Too Many Cameras and Not Enough Truth

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: George W. Bush, Government And Politics Views: 4141

Seems that when some innocents die 
All we can offer them is a page in some magazine 
Too many cameras and not enough truth 
--The Police (Driven to Tears) 

Democratic Presidential nominee John F. Kerry seems to be evading any confrontation with the media. According to journalists who have been tracking Kerry along the campaign trail, the senator has not held a formal press conference since August 9, some two weeks before the last time President Bush met with the press.

When Israel ended a six-month lull in violence by striking a suspected Hamas training camp in Gaza and killing 14 with a US-built Apache helicopter in response to the September 2 suicide bombings, Kerry did not take one question. Nor did he speak with the press core when Israeli occupation forces destroyed two large apartment buildings south of Gaza in Khan Younis, leaving nearly one-hundred Palestinians homeless. But perhaps Kerry's most appalling act of silence came on September 7 when the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq reached 1,000 and Kerry declined to chat with the media.

The Washington Post quoted The New York Times' reporter Jodi Wilgoren, who is following Kerry along his campaign, as saying of Kerry's elusiveness: "I think it's ridiculous. There are a lot of things happening in the country and the world, and the public has legitimate questions they'd like to ask. I don't know what he's afraid of. He's criticized the president for not giving enough press conferences. And now we face daily arm-wrestling to ask a question."

Kerry is seeking the position of the nation's top public servant, yet he will not step behind a microphone unless the script from which he reads is pre-fabricated. Much like Al Gore in 2000, Kerry, we're quickly discovering, is wholly uninspired, dull, and brash. His platform and campaign, manufactured by his party's elites, is a sure loser.

Of course, it didn't have to be that way. After all, Bush and company have practically handed Kerry and the Democrats a bushel of scandals for their campaign's inferno: Richard Clarke's disclosures of how Bush failed our national security. The deceit of the neo-cons, as they sold the country on war with Iraq. The outlandish deficit. The tax-cuts for the rich. The Enron debacle. Halliburton's handouts. The burgeoning gap between the rich and poor. And the list goes on.

But the Democrats, as we know, have yet to seize the ever-shrinking window of opportunity, enabling Bush to hold a fairly healthy lead as he continues to steam forward in the polls. Some Democrats see it as a harbinger of things to come on Election Day. With long-time critics of Florida Governor Jeb Bush going so far as to praise the younger Bush for his governing aptitude during the tri-fecta of hurricanes whacking the region, many expect Bush to easily secure the critical swing state this time around.

All of this aside, Kerry may still be doomed. After all, he has yet to distinguish himself from Bush on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to the Patriot Act to the No Child Left Behind bill, Kerry has sided with the Republicans time and again.

It is time for Kerry to answer up. Simply playing the role of the "anybody" in "Anybody but Bush" will not win this election. "Anybody" must also offer an alternative. But as progressives know all too well, that is not the Democrats' game plan. They'd rather lose than speak the truth. Let alone answer questions in front of a microphone. 

Joshua Frank is the author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press.

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: George W. Bush, Government And Politics
Views: 4141

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Older Comments:
I was a Howard Dean supporter from Feb. 2003 until Dean dropped out in Feb. of 2004. During the entire time we thought Kerry would never get any votes because he was talking about a lot of nothing. We were warned by beaten Candidates in Mass. that he always does this until the very end, be we thought "no, this is just a failing campaign for Kerry, and Dean will win". Much to our suprise, though we were warned, Kerry came out at the end and beat the pants off of Dean. Apperently this is Kerry's "M.O.". I would not be to concerned with his performence thus far. What he does in the final weeks, such as from the end of October until Novemeber 2nd will suprise you - just like it suprised all of us Deaniacs. Kerry is just playing a waiting game now, later you will see him come out swinging in full force.

Lynnzy Buffalo New York

Dont expect any US president or candidate whos running for the President oppose this general policy which US had for years. If any US President candidate opposes the US policy for not critizing on Israels ruthless polices ..that US President will be regarded as the most liberal candidate and he will loose the election. So the best policy is to keep your mouth shut or if you open your mouth then increase the chances of lossing the election.

I think nader is right when he claims that both Republican party and the democratic party are just the two faces of the same coin.