Ross on a Rampage: 11th Hour Desperation at the RTD?

The Times-Dispatch’s editorial staff has outdone itself this morning in commenting on two “outrages” in the last week which they say may affect tomorrow’s vote.

First, the newspaper undid some of whatever good their stance against the “marriage amendment” may have done by pointing to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision last week on equal rights for gay couples. Making clear their contempt for the ruling, the newspaper warns that the ruling might inspire some voters on the fence about a constitutional amendment to vote yes.

Next, the newspaper takes aim at John Kerry and his ill-fated comments about Iraq and education from last week. Give the RTD slight credit for noting that Kerry insists his barb was aimed at President Bush, not at American troops, as conservatives have assumed. (For a good analysis of why conservatives have assumed that’s what Kerry meant, check out this short piece from last week by Bill C. Davis.)

But the RTD isn’t content to rest there. Instead, they add that in 2004, “Kerry came off as a mean-spirited, supercilious egoist,” in contrast, I suppose, to warm-hearted humanitarian Dick Cheney.

Finally, the RTD crosses the line from over-the-top partisan to downright farcical with the sentence, “[Kerry] campaigned as a hero and friend of the military, but the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth put the lie to his claim.”

Perhaps the RTD’s editorialists are unaware that the disparaging claims about Kerry’s Vietnam service have been repeatedly and thoroughly discredited by multiple mainstream journalistic outlets, including the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. (The Swift Boaters went after Kerry because they were angry about his anti-war activism, not because they could show that Kerry didn’t deserve his Purple Hearts or somehow fabricated his recollection of being fired upon in Vietnam. Even George W. Bush rejected that last claim.)

If they don’t know about the multiple published refutations of the Swift Boaters, the RTD is guilty of inexcusable igorance.

More likely, the RTD editorialists don’t care whether the Swift Boaters told the truth; the idea that Kerry lied about his war record is just too good a rhetorical weapon to set aside for the sake of truth.

Frankly, this editorial was disgraceful, and it’s embarrassing to the city of Richmond and its many intelligent residents that outsiders passing through town pick up the paper, see the editorials prattling on about the Swift Boaters some two years after their allegations were refuted, and assume that’s the mindset of this town.

The flip side, of course, is that partisan conservatives must be pretty desperate if they’re banking on dislike for John Kerry to bail them out on Election Day. The RTD says that Kerry’s comments may “have helped yank defeat from the jaws of Democratic victory”; we’ll see about that.

Published in: on November 6, 2006 at 10:23 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “If they don’t know about the multiple published refutations of the Swift Boaters, the RTD is guilty of inexcusable igorance.”

    Oh, they know about them alright…and they are also aware of the blatant and acute bias of the entities that you and yours so dearly love to cite as “authoritative”. Wikipedia? MediaMatters? You guys are a stitch.

  2. Well, if you don’t like (which was included since Cheney specifically cited it as a source during the 2004 VP debate with Edwards), the post cites the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune.
    An earlier version of it cites this article from that biased, anti-military website,, which we’ll re-post here.
    “There are those who are already so entrenched in their hatred of Kerry, that no official Navy records, no verified eye-witness testimony, no facts will every cause them to re-evaluate their point of view…. The cold and undisputed truth is that Vice Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Commander Naval Forces Vietnam, personally selected the Silver Star award for Kerry and personally pinned the Silver Star on Kerry’s chest at a ceremony at our Coastal Division 11 base in An Thoi, South Vietnam just days after the action. A decoration, like every other award for heroism, that was recommended by his Division Officer and endorsed by then Captain Roy L. Hoffmann. According to Zumwalt, he actually wanted to give Kerry an even higher award, the Navy Cross, but decided upon a Silver Star because he wished to make the award as expeditiously as possible. These points were publicly reiterated by Admiral Zumwalt in 1996, in defense of Kerry’s military record.”,15202,101730,00.html

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