Accuracy in Media

Now that it looks like John Kerry is going to be the Democratic presidential nominee, the liberal media are faced with the problem of reporting on his ultra-liberal voting record. The Washington Post has come up with a time-tested approach?in the name of exposing it, whitewash it. This approach was on display in a front-page article by Helen Dewar and Dan Balz, titled, “Kerry’s 19 Years in Senate Invite Scrutiny.”

One problem for Kerry is that he voted against a long list of necessary weapons systems for U.S. troops. So Dewar and Balz mention the issue, but insist in their straight-news story that they were “costly” weapons systems. That’s how the Post rationalizes Kerry’s position. Kerry, who’s usually a liberal when spending federal tax dollars, was suddenly a fiscal conservative when spending money on defense. How convenient.

To their credit, some of Kerry’s contradictions couldn’t be ignored and were duly noted. He voted for No Child Left Behind, then criticized it. He voted for the Patriot Act, then criticized it. He was against the death penalty for terrorists, but now supports it. But their liberal bias came through in a statement about Kerry’s pro-abortion record. Dewar and Balz write that, “Kerry has one of the Senate’s most consistent records in support of abortion rights, including voting against a bill passed last year to ban what critics call ‘partial-birth’ abortion procedures.” Notice use of the phrase “what critics call.” That’s a clever way to obscure the exact nature of a procedure that involves partially delivering a baby and then sucking out its brains while its head is still in the womb. It looks like and sounds like what could factually be called a partial-birth abortion. But the Post says this is only a view held by “critics.”

Liberal bias is also apparent in a paragraph about how Kerry has “been in the forefront of efforts to strengthen laws protecting the environment?” It cites his vote against oil drilling in a small part of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That was seen by the radical environmentalists as a vote about “protecting the environment.” But the Post could also have reported that Kerry had voted to restrict America’s ability to lessen its dependence on foreign oil.

The Post writers say that “his POW-MIA hearings on whether Americans were still being held in Vietnam” led to “eventual normalization of relations between the two countries,” as if this were a positive development. A group called Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry says that Kerry desperately tried to “bury” the issue of POW/MIAs and that when he ran the committee holding the hearings, he “never missed a chance to propagandize and distort the facts in favor of Hanoi.”

The group says that Kerry had a vested financial interest in the matter because after publicly declaring that Communist Vietnam was cooperating on the matter, a Boston-based firm named Colliers International received a contract worth billions by being selected to do real estate business in Vietnam. Stuart Forbes, then the CEO of Colliers, is Kerry’s cousin. The Post said nothing about this.

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