11. August 2004 · Comments Off on News “Legs” and the Swiftboat Veterans · Categories: Media Matters Not

It looks like the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth campaign will indeed have legs, but not the hoped-for seven-league boots clad news legs that carry a story from “60 Minutes” to the front page above the fold “NY Times”, and the major talk shows and back again. Oh, dear me no, JFK part deux is the major media’s own anointed, and the solemnity of the election occasion will not be disturbed by the rioting mobs of blogger peasantry with our torches and pitchforks, outside the major media palace gates. The high media nobles will draw the velvet curtains, and look forward to the coronation, hoping that it will bring back that lovely golden September 10th world, where the news audiences could be easily distracted with …ooohhh, pretty, shiny!

My local newspaper has pretty well ignored it; a couple of brief mentions embedded in campaign coverage (in the back pages) and an editorial cartoon featuring a toy swiftboat stuck in a bathtub drain with an elephant on the deck. I think it means the cartoonist is writing the swiftboat veterans off as stranded partisan hacks, but god only knows what the average reader thought, given the very little that the SA Express News has reported.
NPR mentioned it twice in the last week— and one of those two mentions was a letter from a listener who complained that the swiftboat veterans were stranded partisan hacks.

Considering that I have known about this group for simply months, since after posting this entry, and that their news conference was noted by a couple of major condervative media sources, and now the book is way at the top of Amazon’s sales, I am left shaking my head at the major media silence. What on earth are those highly paid investigative reporters being paid to do these days, I thought political scandals were their bread and butter, their reason for living, the Holy Grail of another Watergate, bestowing undying renown and fame everlasting unpon the aspiring hack reporter.

Alas, in these degenerate days, they wait for the next story to drop on them like a gentle rain: even the ever floggable dead horse of Abu Ghraib was tied up in a nice pink bow and dropped into a receptive lap, not found out by journalistic curiosity and effort. Actually doing a bit of investigative work seems a bit infra dig for our major media nobles…. and now the testimony of a wide variety of veterans who served in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry, testimony which may call into question his fitness for the highest office in the land…. is dumped in a big, steaming pile right in the middle of the assembly hall in major media’s grand palace.

And they flap their lace hankies, and hold their noses and mumble sotto-voice about the nerve of those peasants, and look away, and never realise the story does have legs— a thousand little legs, like a centipede. They do not sense the depth of anger among Vietnam War vets at how they were slimed, vilified and castigated by the anti-war movement, at how deep the hurt was felt by those who felt they had done their honorable duty. They do not, I think, even realise the depth of unease among other veterans, both older and younger, about certain aspects of the Kerry saga.

Both my Dad and William, the GWWIKC (the Gentleman With Whom I Keep Company) are veterans, and seperatly had the same reaction when I mentioned that those three Purple Hearts had not involved any hospital time; an astonished, disbelieving “What!!????”. Indeed, William himself has a Purple Heart; he served as combat aircrew, and a piece of shrapnel cost him some months in hospital. They are both generally well disposed to fellow veterans, and inclined to give the benefit of doubts… but not this time.

This story does indeed have legs, and shall grown all the many and longer, for not being addressed at this most important time by those who claim it to be their duty and their right. So, don’t mind us if we do so now. Your legs are longer, you’ll need them to catch up later.