Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Scrutinizing Nightline's Kerry Silver Star Story

ABC News' Nightline segment (Oct 14, 2004) attempts to debunk the Swiftboat Veterans account of Kerry's silver star. To do so, they go to the same spot the battle was fought and interview villagers. And the villagers verify Kerry's version.

This story seems like junk journalism. Here's why.

First, and most fundamentally, as John O'Neill alluded to, Vietnam is run by a dictatorial communist party: "Freedom House considers Vietnam to be a not free [sic] country." This casts very serious doubt on all villagers' testimony. ABC ignores this fact. In fact, they seem to cast the government as benign: "it did not want to somehow influence the U.S. presidential election." If communist, dictatorial North Korea endorses Kerry, perhaps Vietnam does as well.

But just for the sake of argument, lets say the people are free to speak. And lets say they found the right village. The story still doesn't answer these questions:


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