Sunday, September 19, 2004

weird ap headline

The headline for this new AP story reads "Ex-Guardsman: I Contacted Kerry Campaign."

Huh? This is so cryptic, could anyone know what the article refers to from the headline?

If you actually read the story, it turns out that this ex-guardsman is Bill Burkett, who some speculate may have been the source of the CBS documents. Burkett says he passed information, supposedly about Bush's Guard service, to the Kerry campaign. Through a whole lot of innuendo, I guess we're supposed to assume that there's now proof that the whole 60 Minutes story was driven by the Kerry campaign.

RNC spokesman Jim Dykes would certainly like every one to think so, pretty please. Too bad for him that Burkett goes on to say that no one from the Kerry campaign called him back.

So what's with the weird headline, when the story itself belies the conclusion the headline tries so hard to make? Or does the AP now hold the campaigns responsible for every story fed to them by every joe-blow on the street? If so, I've got a doozy for the Bush campaign--something about an email from Enterprise Captain Archer who's leapt back in time to warn us that Kerry turns out to be the AntiChrist.

Ok, to get serious for a moment, its possible what the AP article is really trying to imply is that Kerry campaign involvement is possible, if you disregard Burkett's protest. But in fact there is absolutely no evidence of any involvement at all, while there is some circumstantial evidence that Burkett was CBS's source. Burkett's comment about contacting the Kerry campaign adds no more or less credence to the speculation that was already out there.

In contrast, the connections between the Swiftees and the Bush campaign are specific and many. (And really, this is what the RNC bloviating is all about--trying to make their own dirty tricks look like business as usual.) The Swiftee organization was initially funded and run by people with very close personal and professional ties to the Bush campaign. The Swiftees shared consultants, including a media producer and a legal advisor, with the Bush campaign.

Bill Burkett, if he indeed is the source of the memos, is one man. And by all accounts, he is very alone.

UPDATE: The headline has now changed to "Man linked to Bush memos contacted Cleland". Equally cryptic and misleading.