Sunday, June 25, 2006

NYT Critique: C.I. on Kate Zernike's drive-by taxi hit on John Kerry

C.I. said one and only one highlight.  It was hard to pick just one.  Then we remembered how The New York Times spent basically a week trashing John Kerry and thought of how C.I. put everyone wise to cab driver Kate Zernike from Wednesday morning (June 21st). 

NYT: Zernike's drive-by taxi ride to nowhere

When Senator John Kerry was their presidential nominee in 2004, Democrats fervently wished he would express himself firmly about the Iraq war.

So begins the nonsense of Kate Zernike's "On Iraq, Kerry Again Leaves Democrats Fuming" in this New York Times (a piece I was given a heads up to yesterday and one that a friend at the Times and I dub "Zernikie, take the taxi back to the garage -- your shift is over"). So, in 2004, Zernike writes that Dems "fervently wished" Kerry "would express himself firmly about the Iraq war"? How many?

She's talking about voters, by the way. She's about to conflate them with office holders, but here's she's talking about voters.

I'm sure there were some. I'm also aware that for all the hearts and flowers over that lousy convention in Boston, there weren't that many.

Now it's time to really begin the lies and we're using "lies" and sticking with it. The paper's ran a slam-piece and passed it off as journalism. (Which was the stated inent and the source of laughter and giggles.) Zernike follows that opening with this:

Mr. Kerry has found his resolve. But it has not made his fellow Democrats any happier.

She's now switching to elected officials. Readers may or may not catch that. When Zernike wants to lose the reader she can be very effective.

The point of the article isn't to inform (and I would assume most people grasped that about the paper a long time ago), it's to mock the idea of withdrawal by July 2007. (Which is just too soon for some at the paper. Zernike takes the story for a drive much to the delight of higher ups.)

Zernike, for those who don't read closely, has now had Kerry angering the voters and the elected officials. Some voters were bothered by his 2004 reluctance to speak of Iraq (or Abu Ghraib or many other topics -- I was one -- he would speak of the Patriot Act and John Ashcroft because there was always a bump in fundraising when he did) but elected Dems in Congress (as a whole) weren't bothered by it. It gave them all the cover they needed.

Now his stance is popular with many voters (better get in a hit job, thinks the Times that lied us into war and still plans on keeping us there) but not with Dems in Congress.

Zernike has a hilarious moment (which is supposedly true) where Kerry speaks to her and says that he's not feeling any heat to change his call for withdrawal. Christopher Dodd, standing behind Kerry while Zernike is speaking to Kerry, winks his eye at her. That's a ha-ha.

Until you think too much about it and realize that Dodd is just a cheap, little backstabber. (Which shouldn't come as a surprise to many.) Dodd later speaks to Zernike. He tells her he's not sure where the "value" is and that a deadline may "confuse" voters -- because we're all so stupid apparently. (Stupid enough to vote Dodd for president in 2008? Not likely.) The real confusion may be why Congress thinks they can continue to ignore the people re: Iraq.

(The Times? It always thinks it can "shape" opinion -- reporting or editorial.)

So after Dodd follows up his stab-in-the-back wink with another knife, it's time for Zernike to check in with a Democratic group. Any number of groups might support Kerry's stance (many do) so she heads for the extreme right, the Zell Miller group, the Americans for "Smart" Gun Safety crowd and gets Evan Blah's main fellow Matt Bennett to offer his "independent" opinion (can you have an independent opinion when your group is so beholden to big corporations?).

So Dodd speaks of how a date "hurts us" and make no mistake, he doesn't mean the country but the cowards (including him) in his party. Kerry's accused by Dodd and Bennett of attempting to make political hay when the reality is they're the ones with an eye on the elections.

Joe Biden issues a quote. We won't spend too much time on it since who knows if it's his own words or if he's again borrowing?

It's really interesting how the ones who are afraid to take a stand out of fear that it might upset their hopes for November accuse someone else (never themselves) of attempting to trick the voters. It's the sort of piece the Times loves, where they can put one over on the readers. Will it work? No. Opinion has hardened on the war. It's not "soft" and it won't be swayed at this late date. Opinion makers/shapers like to think they've possess the ability to (again) trick to the public but they're only fooling themselves. Zernike should put on the "Off Duty" sign because, although she's pleased her bosses, she's lost her way (and then some). (And, for the record, Kerry's 2004 position did not leave Congressional Dems "fuming.")

Martha notes Michael Abramowitz's "Bush's Unpopularity in Europe Hangs Over Summit" (Washington Post):

President Bush arrived here Tuesday for his 15th visit to Europe since taking office, at a time when the populace remains generally wary of him despite concerted efforts by political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to patch up their differences.
In meetings here Wednesday, Bush and European Union officials are to confer on issues including trade, energy security and their mutual efforts to persuade Iran to halt activities that could lead to the development of nuclear weapons.

On the above, remember this from Monday:

Finally, Bully Boy is due to visit Vienna this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) and a group is attempting to organize a loud, if not welcoming, reception for him. "Bush Go Home" organizer Michael Proebsting tells the AAP: "The name George Bush, the name of the American president, has become a symbol for war crimes, for Abu Ghraib, for Guantanamo, for Jenin."

And remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) of Democracy Now! (Rod passes on scheduled topics):

Award-winning author of the The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler, and Law Professor Kimberle Crenshaw on the global movement to end violence against women and girls

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