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Bias, What Bias?

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So I was in my vehicle tonight and tuned to a station where I was expecting to hear a talk show, but instead, I was greeted with the last few seconds of the Kerry speech at the convention. All I heard from Kerry was God bless America or something to that effect, and the announcer immediately came on. Just for the record, this was ABC radio coverage. Here’s the first thing out of the announcer’s mouth (not exactly verbatim, but close enough that I’m quoting it):

“We were told the speech would be fifty-five minutes, that was closer to forty-six minutes. He drove through that speech like he was back on the boat in Vietnam.”
Come on. I don’t recall the reporter’s name, but he was soon followed by Sam Donaldson who sounded as elated as I’ve ever heard him. I think it’s about time ABC took the lead from the NY Times and just admitted their liberal bias. Sheesh.

Originally posted at Evilwhiteguy’s Blog.

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About Evilwhiteguy

  • Hmmm. But, you defended deejays who referred to people using the words “spic,” “nigra,” “jigaboo” and “fag” in this entry. There is a problem with bias here, but I don’t think it is the ‘liberal media’s.’

  • Eh? Could you explain for a non-American exactly how using a metaphor and commenting on how fast someone read out a speech is liberal bias?

  • I do think that Sam Donaldson is pretty moderate on the whole. Kerry’s speech last night seemed to be delivered with a lot of power and enthusiasm, but he DID indeed go through it quickly, not even giving people time to cheer him before pushing on. Not sure why that was, but his timing seemed to be off.

    As for the speech itself, I intend to post on that tonight but my one overarching thought on it was, “if this is ‘moderate’ and ‘toned-down,’ then I’d hate to see aggressive.” LOTS of backhanded accusations and insults delivered in the speech last night. I’m going to get the text and go through it to show exactly where, but I do expect that the liberal media will shower love all over Kerry for his speech last night.



  • What did Fox have to say?

  • bhw

    he DID indeed go through it quickly, not even giving people time to cheer him before pushing on. Not sure why that was, but his timing seemed to be off.

    He might have been trying to avoid Clinton’s sometime habit of going on too long. Didn’t he talk forever in one State of the Union speech?

  • I think each year Clinton gave his SOU speech it was longer than the last. The guy loved to go on, though, at least he was an exceptionally good speaker.


  • evilwhiteguy makes negative comments about positive commments that someone made on a speech that he (evilwhiteguy) only caught the “last few seconds” of.



  • It’s biased becuase the metaphor was specifically used to remind everyone that Kerry served in Vietnam, which is one of Kerry’s key selling points.

  • Well, at least long enough to stage some battle scenes for camera footage, and get a purple heart for a wound treated with a band-aid. Oh, and to impress his superior officers enough that they banded together to let America know that he is unfit to be commander-in-chief (see the Amazon listing above).


  • bhw

    I just said something similar on another thread, but what is with the “yeah, he served in Vietnam, but …” stuff? I’m so sure Kerry’s plan was to put his life in danger so he could use the footage of it later.

    Kerry volunteered for Vietnam. Bush served in the National Guard. Both joined the military during a war. That should be enough.

    It seems like only men are involved in the usual machismo comparisons of whose service was real and whose wasn’t.

  • Personally, I just find it odd that Kerry, who was so opposed to the war after he returned home, and by his own admission committed war crimes, would use his Vietnam service as a reason that he should be elected.

  • bhw

    He’s just doing it because, for some reason, people seem to think it matters more than other things. If voters didn’t think that Vietnam service had some cosmic significance, then politicians wouldn’t make such a deal over it.

  • john kerry fought in a war, then had the guts to say the war was wrong. everyone is so caught up in not wanting to be wrong about irag that they are in a massive denial. it is hard to accept that people are loosing their young lives because bush is a pussy and dick cheney is a fucking evil bastard.

    this is just my own reverse fox bias.

    this is bias v bias.

    jack e. jett
    soon never to be on fox tv

  • (Scratching head.) Isn’t the fact Kerry served in Vietnam with distinction information? And, isn’t it reporters’ job to present information? What I am seeing here is not excesses of ‘the liberal media,’ but someone who doesn’t grasp the role of journalists. Someone who wants them to reflect his biases back, not report facts.

  • Distorted Angel

    Re: comment #12 — bhw, maybe the reason people think it’s important is because they’re remembering that the Republicans went after Clinton hammer and tongs over the fact that he didn’t serve. The mystery surrounding Bush’s guard service is just the sort of thing that the right would have had a field day with if that shoe were on the other foot. None of this speaks to the issue of whether or not service in Vietnam ought to be some sort of litmus test — but it’s a cultural flashpoint for people of a certain age, that’s for sure.

  • bhw,

    I think that’s close, but I see the cosmic signifigance as being seen as pro-military during a wartime election. And given Kerry’s record of voting against nearly every major weapons system in his career in the Senate, and his vote against the $87 billion to keep the troops funded, his service in Vietnam seems to be the only leg he has to stand on in that regard.

  • LOL @ evilwhiteguy! He’s concerned about bias, yet he posts a triptych of distortions of Kerry’s record in Comment 15. As I said before, I think he is concerned about objectively reported information — not bias. If the material matched his biases, he would not be complaining, as in the entry about the deejays. In other words, Evil is seeking propaganda, not information. So, factual content, such as references to Kerry’s military service, gets his goat. Too bad. The reporters are doing their job.

  • I’m guessing you meant Comment 9, since Comment 15 wasn’t mine. And those aren’t distortions. The staged battle scenes are documented in the book listed above in the Amazon section. And quoting directly from swiftvets.com, “More than 250 Swift boat veterans have now signed an open letter to Senator Kerry challenging his fitness to serve as commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces.”

    As for the band-aid, that is a direct recollection of the doctor in Vietnam who treated him.


    So no distortions there, sorry. And I don’t purport to be impartial, but the major news media, with the exception of the NY Times, do.

  • So, a far Right propaganda site, World Net Daily, is a fine source of material, but Kerry’s military records and investigative reports by major media, aren’t? Thanks for proving my point about what you want to perceive as ‘news,’ Evil.

  • http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-swift5may05,1,1840890.story?coll=la-home-politics

    Same story, Los Angeles Times. Surely you’re not going to try to say the the Los Angeles Times is a “far Right propeganda site” are you?

    And the Chicago Tribune:


    It’s been reported everywhere, that’s what his doctor said. Just because WND reports it along with other media outlets doesn’t make it any less true.

  • The original source is Byron York, a Right Wing propagandist. Other media may have alluded to his allegations, but they have not affirmed them. The claim is too fishy. Why would a doctor remember giving someone a Band-Aid (that is what Letson says was the treatment for Kerry’s injury) 35 years later? Why would the same doctor specifically recollect that the same someone considered himself the next J.F.K. from Massachussetts? What other innocuous events does he remember so clearly from that long ago? Letson would not last five minutes under cross-examination.

    Not that this silly story matters much. The injury referred to is only the first of three Kerry received in Vietnam. It is alleged by a Neanderthal from Alabama who is part of a group attacking Kerry. Byron York was last in the news trying to claim Charles Pickering, a member of the White Citizens Council of Alabama who still holds white supremacist views, is a civil rights hero. The far Right’s effort to discredit Kerry needs to do much better than this to have any credibility.

  • Kerry became very public very quickly as a war protestor. We certainly have enough pictures from back then. It’s very easy to believe the dr would have seen or heard of him and remembered then that it was a bandaid injury and kept that memory intact as Kerry rolled through public life.

    He also might have heard after he treated him that Kerry had applied for a Purple Heart and that annoyed him enough to remember the name and the treatment for all these years.

    I can tell you right now the name of kids in my third grade class where I was in 69. I could repeat verbatim a conversation I had about a Laughin episode. Memory is a funny thing and I wouldn’t assume that just because it was a minor incident a long time ago that someone doesn’t really remember.

  • Not to mention the fact that, according to his commanding officer, the injury was suffered as a result of his own negligence, not enemy fire. An account of the events leading to his first purple heart:

    “As an officer in command (OIC) in training, Kerry reported during this mission to William Schachte, who eventually retired as a Rear Admiral. Schachte flatly contradicts Kerry’s claim to have been wounded by enemy fire, saying that after his M-16 jammed, Kerry picked up an M-79 grenade launcher and fired a grenade that exploded too close to the boat, causing a small piece of shrapnel to stick in the skin of his arm. Kerry himself did not report receiving hostile fire that night, which would have been required, and there is no record of hostile fire for the mission.

    Kerry succeeded in keeping the small piece of shrapnel in his arm until the following day, when he was treated by Dr. Louis Letson, whose version of the event matches William Schachte’s account rather than Kerry’s.”

    So that’s two people individually verfifying the story. Again, just because you call Byron York a right wing propegandist doesn’t make the doctor’s, or Kerry’s commanding officer’s story less true.

  • Horsefeathers! What we have with this silly anecdote is far Right Wingers making up a story that fits today’s circumstances and retroactively applying it to events more than three decades ago. Not only does Letson claim to have given Kerry a Band-Aid, he says he committed the supposedly minor injury to memory and can tell you its size, location and describe the shrapnel sticking out. Fat chance. Most people can’t remember what they had for dinner last Friday. Even current eyewitness testimony is suspect because people allege their biases, not what they saw. Either this man has an extraordinary memory, or more likely, he tells whoppers, especially when being encouraged by fellow liar Byron York. This nonsense plays with fellow travelers. But, their hope of it seeming anything but a convenient lie to most people is futile.

  • Let’s see, so we have more than one person recalling the same story. If they’re lying, that makes it a conspiracy. And since a lot of people give credence to the story, that makes it vast. And since they’re supposedly “Right Wingers”, that would make it a…VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY!

    Thank goodness we have uncovered it! And you saw it first right here on Blogcritics.org, people. Don’t forget to credit your sources.

  • It seems like only men are involved in the usual machismo comparisons of whose service was real and whose wasn’t.

    Men and Democrats. 😉


  • Republicans went after Clinton hammer and tongs over the fact that he didn’t serve.

    Actually, no. We went after Clinton because, during the Viet Nam era, he fled to another country to escape the draft and wrote a letter saying “I loathe the military.”

    Big difference.



  • RJ

    John F. Kerry is hated by those who knew him best.

    He called his “Band Of Brothers” a bunch of murderous war criminals. He himself claimed to be a war criminal.

    You want this guy to be President?

  • An exchange between Tim Russert and John Kerry on the “atrocities” he committed in Vietnam:

    Mr. Russert showed a clip of Mr. Kerry on “Meet the Press” in 1971, saying that in Vietnam: “I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed.”
    “You committed atrocities,” Mr. Russert said.
    Mr. Kerry tried to interject some humor.
    “Where did all that dark hair go, Tim? That’s a big question for me,” he said.
    No wonder I’ve heard people call him the king of changing the topic.

  • [edited] Many, if not most, combat soldiers commit acts that would be considered atrocities in other circumstances. John Kerry knows war is a horrible thing and that some of the acts performed in furtherance of it are grounds for shame afterward. That is called being knowledgeable. I see nothing wrong with it.

  • I was five when we pulled out, so no, I didn’t make it to Vietnam. I signed up for the Navy when I was 18, but was turned down for medical reasons, so no, I’ve never been in the military, either. But I do read Stephen E. Ambrose and watch the History Channel and History International more than anything else on TV. But what Kerry claims is that soldiers “personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam…”

    To try and laugh off events such as those is deplorable.

    And yes, being Evilwhiteguy does take a lot of time. See this post,


  • RJ

    Kerry could have been caught on tape butchering a young Vietnamese girl with a smile on his face, and I believe these people would still vote for him…

  • Depends…was he following orders at the time? 😉

  • Shark


  • Shark


  • [Edited]

    (Okay, I wasn’t edited, but I wanted to show my support 🙂

  • David said: “Actually, no. We went after Clinton because, during the Viet Nam era, he fled to another country to escape the draft and wrote a letter saying ‘I loathe the military.'”
    Apparently he didn’t have the privileged rich-guy options that Bush had.

    EWG said: “Let’s see, so we have more than one person recalling the same story. If they’re lying, that makes it a conspiracy. And since a lot of people give credence to the story, that makes it vast. And since they’re supposedly “Right Wingers”, that would make it a…VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY!”
    Are you familiar with politics, propaganda and spin? There are tons of conspiracies on both sides, both leaden with biased agendas, that seek to discredit the character of the other. Your sarcastic and incredulous exasperation/exclamation, “VAST RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY,” is poppycock. There are such things as vast right-wing conspiracies. For example, Cables, right-wing radio ran with debunked Drudge charges on Kerry combat films. Vast left-wing conspiracies? How about Bush Using Drugs to Control Depression, Erratic Behavior and Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World?

    Why do we even care about a candidate’s character? We already know that all politicians are liars (at least this is what most parents teach their children, along with look both ways, don’t take candy from strangers, and two wrongs don’t make a right). Besides, Bush isn’t calling the shots. There is a conspiracy behind him calling the shots, and just as with corporations, we don’t get to know who “they” are, exactly. Is it Rove, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell, or the Carlyle Group, or Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Cheney and the Neocons? Wayne Newton? God? But Bush’s character? Well, maybe it helps us better judge what company he keeps. But that is not enough to justify the proportions of character bashing that we see from both Bush’s and Kerry’s campaigns. Sorry to say it again, as it has been said a super-cliche number of times, but we need to focus on the policies of these two candidates. Arguments ad hominem, perhaps the most obvious logical fallacy, are twisting us away from truth and what really matters.

    Maybe that is the point. We get so bounced around between these opposing character assault waves that we lose sight of this: As the US Conventions Begin, Big Business has its Eye on Both Parties; but the Poor have the Ear of Neither. Kerry and Bush are and will be corporate whores. For me it comes down the my belief that Kerry will better represent the majority in between his bouts of corporate whoring. Hopefully he will turn us away from the Big Brother-ification of the US. I’m hoping here, but with Bush, I already know the corruption and Big Brother agenda that he is about.

    That said, I return to my regularly scheduled character bashing–because it’s fun and it’s the American way.

    Bush sucks. He’s so stupid, he tried to wake up a sleeping bag. Kerry is a genius. Kerry has more integrity in his little finger than Bush has in his whole family. Regarding Skull and Bones ritual communal sexual gratification practices, Kerry didn’t inhale, and Bush asked for seconds.

  • (edited)

    not really…it is just my effort to be more like shark.

    jack e. jett

  • Shark

    re: [edited]

    Man, yall are missin’ some funny stuff.

  • bhw

    Men and Democrats. 😉

    I hear you, David. I think it’s a pointless attack. If it was okay for Clinton to do everything possible to avoid even putting on a uniform, then it’s okay for Bush to have used his father’s influence to get in the National Guard, where he not only put on a uniform but trained and flew fighter planes, etc.

    I can’t blame the guy for not wanting to go to Vietnam or for using whatever connections he had to keep it from happening. He’s no different from thousands upon thousands of other young men at the time.

    That said, I don’t think it’s right
    that people of privilege can/could get out of service when average Americans or the poor can’t/couldn’t. But let’s not make W. out to be any worse than anyone else in his position at the time.

    Actually, no. We went after Clinton because, during the Viet Nam era, he fled to another country to escape the draft and wrote a letter saying “I loathe the military.”

    Big difference.

    No, there’s not a big difference. He avoided the draft legally. And loathing the military at the time was quite common as the war became less and less popular.

    I think it’s really disingenous for people who have never faced being drafted and sent overseas to fight a war they didn’t believe in to criticize people who did face it. You/we really don’t know how you’d/we’d act under the same circumstances.

    And to criticize someone who *signed up to go* is the height of … I don’t know what the right word is. Even if that guy exaggerates up what happened [and I’m not saying Kerry did that], if you didn’t sign up to go then or to Iraq now, you probably shouldn’t criticize.

    Plus, who here wants to have their statements and decision making from their early 20s brought back into play every time they try to move up the ladder at work?

    [RJ, at least my early-20s statements aren’t google cached like yours are!]

  • Uh oh! (Yelling.) Justene! Where are you, girl? The word ‘horsefeathers’ has remained in Comments at Blogcritics. (See Comment 24.) Surely, that is a grave oversight on the part of the site’s official censor. No telling what harm will befall those who happen upon it. Psoriasis? Conjunctivitus? An increasing tendency to masturbate in youngish males who are obsessed with the male organ and post rip-offs of Big Media as blog entries? Aren’t you going to prevent those foreseeable harms, Justene? Isn’t that what a censor is for?

  • The word ‘horsefeathers’ has remained in Comments at Blogcritics. (See Comment 24.) Surely, that is a grave oversight on the part of the site’s official censor.

    Hmm . . . let me think.


  • Of course, as anybody familiar with the BC comment policy knows, comments that attack the person are edited, comments which attack the statement are not. Since I doubt the “horsefeathers” refers to a person, and suspect that it refers to a statement, it stays.


  • bhw


  • bhw

    I just wanted to say that.

  • esmense

    Hate to burst anyone’s bubble but the Doctor who claims to have treated Kerry’s wound is spouting hogwash. And anyone who believes him, who actually thinks that the military puts MDs on the frontlines to deal with common battlefield wounds, is an ill-informed idiot. Kerry’s wound would have been treated by a Navy Corpsman — a Field Medic — trained to handle most common battlefield injuries without the supervision of an MD. And, in fact, that’s just what the record shows — it was a Field Medic, not a Doctor, who signed off on Kerry’s treatment. (And it would have been the Field Medic who actually treated the wound who put in any paperwork related to the Purple Heart.)(Also, contemporary reports say that the men wounded in that incident were treated aboard a Coast Guard cutter — any medical personnel on such a boat would have been a Corpsman, not an MD).

    That Doctor was somewhere safely away from any battlefront when Kerry was wounded and treated. It is of course possible that at some later, perhaps even much later, date he did some follow up — checking to make sure that all the shrapnel had been removed from the wound and that no infection was present. But no one has presented any records to show that even that occurred. And, if it did, of course it would be something totally different from assessing and treating the wound at the time it occurred.

    Let’s be charitable and say the old guy is maybe a little confused 35 years after the fact.

    But let’s also try to be well-informed enough to understand that his account is totally ridiculous.

  • I tried to say how utterly unbelievable that poor ole fool’s story is, Esmense. All the markers of ‘somebody is telling a whopper’ are present. But, the far Right makes up its reality. So, to them, it is credible that an elderly Right Winger suddenly remembers all kinds of details from an experience that likely never occurred — just in time to ‘get’ a liberal presidential candidate.

  • Ok, so you claim the doctor, who has signed a sworn affadavit and vowed to testify under oath if need be, is lying. Perjury carries a jail term with it. It seems like a lot to risk just to perpetuate a lie. Of course, that still doesn’t discount the testimony of the other 250 or so vets who have signed on as members of swiftvets.com. And they’ve all signed affadavits, and have all vowed to testify under oath as well. That’s a pretty big conspiracy if they’re all lying. And you know what would clear all this up? Kerry releasing his military records leading to the award of the three purple hearts, the Silver Star and the Bronze star. But, he’s refusing to do so. If all these guys are lying and Kerry could prove it by releasing his records, why hasn’t he? It makes him look as if he’s trying to hide something. If he released the records and they refuted the Swift Vets’ claims, I would side with Kerry on this issue, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t look like he’s going to.

  • RJ

    Kerry lied. No question about it. Hundreds of Vietnam vets have sworn he’s a liar, but that won’t upset the anti-Bushies.

    They LIKE liars.

  • I think neither Kerry’s service nor Bush’s service makes much difference. The aerage voter probably thinks about the election less than 15 minutes a day and ‘d really like it if those minutes weren’t wasted on this stuff. However, I’m here in the land of the obsessed (me included). I thought the releasing the records cry applied to Bush. One article I read on the Swiftvets (out of 2.5) said the records were on Kerry’s website (not that I found them) and they showed that Letson did not sign the report.

  • Not those specific records. You have to fill out a two-page form, Form 180 if I recall correctly, to release that specific info. If he had released them, believe me, you would have heard about it from every major media outlet, and hundreds of blogs by now.

  • Fox News is reporting that the Kerry campaign is now saying that Kerry was NOT in Cambodia in 1968. He’s been telling that story for 30 years, and even told it on the floor of the Senate. If he’s lying about Cambodia, it kind of makes you wonder what else he’s lying about.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Lying about Cambodia, lying about WMD, lying about blowjobs, lying about the economy…

    I don’t get the point. How many years back in a person’s life must we dig to find that one fatal flaw?

    I’ve decided that Kerry’s military record no longer matters to me. I know he served and that makes him an American Patriot, not an enemy.

    He’s a veteran, he fought for this country. Ironic how those who condemn the left for not supporting our soldiers at war, have no problem hanging those same soldiers by a noose when it’s politically convenient. Beyond that, I’ve decided that people are just digging for anything they can, and I’m going to let my vote be influenced by what the candidates can bring us in the future, not what whatever they can dig up from decades past.

    This Cambodia/Vietnam Quest For Truth has nothing to do with our future. It’s a diversionary tactic, a search for an Achilles Heel. It’s politics.

  • RJ


    It doesn’t matter if he’s lying.

    It doesn’t matter if he is lying about something that he has decided to make his major campaign theme.

    It doesn’t matter if he rufuses to release records that would let the public know the REAL truth.

    All that matters is he isn’t Bush.


  • boomcrashbaby


  • RJ

    Thank you for that point-by-point rebuttal, BCB…

  • boomcrashbaby

    I gave my reason in comment 53.

    It doesn’t matter if he’s lying.

    WMD. Economic prosperity. etc. The same criticism can be applied to Bush.

    It doesn’t matter if he is lying about something that he has decided to make his major campaign theme.

    Results Matter? Iraq is an effective blow to Al Queda? The same criticism can be applied to Bush.

    It doesn’t matter if he rufuses to release records that would let the public know the REAL truth.

    National Guard records, Cheney/Energy records, etc. The same criticism can be applied to Bush and his administration.

    All that matters is he isn’t Bush.

    It sure helps.

    And it sure helps you all that we aren’t talking about the economy, the war, or dismal health care for the most prosperous nation on the planet, doesn’t it? It sure helps that we are talking about the horrors of things like loving relationships or things that might have happened over 3 decades ago.

    Keep flingin, somethings gotta stick.