "Bushism".

Both of my parents are charter members of the "ABB" club. Although my mother says the grammer of the statement is wrong, she and my father both agree with me that the meaning is crystal clear.

If the story has that effect on dedicated Kerry voters, I doubt it will convince the few remaining undecided voters to go against Bush.

Posted by: Michael Dubost at August 14, 2004 at 11:29 AM

I have serious problems with your view that Howard and Bush are two level-headed, compassionate, astute leaders, while Kerry and Latham are always looking for a gimmick or pose to strike.

Examples of Latham's flip floppery
1)His stance on Iraq,troops out by Christmas to appease the appeasers then changing the policy to repair the damage done to the U.S. alliance.Does anyone know what Labor will really do?
2) His time at Liverpool council,spending money he didn't have to build monuments to Gough his surragate Father while leaving the mundane things like providing footpaths for his constituants.Claiming credit for the Oasis project when it was looking good then Hi tailing it when the corrupt dealings became public.
3)Being the most vulgar politician in Parliament(skanky ho,ass licker etc etc)then expecting all to forget about his past and preach restoring respect to the Parliament and politicians.
I have huge problems with this man's credibility and authenticity.
It is a far cry from Liberal's doing deals with Greens to maybe pass a D.A.to trusting the future of Australia to a man who will say anything to anyone in the hope he will get an extra vote.

Posted by: gubbaboy at August 14, 2004 at 11:50 AM

Sorry I should have said,
Karl you say"I have serious problems with your view that Howard and Bush are two level-headed, compassionate, astute leaders, while Kerry and Latham are always looking for a gimmick or pose to strike".

Examples of Latham's flip floppery
1)His stance on Iraq,troops out by Christmas to appease the appeasers then changing the policy to repair the damage done to the U.S. alliance.Does anyone know what Labor will really do?
2) His time at Liverpool council,spending money he didn't have to build monuments to Gough his surragate Father while leaving the mundane things like providing footpaths for his constituants.Claiming credit for the Oasis project when it was looking good then Hi tailing it when the corrupt dealings became public.
3)Being the most vulgar politician in Parliament(skanky ho,ass licker etc etc)then expecting all to forget about his past and preach restoring respect to the Parliament and politicians.
I have huge problems with this man's credibility and authenticity.
It is a far cry from Liberal's doing deals with Greens to maybe pass a D.A.to trusting the future of Australia to a man who will say anything to anyone in the hope he will get an extra vote.

Posted by: gubbaboy at August 14, 2004 at 11:59 AM

Crusader beat me to it with ďAnd hardly anyone has touched this yet.......Ē

Did David Alston ever serve on Kerry's swift boat?

Posted by: ForNow at August 14, 2004 at 12:14 PM

Good question Crusader and ForNow. Might be some more duplicity out of the Kerry campaign.....would that be a surprise?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 14, 2004 at 01:18 PM

WhatI don't get is what passes for a 'plan' at www.johnkerry.com. There is no who, what when, where, how much will it cost and who pays, it's ...the Kerry-Edwards plan will harness American ingenuity to save billions, cut waste, and protect patient privacy (part of his health care plan).

Part of his energy plan is to increase output in non-OPEC countries and to increase output in US areas already open for oil and gas production. And the media doesn't ask the obvious follow up questions. I guess the guy has a magic wand.

Posted by: ZZX375 at August 14, 2004 at 03:12 PM

OK, but when Kerry says 'sensitive' and Cheney goes in like an attack dog, people suddenly discover uses of 'sensitive' by Bush, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Adams... and no one reports the inconsistency.

jb

Posted by: john b at August 14, 2004 at 03:32 PM

ZZX375 - Actually, even the New York Times has ripped on Kerry's energy "plan". Now if we can only get them to ask a few questions about Cambodia...

Posted by: Sortelli at August 14, 2004 at 03:46 PM

John B, when Kerry says he's going to wage a "sensitive war", he deserves to be ridiculed. What's Kerry's plan, smaller mortar rounds, lighter bullets, and group therapy sessions after an ambush?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 14, 2004 at 03:51 PM

At any rate, it's becoming more clear that Kerry is going to be way ahead in the Electoral College.

Posted by: DrMath at August 14, 2004 at 04:29 PM

[insert picture of crying baby]

Yeah! And winning in polls and projections is just as good as actually winning! So stop picking in Kerry!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 14, 2004 at 04:35 PM

Not to mention said web site computes a probability of each candidate winning in a state.

Given that calculating the probability of which way a state will vote is also based on polling, that tells me this is just another way of expressing polls. From said website, "...it combines the state polling data to guess which way the electoral college leans."

In short, another means of displaying polls. Which may or may not be biased, and may or may not be accurate. A "guess" is another way of saying "I don't know for sure, but I'll take a chance on [insert name]."

Not that I'm accusing the web site of manipulating data, mind you. But one has to wonder, given all of the polls floating around on a daily basis......

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 14, 2004 at 04:49 PM

Yeah, it is just another way of viewing the polls. And yeah, it is just as questionable as all the polls, but...

It combines all the polls, ideally averaging out the biases unless they are all biased in the same way.

Also, instead of trying to represent the popular vote like the usual horse race (Bush 51%, Kerry 48%), it presents it in relevant terms - electoral votes.

The reason I did this in the first place was because I was worried about people manipulating numbers!

Anyhow this doesn't mean Bush loses, just that Kerry is way ahead now and make some headway into red states (for example, NC and AZ). Things can obviously change if people change their minds about the candidates. We have a convention and a bunch of debates coming up. It'll be interesting to see how the picture changes, won't it?

Posted by: DrMath at August 14, 2004 at 05:59 PM

You miss the point, DrMath. Polls do not decide the election -- the voters on Election Day do. Anything else is, at best, an educated guess. At worst, a biased survey.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 15, 2004 at 01:10 AM

McGovern is ahead in the polls

*yawn

Posted by: papertiger at August 15, 2004 at 02:52 AM

"Kerry's just been caught out lying about his military service and now because the media has refused to report anything about it they've been exposed as biased for the Kerry campaign"

"Well..I..er..um..well Kerry is ahead in a poll, SO THERE!!"

They really don't have an anser to this one do they.

Posted by: JB at August 15, 2004 at 11:38 AM

Tim: Long hiatus. Perhaps a roadtrip. Hmm.
Are you in Athens?

Posted by: m at August 15, 2004 at 11:52 AM

"They really don't have an anser to this one do they."

No. They pretend to have answers, but don't.

The pretend answers include attacking the people bringing the charges and making them seem to be a bunch of Republican sycophants and to dismiss them out of hand by stating they were not in a position to know this information.

The UK's Telegraph *has* carried a few stories that have seemed pretty good.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at August 15, 2004 at 03:22 PM

The pretend answers include attacking the people bringing the charges and making them seem to be a bunch of Republican sycophants and to dismiss them out of hand

The Kerry campaign's reaction to the Swift Boat Vets is eeriely similar to what that idiot "bleh" was trying to peddle here some time ago when their subject came up, isn't it? "Those guys are biased! They're backed by Republicans" ... ohmigosh!!!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 15, 2004 at 03:39 PM

this is stupid. If Kerry was president, the press would have covered it, and left wingers would have winged. If Nader said it, the press would have covered it, and left wingers would have winged. Bush has said it, the press has covered it, and then right wingers whinges about bias. Get other yourselves people.

Posted by: caspian at August 16, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Yeah, it's not like Kerry's running for president or anything people. Geez.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Get other yourselves people.

LOL! I missed this little gem the first time around.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 04:31 PM

Sortelli, wanna run a poll on caspian's "misspeaking". Could be fun.

caspian's poor grammar and sentence structure implies:

  • Low Intelligence

  • Insufficient grasp of nuance

  • I was in Vietnam, you know.
Posted by: Quentin George at August 16, 2004 at 05:18 PM

I'm going for the "I was in Vietnam" option because I have Vietnam on the brain somehow. It's like it's been mentioned a lot lately in politics for some reason. Not sure by who, though... but it has amounted to a perfect defense against anything, and it could easily cover even caspian's retardorama--even if he has to "embellish" or "misspeak" about his past a little to turn himself into a Vietnam war hero.

Anyway Quentin, how DARE you question caspian's nuanced grammar when he so bravely served in Vietnam!?!?!

Posted by: Sortelli at August 16, 2004 at 05:36 PM

"Kerry was president, the press would have covered it, and left wingers would have winged. If Nader said it, the press would have covered it, and left wingers would have winged."

Do they wing to the sounds of Wing?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 16, 2004 at 10:56 PM

For Andrea, and apologies for not knowing the lyrics to Wings:

I'm whinging in the raine
Just whinging in the raine
What a self-pitying fealing
I'm whinie agian
I'm crying at Boosh
So darck on the throne
the piss is in my hart
And I'm ready to mone


Posted by: kaspian at August 17, 2004 at 01:22 AM

Sortelli, Quentin, you do realize that caspians' nuance might be due to an overdose of Botox, don't you? Maybe the surgeon slipped and stuck the needle into his brain.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 17, 2004 at 02:59 AM

The Real Jeffs asks

John B, when Kerry says he's going to wage a "sensitive war", he deserves to be ridiculed. What's Kerry's plan, smaller mortar rounds, lighter bullets, and group therapy sessions after an ambush?

Well, instead of free fire zones Kerry would propose these fire zones be taxed progressively. The rich can afford to pay for their fire zones! Of course the working poor would have their fire zones fully subsidized.

And the batteries used for torture would always be sensitively attached, using alligator clips with reduced spring tension and perhaps a circuit to reduce the voltage a wee bit.

However, the most important thing would be to allow all of our soldiers the opportunity to run covert CIA dropoff operations. This way they can have their sensitivity seared - seared - into them. Plus they get a neat hat!

Posted by: Brent at August 17, 2004 at 04:33 AM