This Girl's Voice

Friday, February 13, 2004  

Let the Smears Begin

The GOP has officially descended to that which requires the least amount of work for an already derelict press and to that which is most appealing to those aiming for the "journalistic" path of least resistance : Dirt.

On the crest of the latest Washington/ABC News poll which reports that "a majority of Americans believe President Bush either lied or deliberately exaggerated evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in order to justify war", GOP waterboy, Matt Drudge, online gossipmonger and proliferator of other newspapers' headlines, has "made news" by putting innuendo into circulation.

The Drudge Report headline read: CAMPAIGN DRAMA ROCKS DEMOCRATS: KERRY FIGHTS OFF MEDIA PROBE OF RECENT ALLEGED INFIDELITY, RIVALS PREDICT RUIN, followed by an amatuerish caveat reminiscent of an old highschool newspaper: **World Exclusive** **Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**.

Republican pundit and blogger Andrew Sullivan whose support for Bush has been wearing thin for some time posted yesterday:

On the alleged Kerry scandal... I guess I should say two things: I do not give a damn about Kerry's private life and do not believe that it should be a part of this campaign. But the deeper point is that the internet has ended any semblance of a barrier between respectable news and gossip. Once Drudge has posted, the story is public. This is an awful development, but it is real. I should also say: I know of no hard evidence that this rumor is even faintly true. But true or not, if the Republicans planted it, they should be excoriated. If a rival Democratic candidate did, ditto.

It's a little after 7am, and in less than 20 minutes from now, John Kerry, who had already been scheduled to appear on Imus before the Drudge innuendo surfaced, will be speaking with Don Imus, who voted for Bush in 2000 and had generally supported him over the past 3 years until 5 days ago, when he announced his full fledged support and endorsement for John Kerry.

The current Drudge piece headlined at this mornings' Drudge Report backs away from any claims of being able to "prove" the rumour Drudge has now put into public circulation.

Unlike the Monica Lewinsky drama, which first played out publicly in this space, with audio tapes, cigar and a dress, the Kerry situation has posed a challenge to reporters investigating the claims. "There is no lawsuit testimony this time [like Clinton with Paula Jones]," a top source said Thursday night. "It is hard to prove." [emphasis added by voxpopgirl]

The point about a rumour being "hard to prove" is of no bearing to the GOP, whose primary aim has already been accomplished: to plant the seeds of innuendo about their rival in order to change the subject away from the current quagmire in Iraq, the absence of WMD, Bush's declining poll numbers and the current headlines about questions on Bush's on the record statements about his National Guard duty, all of which point to questions about Bush's credibility when it comes to the very thing he and his minions have continually flaunted as being the sole copyright ownership of GW Bush: honour and integrity, trust and leadership.

As of this time, no major American media outlet has made any reference to this Drudge "news". This mornings' Imus interview will be the first media interview Kerry will be making since the Drudge online rumour appeared. Of course, all the major media outlets will then have permission to "report" on the interview about Kerry's response to the allegation, thereby making it legitimate "news" by bringing it into the mainstream media, which is exactly where the GOP wanted it.

posted by voxpopgirl | 2/13/2004