The Peach was dismayed to see that Bush has jumped on the Kerry cover story in today's New York Times Magazine and already created a new attack ad that is transcendent in its cynicism and dishonesty. We were even more dismayed to see CNN report so breathlessly and uncritically on the new ad that The Peach had to wonder if the Bush campaign has outsourced its PR function to the network without telling anyone.
Here's Kerry's quote, uttered in response to a question about what it would take for Americans to feel safe again: "We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance."
He went on to draw an analogy to organized crime, which as we know has been basically contained to "a level where . . . it isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentially, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life."
Bush's attack ad takes the word "nuisance" out of context and insists that Kerry says terrorism itself is "a nuisance, like prostitution or gambling."
CNN's Sunday night anchor repeated the Bush camp's charges verbatim -- including the out-of-context quote, and then AIRED THE BUSH AD ITSELF! A couple of items the mainstream media need to be reporting:
1. The Bush ad is a totally cynical and opportunistic distortion of what Kerry said, and what he obviously meant.
2. What Kerry did say was TRUE! That we need to get terrorism under control, and that the model of organized crime is a pretty good analogy. That we need to feel like we did before 9/11. The Peach sure wants to. Don't you? Doesn't Bush? Isn't that where he's supposed to be taking us? If not, why not?
3. Bush's own father and his NSA saw threats like Saddam Hussein in essentially the same terms -- as someone we'd like to turn into a mere nuisance. Here's a quote from a then-contemporary Newsweek (Sept 23, 1996 v128 n13 p37} piece by Brent Scowcroft:
"The key point, however, is that the "Iraq problem" is not susceptible to quick fixes. Dealing with Iraq will continue to require patience and persistence, leadership and skill. For the foreseeable future, a successful and sustainable-if unsatisfying- policy is likely to share the same objectives as the one we have followed since the end of the gulf war: relegating Saddam to the category of a nuisance and preventing him from re-emerging as a threat to his neighbors or our vital interests."
Emphasis added. The Peach rests its case. Will the mainstream media stop shilling for the Bush campaign long enough to notice?