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U.S. MEDIA:
THE MEDIA'S GORE-ING OF SENATOR JOHN KERRY

[Click here for the eRiposte Media Bias Home Page]

PREFACE
You may select any of the links below to view my collection. If you would like to submit data-driven, evidence-based examples of media bias against specific individuals or groups, or just have some comments (politeness is requested and appreciated) please do so by emailing me at feedback-at-eriposte-dot-comIf you want to know more about the whats, whys and why nots of this "study" (for lack of a better word), please click here.

MAILING LIST: If you want to get on my mailing list for notifications on updates to this page, let me know by emailing feedback-at-eriposte-dot-com.

Documentation by TARGET

The goal of this web page is to address false criticisms of or spin on Sen. Kerry. The list here is substantially incomplete.

A note on egregious lie-and-smear operators

It has come to our attention that the website vietnamveteransagainstjohnkerry.com is run by a Ted Sampley, whom Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has characterized thusly: "...one of the most despicable people I have ever had the misfortune to encounter...I consider him a fraud who preys on the hopes of family members of missing servicemen for his own profit. He is dishonorable, an enemy of the truth, and despite his claims, he does not speak for or represent the views of all but a few veterans..." Joe Conason has more on Mr. Sampley's filth.

Another lie-and-smear group is the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", one of whose members is Nixon stooge (and Republican operator) John O'Neill. In the days to come, we will surely be hearing more and more filth and lies from this group about Kerry. So I cover this group's smears and fake claims extensively in a separate page.

P.S.: John J. Emerson at Zizka is documenting smears and lies against Sen. Kerry, as well.

Data: Bias/Spin/Rumors/Myths/Lies/Distortions/B.S. against Sen. John Kerry
For each act of nonsense/BS/bias/lying about Sen. Kerry (described below), I issue some Frequent BS Miles - redeemable for more PAID, crappy journalism at the media outlet propagating it. Not all the examples below constitute just BS or spin - some of it includes bias and lies. However, to be (unfairly) fair to the perpetrators, the miles will only be called Frequent BS miles, as explained by the key below.

Act

Article BS Code Frequent BS Miles
Indulging in bias (spin-based or otherwise) or just plain B. S. 
(sometimes without providing proper context)
BIAS BS 1
Promoting spin or rumors or BS OR repeating (not just quoting) 
GOP or White House spin (almost as gospel) 
without intelligence or fact-checking 
or independent confirmation of facts
SPIN 3
Propagating myths/lies/rumors or misleading statements
 regardless of facts
(shall we say, "lie/myth propagation in the 2nd degree)
2DEG 7
Creating or inventing myths/lies/rumors 
or 
editing or writing to intentionally mislead or deceive

(shall we say, "lie/myth propagation in the 1st degree)
1DEG 9
Serial lying SERIAL LIE 11
Outrageous act(s) of vile or false "journalism"
(shall we say, "fifth column" - in journalism)
FIFTH COL 15

 

Last update: 7/31/04

Perpetrator(s) Perpetrating 
Media Outlet
Rumor, Myth, Lie, Deceit, Bias, Spin or 
just plain B.S. about Kerry on
BS Code/
Frequent BS 
Miles
Proof provided by Date
Iraq, Military, National Security
Joe Klein

Chris Matthews

Joe Scarborough

Howard Fineman

Paula Zahn

Time

MSNBC

MSNBC

Newsweek/MSNBC

CNN

$87B bill

Kerry being a "flip-flopper" or voting in a "contradictory" 
way by voting for and then "against" the $87B bill; 
or Kerry's behavior being "impossible to explain"; 
or not knowing "what that [Kerry's voting] means"; 
nobody "can understand" this, "crazy", etc. etc.

9

11

15

Daily Howler
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
7/04
Dana Milbank (a) Washington Post Position on Patriot Act and $87B bill supports charges that
Kerry is a "flip-flopper"
7 Daily Howler 6/04
Jodi Wilgoren New York Times Kerry's "inartful explanation" on $87B bill 7 Daily Howler 5/04
Jim Rutenberg New York Times Kerry regretting his positions on voting for reduction/
elimination in defense systems (later than 1984)
7 Daily Howler 5/04
Sean Hannity Faux (er, Fox) News Kerry wanting to cancel "every major  weapons system" 9 Fred Kaplan
MSN/Slate

Daily Howler
1; 2

2/04

5/04

Deborah Orin New York Post Kerry calling Yasser Arafat a "statesman" and a
"role model"
9 Geraldine Sealey
Salon.com
3/04
Charles 
Krauthammer
Washington Post Kerry now "opposing" Iraq war for 
which he earlier voted (etc. etc.)
9 eRiposte
Kerry has never said he 
opposed the war - he has 
been critical of how it 
has been executed
 
2/04
Lolita Baldor AP Kerry's long-record of "backing cuts to a number of 
military aircraft and missile-defense programs"
1, 3 Fred Kaplan
MSN/Slate

FactCheck.org

2/04
Editorial Washington Post "Fuzziness" and inconsistencies on Iraq policy 
over the years
3 Matthew Yglesias
1, 2
2/04
Will Saletan Slate (MSN) Kerry's statement about Gov. Dean on Iraq -
Kerry a "flipper"
3 Daily Howler 1/04
Wes Pruden

Joe Scarborough

Stephen Hayes

Washington Times

MSNBC

Weekly Standard

Statements on Iraq war 9 Spinsanity 7/03
Editorial Washington Post Trying "to have things more than one 
way" on Iraq
9 Daily Howler

Daily Howler

10/02
Vietnam
Michael Kranish

 

 

Boston Globe

(the Globe has been
particularly 
negative to Kerry
- see here and here)

Kerry claiming (according to some secondhand source!) that North 
Vietnamese Communist leader was the George Washington 
of Vietnam!
7 Daily Howler 5/04
Michael Kranish Boston Globe One of Kerry's purple hearts being questionable per his
commanding officer (noted without supplying contradicting
evidence)
9 Daily Howler 5/04
Editorial Board New York Times Publishing letter from a person claiming all of Kerry's 
purple hearts were from "fingernail scrapes" 
without either correcting the statement (which was 
false in its entirety) or pointing out the writer was a
former Republican Congressional candidate
9 Daily Howler
1, 2
4/04
Nedra Pickler Associated Press Kerry's Vietnam records revealing that he 
"spoke fluent French and had raced sailboats—the 
fruits of a privileged upbringing that set him 
apart from the typical seaman"
7 Daily Howler 4/04
           
Sean Hannity Faux News Kerry and Jane Fonda 3 Snopes.com 2/04
Sean Hannity

Wes Pruden

Mark Steyn

Faux News

Washington Times

The Telegraph

Kerry supposedly condemning fellow 
soldiers as rapists, murderers etc.
15 Atrios/Scoobie Davis

Spinsanity

2/04
Sheryl Gay 
Stolberg
New York Times Kerry and Jane Fonda (photo reported on 
without mentioning it is fake)
3 Atrios

Snopes.com

2/04
David Warsh Boston Globe Committing a "war crime"! 9 Daily Howler

Daily Howler

Dan Kennedy
Boston Phoenix

2/03

9/02

11/96

Rush Limbaugh Stations carrying 
Rush Limbaugh
Heroism and War Leadership 9 Joe Conason 
reporting on "Greg" in
Salon
12/02
Charles Sennott Boston Globe Taking pictures in Vietnam and 
"re-enacted"..."his heroism", since he was 
"focused on his future ambitions"
1, 3 Daily Howler 9/02
Bill Keller New York Times Taking pictures in Vietnam and 
"re-enacted"..."his heroism"
3 Daily Howler 9/02
2004 Campaign, Kerry's Career, Senate Record, Special Interests, etc.
Sean Hannity Faux News Kerry having voted for the "two largest tax increases in
American history"
9, 9 Daily Howler 6/04
Candy Crowley CNN Merely propagating the blatantly false claim that Kerry 
"supported higher taxes over 350 times" without correcting it
7 Daily Howler 4/04
Matt Cooper and 
John Dickerson
Time Kerry being the "Senate’s leading recipient of 
special-interest money"
7 Daily Howler 3/04
Dana Milbank(a) Washington Post [Claiming that the WaPo reported] Kerry receiving 
"more than $140,000 from U.S. companies that 
have offshore tax-haven subsidiaries"
3 Daily Howler 3/04
Jim VandeHei Washington Post Kerry's supposed hypocrisy on 
"special-interest" contributions; "lambasting 
special interests after accepting more money 
from paid lobbyists than any other senator 
in the past 15 years"
1, 9 Daily Howler
1, 2

Sam Parry
Consortium News

Peter Beinart
The New Republic

2/04
Jim Rutenberg New York Times Kerry's supposed hypocrisy on 
"special-interest" contributions
7 Daily Howler 2/04
Charles 
Krauthammer
Washington Post Kerry being the "Senate's king 
of special-interest money"
9 Sam Parry
Consortium News

Peter Beinart
The New Republic

2/04
Tucker Carlson CNN "Some of Kerry’s biggest donors" being "Benedict 
Arnolds" and that "Two of Kerry’s 
biggest fund-raisers run companies 
that use offshore tax havens in Bermuda 
and the Cayman Islands"
7 Daily Howler 2/04
Jim VandeHei Washington Post Kerry's supposed hypocrisy on 
companies locating offshore to avoid taxes
1, 7 Daily Howler

&c
The New Republic

2/04
Tim Russert MSNBC Lack of tax cut = "tax increase"? Medicare cuts 
not really cuts?

Quoting JFK out of context to make  Kerry look bad

3, 3

3

Daily Howler 12/02
Liberal
Bob Novak

Jonah Goldberg

CNN

National Review

Kerry being the Senate's "most liberal" member
and/or Edwards being the "fourth most liberal" member
7 Daily Howler
1, 2
7/04
Elizabeth Bumiller New York Times Kerry and "liberal" and whether "God is 
on America's side" etc.
1 (to be mild) Daily Howler

Dan Kennedy

3/04
Gays
Michael Grunwald Slate (MSN) Kerry's "flip-flop" on same-sex marriage and other
issues
3 Mark Kleiman

Talkingpointsmemo

3/04
John Solomon AP "Backing" gay marriage 9 Spinsanity

Liberal Oasis

2/04
Wealth
Jodi Wilgoren New York Times Kerry's wealth and interests "separate him from 
the general public"
3 Daily Howler  6/04
Jodi Wilgoren

Nedra Pickler

New York Times

Associated Press

Kerry's wealth: "fishing vessel", "expensive restaurants",
"million dollar home" etc.; ignoring Bush's wealth or 
downplaying it
3 Daily Howler  6/04
David Brooks New York Times Kerry being a "multizillionaire" among other things -
and his haircuts (and other crap)
1, 9 Daily Howler  3/04
Ancestry
Anne Kornblut Boston Globe Not taking the time to explain family roots! 1 Ben Fritz
Salon
5/03
Frank Phillips and 
Brian Mooney
Boston Globe Not claiming "Irish ancestry" 7 Daily Howler

Ben Fritz
Salon

3/03

5/03

Brit Hume Faux News Not claiming "Irish ancestry" 7 Daily Howler 3/03
Editors Boston Globe Not correcting Globe's claims of "Irish ancestry" 7 Daily Howler 3/03
Joan Vennochi Boston Globe Not knowing "who he really is"; 
Jewish ancestry (also contributing to an 
"air of mystery" surrounding him)
1, 1 Daily Howler

Daily Howler

2/03
Anne Kornblut Boston Globe "...stuck to policy issues" in speeches even 
after "a story about Jewish ancestry appeared..." 
1 Daily Howler 2/03
Physical appearance, demeanor, flip-flopping, rumors, "phony", other ABSOLUTE garbage/B.S.
Most "journalists"
and "columnists"
Almost the 
Entire Media
Kerry flip-flopper while Bush is not 7 Compassiongate 7/04
R. W. Apple Jr. New York Times Kerry's flip-flopping is reflected in the fact that Bush 
is choosing Kerry's path! (yes, this is the nonsense 
intended in this person's article)
3 Daily Howler 7/04
Joe Klein Time Kerry's aloofness can be related to the fact that he is a
"proper Bostonian" (as shown by similar behavior
from a Senator who is from Kansas. Yes!)
3 Daily Howler 7/04
Nina Easton Boston Globe "There's a piece of John Kerry that wants to please audiences, 
which gets him into this what, what Nixon called 
“the phony.”..."
9 Daily Howler 6/04
Jodi Wilgoren New York Times Kerry being "like a caged hamster" 3 Daily Howler  6/04
Jodi Wilgoren New York Times Kerry's "musical meditation", "upper-crust phrasing",
"butler", etc.
3 Daily Howler  6/04
Todd Purdum New York Times Since "life is like high school", Kerry's adolescent years
should be reviewed in detail and "those years may loom 
even larger"
3 Daily Howler 5/04
David Halbfinger New York Times Kerry and interaction with secret service agent;
Kerry being "image conscious"
3 Daily Howler 5/04
David Halbfinger New York Times Kerry being a straddler reflected in the fact that he had not 
decided whether to ski or snowboard (yes!)
9 Daily Howler 5/04
Karen Tumulty Time Kerry's answer on world leader support being "lame";
his having a "gift for the toxic sound bite"
9 Daily Howler 5/04
Richard Cohen

Maureen Dowd

Washington Post

New York Times

Kerry's "butler" making "peanut-butter" sandwiches 
for Kerry (yes, it is possible to be this egregious!)
3 Daily Howler 4/04
Jodi Wilgoren New York Times Kerry and his "butler": statements made such as the following -
"[Kerry] happy with an aide half his age", "glorified valet",
"in Iowa once, they shared a bathroom", "Mr. Nicholson 
[is] ready with a fresh shirt after a rally in 100 degrees"

(a truly egregious piece of gutter journalism)

3

(Just being 
very 
generous)

Daily Howler
1, 2
4/04
Jodi Wilgoren New York Times Kerry tending to "avoid direct questions"; "wearing an odd grin" 3

(Just being 
very 
generous)

Daily Howler
1, 2
4/04
Michael Continetti Weekly Standard Staffer "memo" 3 Spinsanity 2/04
Mickey Kaus Slate (MSN) Kerry and female job-seeker 1 Daily Howler 2/04
David Halbfinger New York Times Kerry "trying everything" to "bolster his credibility 
with the working class"
3 Daily Howler 2/04
David Halbfinger New York Times Kerry's campaign being "choreographed";
indirect attacks on Kerry's supposed fakeness
3 Daily Howler 1/04
Timothy Noah Slate (MSN) Kerry being a snob, an opportunist and 
having a Clintonesque slipperiness is grounded
in "persuasive evidence"
3 Daily Howler 1/04
James Taranto

Wes Pruden

Rush Limbaugh

Wall Street Journal

Washington Times

Stations carrying 
Rush Limbaugh

"French-looking" etc. 1 Daily Howler

Spinsanity

4/03

8/03

Naomie Emery Weekly Standard Supposed phoniness, political calculation, 
character flaws
9 Ben Fritz
Salon
5/03
Mort Kondracke Faux News Being the "Franco-Prussian 
candidate", not the "American candidate"
15 Daily Howler 4/03
Alex Beam Boston Globe (a) "Whining" and "
surgically improved chin"
(Note: Mr. Beam believed that media 
coverage on Kerry in 1996 would not be 
favorable because reporters "disliked" him)

(b) "Plastic surgery to his lantern jaw", 
"JFK monogram", "shallow manipulative 
demagoguery" over missing POWs

(a) 1, 1

(b) 1, 1, 1

(a) Daily Howler

(b) Daily Howler

2/03
Mickey Kaus Slate (MSN) (a) Opportunistic/flip-flop on dividend
"double -taxation" issue

(b) "Phony furrowed brows"

(c) "Aloof and arrogant"; "long record of 
opportunism"; "loathsomeness"; "animatronic 
Lincoln" - "metal plate" in head, "glued-on hair"

(a) 7

(b) 1, 3

(c) 1, 1, 1, 1

Daily Howler

Daily Howler

2/03

12/02

Glen Johnson Boston Globe "Lying" about health/cancer 1 Daily Howler 2/03
Judy Woodruff CNN Kerry one of the "seven dwarfs" 3 Daily Howler  1/03
Jonah Goldberg CNN Kerry one of the "ten" dwarfs 3 Daily Howler  1/03
William Safire New York Times Kerry one of the "seven dwarfs"; comparison 
to "clowns"
15 Daily Howler  1/03
Brian McGrory Boston Globe (a) Talking about his "career" with reporters in 
restaurants

(b) Kerry and "women in bars"

1

1

Daily Howler 1/03
Mark Steyn Wall Street Journal "Hair cut" costs! 1

Rittenhouse Review

Mark Kleiman

12/02
Bill Whalen National Review "Hair cut" costs! 1 Daily Howler

Talkingpointsmemo

12/02
Adam Nagourney New York Times "...[evoking] the Kennedy legacy...with 
his elaborate shock of styled hair"...!
1 Daily Howler 12/02
Judy Woodruff CNN "In denial" over "hair cut" costs! 1, 3 Daily Howler 1, 2

Talkingpointsmemo

Paul Krugman, NYT

12/02
Michael Crowley The New Republic "character flaws that make it impossible 
for him to become president: a degree of 
personal manifest destiny and self-love 
rare even among politicians"; 
"Self-indulgent streak";
"lifelong grooming for power"
1, 1, 1 Daily Howler 10/02
Teresa Heinz Kerry
David Halbfinger New York Times Teresa Heinz Kerry's "botox", "prenup", 
supposedly being "bored" watching Kerry etc.
1, 3 Daily Howler 2/04
Jay Nordlinger National Review Kerry's wife and French - and the need 
to rein her in!
3 Daily Howler 5/03
Tim Russert MSNBC Kerry's wife being opinionated; wondering if 
Kerry might "muzzle" her
1 Daily Howler 3/03
.

(a) We like Dana Milbank. He is one of the better journalists at the Washington Post - so it is disappointing that he let himself be taken by his colleague's (Jim VandeHei's) spin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5/10

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