Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The LA Times has had enough

In an unsigned editorial (meaning it represents the opinion of the editorial staff of the newspaper itself), the LA Times does what no other establishment news organization has been unwilling, call a lie a lie:

In both cases, the candidates are the reason the groups are in business. There is an important difference, though, between the side campaign being run for Kerry and the one for Bush. The pro-Kerry campaign is nasty and personal. The pro-Bush campaign is nasty, personal and false.

No informed person can seriously believe that Kerry fabricated evidence to win his military medals in Vietnam. His main accuser has been exposed as having said the opposite at the time, 35 years ago. Kerry is backed by almost all those who witnessed the events in question, as well as by documentation. His accusers have no evidence except their own dubious word.

Not limited by the conventions of our colleagues in the newsroom, we can say it outright: These charges against John Kerry are false. Or at least, there is no good evidence that they are true. George Bush, if he were a man of principle, would say the same thing.

The editorial is not 100% perfect (MoveOn has been around a lot longer than the Kerry campaign, so saying he is the reason for their existence is wrong), but the LA Times deserves a lot of credit for breaking the taboo against calling a lie a lie.



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