Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Circle Jerk 

Because our news providers are governed by a simple principle -- wishing makes it so -- there are still major media outlets willing to give the baseless smears of the Swift Boat Veterans a public airing, despite mountains of documentary evidence exposing them as a sorry aggregation of greasy, despicable liars. You will therefore be relieved (if not shocked) to learn that, according to Eric Boehlert of Salon's War Room, reports of significant damage to the Kerry campaign have been greatly exaggerated:
On Monday, NPR's Juan Williams, reporting that the Swift Boat Veterans were harming Kerry in the polls and particularly among independents, noted a National Annenberg Election Survey that found 44 percent of independents thought the Vietnam attack ad to be believable. Left unsaid by Williams was the fact that more independents -- 49 percent -- found the ad to be unbelievable. Or that the poll was concluded days before the Kerry camp launched its full-scale counterattack against the Swift boat allegations. Also left unsaid regarding the poll was that by a margin of 59 to 20 percent, independent voters think Kerry earned his medals in Vietnam.
Boehlert also notes that a widely-cited CBS poll showing that Kerry's support among veterans had plunged to 37 percent from a post-convention apex of 46 percent was based on a shrimpy sample of 165 respondents, with a 7 to 8 percent margin of error. Although CBS blamed the decline on the Swift Vote Vets' smear campaign, Kerry's numbers are now the same as they were in the spring, before his convention bounce.

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