Fat Steve's Blatherings

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Doesn't Quite Grasp the Concept

    In his latest column for The New York Times (registration required,)Frank Rich shows a certain confusion as to what's happening in the Presidential race:
After all, John O'Neill, the ringleader of the Swifties, didn't serve "with" Mr. Kerry anywhere except on "The Dick Cavett Show."  Other members of this truth squad include a doctor who claims to have treated Mr. Kerry's wounds even though his name isn't on a single relevant document and a guy who has gone so far as to accuse Jim Rassmann, whom Mr. Kerry saved from certain death, of being a liar.  How could such obvious clowns fool so many?  It must be Karl Rove's fault, or Fox's, or a lack of diligence from the non-Fox press.

    Now, if you know enough about the Swift Vets issue to understand that excerpt, you know that Mr. Rich writes from a simple assumption, namely that whatever John Kerry's latest story is, it's true.  And he expects everyone to automatically take his word for it that Kerry was a hero.

    The part Mr. Rich has trouble with is the fact that most people won't take his word, and don't share his assumption of Kerry's truthfulness.  They wonder about Kerry's record, in Viet Nam and after.  They're waiting for evidence to help them make up their minds.  And with the new media available to inform them, they get plenty of information that Mr. Rich and his colleagues would have once filtered out.

    This frustrates the Frank Rich and friends no end.  They're going to stay frustrated, till they figure out that they can't control who's heard any more.



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