Why Drudge is Right, and Michael Kranish, the Boston Globe, PublicAffairs and Hugh Hewitt are Wrong

Here are some facts:

1) Kranish, 1979 graduate of Syracuse and Globe reporter for 20 years (16 in the Washington bureau), has close ties to the Kerry campaign. He is co-author of a Kerry Biography, and his statements in interviews of the three authors have been the most complimentary to Kerry.

2) Kranish wrote stories in 12/03 linking Howard Dean to giving tax breaks to the same corpoprations he criticized, including Enron. It was speculated at that time that the source of some of the information Kranish wrote about was the Kerry campaign.

3) Kranish has reported stories which are negative to Kerry, such as Kerry’s refusal, the day after his MTP appearance, to release the records he said he would release. The reporting had zero percent of the intensity that it would if Bush or Nixon refused to release documents. For example, Kranish devoted a lot more ink to the question of Harvard’s investing in Harken Energy, speculating that it may have been the HBS MBA of GWB that got Harvard to pony up $30 million before Bush bailed out of his investment at a decent price and left Harvard with a $0.36 stock.

4) Kranish wrote the introduction to a book which appears to be promotional material for the Kerry campaign. I have excerpted the material provided by publisher PublicAffairs elsewhere. Globe Editor Baron said the following: “Baron noted that earlier this summer Kranish worked with PublicAffairs — the publisher of the Boston Globe biography of Kerry, ‘John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best’ — to write a short introduction to a second project: an independent, unauthorized review of publicly available documents dealing with the platform and policy statements of Kerry and Edwards. That project was in no way connected with the Kerry-Edwards campaign, Baron said.” This is a joke. Imagine if Tony Snow, as FNS host, wrote an introduction to “Bush’s Second Term: A Plan for an Even Snazzier USA.” Imagine Roger Ailes saying what Baron said.

5) There is plenty wrong with the way Kranish got SwiftBoatVet George Elliott to say, “I still don’t think he shot the guy in the back.” You can read the complete story here and here. I believe that Kranish got that odd phrasing from Elliott by tricking him, while Kranish knew, from Kerry’s own words, in a book authored by Kranish and others, that Kerry shot the guy while he was running away and obviously in the back. Here’s page 102: “Kerry followed and fired, killing the man. ‘I don’t have a second question about that, and neither does anybody who was with me,’ Kerry recalled of his decision to shoot. ‘He was running away with a live B-40, and I thought, poised to turn around and fire it’.” We would welcome a clarification from Kranish.

6) PublicAffairs is as bad or worse than Kranish. This from the Globe story: “‘When PublicAffairs subsequently struck an agreement with the Kerry campaign to do an official campaign book, Kranish’s relationship with the project immediately ended,’ Baron said. Peter Osnos, publisher of PublicAffairs, said both Drudge and Amazon, the online bookseller peddling the upcoming Kerry-Edwards book, had made a mistake in suggesting Kranish had written its introduction. ‘As far as I can tell, if there’s any malign intent here, it was someone making Drudge think Michael was somehow doing something for [Kerry's] campaign,’ Osnos said.” These statements are belied by the cached information from PublicAffairs’ own website.

7) The Globe is the worst of all. Baron is making statements that are false and easily demonstrated to be false, like the one quoted immediately above. I’ll wager that Baron sees absolutely nothing wrong with the Elliott story, and that’s the biggest problem of all. The facts of the Globe story are, in miniature, probably true, but they are used to create a picture that is not true, and they appear to do so through trickery.

I have no problem if Michael Kranish, Peter Osnos or Martin Baron want to see John Kerry elected President. I would appreciate a more honorable approach to the task, however.

And to Hugh Hewitt: Michael Kranish may not be an operative, paid or otherwise, of the Kerry campaign. However, his history demonstrates that he supports Kerry, and his reporting of the Elliott story made no atttempt to do anything other than provide a “gotcha” for the Kerry campaign to use, as I have discussed elsewhere.

I’d like to say that “truth will out” because there’s enough time until the election. But I don’t think so. No one has followed up on Kerry’s MTP promise to release documents and then not do so. No one in the Kerry book’s episode of shooting the VC ever asked Kerry: how can you describe shooting a man in the back, and then deny — in the next sentence — that you did so? These are not interesting questions to the mainstream press. JFKII seems to have a more effective teflon coating than Ronald Reagan ever did.

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