Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 21, 2004
POLITICS: Question of the Day
1) Burkett comes into the possession of documents that, if true, would damage Bush and aid Kerry.
2) Via Max Cleland, the Kerry campaign is notified that Burkett has some highly interesting documents related to Bush.
3) Via Mary Mapes of CBS, Joe Lockhart is notified in particular that Burkett had some "records" that would "move the story forward."
4) Indeed, Burkett "had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS" only "if the network would arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign."
5) Lockhart, a very busy man, then calls Burkett.
6) Despite the fact that Lockhart would have had no reason for calling Burkett in the first place other than the story about National Guard documents, and despite the fact Burkett had already tried to get the documents to the Kerry campaign via Max Cleland, and despite the fact that he had made CBS promise to get him in touch with the Kerry campaign before he would release the documents, both Lockhard and Burkett somehow neglected to talk about the documents.
7) Instead, Burkett merely took the opportunity to tell Lockhart that Kerry needed to talk "more" about his "Vietnam experience," as if Kerry hadn't already emphasized that theme, and as if Lockhart had called Burkett merely to hear this sort of generic advice.
Are 6 and 7 believable?
Like I said about Sandy Berger's-pants-gate: man, Clinton scandals are just the gift that keeps on giving, aren't they?
Oh, and: could there be a clearer contrast between (1) the media presumption of Bush and RNC involvement in the Swift Boat ads in the absence of any evidence of same and (2) the media presumption that the Kerry folks had nothing to do with this even though key figures in the Kerry and DNC camps were talking to all the major players, including a known crackpot, at the critical junctures? Particularly given that Bush and the RNC have never tried to add the Swift Boat Veterans' charges to their own litany of attacks on Kerry, while the open attacks on Bush's Guard service have come in the form of Kerry speeches, Kerry press releases, daily attacks by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, ad campaigns paid for by the DNC, speeches by Wesley Clark, Tom Harkin and other Democratic candidates and officeholders, to say nothing of veiled references from numerous speakers at the Democratic Convention. It's not like the Democrats can credibly say that they didn't ask Burkett about this stuff because they weren't interested in this issue.
UPDATE: Wizbang has an entertaining trip into the Sixty Minutes wayback machine to visit with the original wacko who started all these anti-Bush "Fortunate Son" stories before committing suicide after his criminal record (for paying someone to commit murder via car bomb) was exposed.