NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME
I started to scan through the usual bazillion short entries on Instapundit and there at the top
was a post about a Kerry press release which supposedly calls John McCain a liar. That would be especially stupid, and Kerry never struck me as that dumb. He's wrong about things that matter to me, but I never considered him stupid. So I followed the link to Tom Maguire
at Just One Minute to see for myself. Maguire's post contains a snippet of McCain's convention speech but no explanation of what lying lies McCain lied about. There's a link to the press release, but not the release itself. The link to the press release
comes back "page not found" on JohnKerry.com. Confused, I followed Maguire's link to PowerLine
to see if I could find the press release or a working link to it there. Same problem.
So I tried JohnKerry.com. I looked in the press releases for September and August. The title of the release described by both Maguire and PowerLine was "The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths." No such release.
Then I searched the Kerry site for that phrase and got three hits:
SEARCH RESULTS 1 - 3 of 3 total results for "The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths."
John Kerry for President - Press Releases: September Archive
...The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths Kerry Statement on Allegations Made in Senator Bob Graham’s New Book “Intelligence Matters” 4 Fanning Out Across the...
John Kerry for President - Official Web Site
...The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths Akron, OH September 4 - Huge crowds greet John Kerry in Ohio. Springfield, OH September 3 - Kerry and Edwards kick off a...
John Kerry for President - Agenda
...The 2004 GOP Convention: Four Days Filled With Lies, Mischaracterizations, Distortions, And Half-Truths New Kerry Ad Exposes Bush Misleading on Medicare Fanning Out Across the Heartland, Kerry, Edwards and Family Outline Plan...
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Of course, none of those is the press release in question. Hell, none of them is a press release. None has the title described above and none refer to McCain or even the Republican convention.
Back to Maguire at Just One Minute. Various commenters indicate that release has just disappeared. Rob Bernard has what he says is the actual release copied in toto onto his his site
. And there it is. A laundry list of statements from the convention, including four snippets from McCain's speech (items 10 through 13). The release contains no specifics. It just repeats something someone said and, by implication from the title of the release, I suppose, claims the cited statement to be it to be a "Lie, Mischaracterization, Distortion, or Half-Truth."
The material on Bernard's site contains the same snippet appearing on Just One Minute, so its a safe bet that Bernard's cut and paste is in fact Kerry's press release. So Kerry did say that McCain lied, mischaracterized, etc. at four different points in his convention speech. That is incredibly stupid, having run ads featuring McCain only a couple of weeks ago.
But the problem here goes well beyond calling McCain a liar/mischaracterizer/distorter/half-truther.
First, the Kerry campaign tried to disappear the press release. They didn't retract it. They didn't say. "Some staffer was compiling a list of things and hit the wrong button mistakenly posting his list to the website" or something similar. They tried to unring the bell. Did they really think they could do that? I'm positive that they've heard of the internet. Don't they think people read the things on their site?
And second, the press release compares poorly to a 5th grader's first book report. It does not point out what the supposed lies, etc., are. The reader is left to guess. Only the most partisan of Democrats could possibly take it seriously, and rumor has it that they are all on Kerry's bandwagon already.
Note to Kerry: Preaching to the choir convinces not one wavering soul in the congregation. And you still need to convince more people in the congregation.