Associated Press, Other Media Lie About John Kerry
(This letter, sent to the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution in December 2002, really should have been
published somewhere. I wish I had sent it to other outlets.)
The Associated Press article "Kerry to form exploratory committee,"
about Sen. John Kerry's presidential aspirations, said that Kerry
"was unopposed for reelection in November to a fourth term -- the
first Massachusetts senator in 80 years with no major-party
That rather deceptively-worded sentence is simply not true. Kerry
was opposed. My friend and colleague Michael Cloud was on the
Massachusetts ballot and ran a full-time, aggressive professional
campaign against Kerry as a Libertarian Party candidate.
Cloud received 19% of the vote. This is more than respectable -- it
is, in fact, the best showing by any nationally-organized third
party U.S. senate candidate since 1932. Surely that is worth noting.
And surely, if the English language has any meaning at all, this
means that Kerry did not run "unopposed."
Cloud's impressive 19% would no doubt have been even higher if the
media had given him anything like proportional coverage.
Consider: Cloud campaigned for over 14 months, had a bank of over
600 volunteers, and distributed over 35,000 flyers, 16,000 bumper
stickers and 7,000 yard signs. Cloud made over 100 public speaking
engagements during his campaign -- an average of one every four
days. He raised almost a quarter-million dollars.
Yet Cloud was largely ignored by the media -- just like he was in
this article. According to Cloud's web site, the Boston Globe (the
leading Massachusetts paper) never wrote a single article about his
campaign -- though they covered various write-in candidates who
weren't on the ballot. Indeed, Cloud at one point conducted a hunger
strike to protest his constant exclusion from the news.
I find this disturbing. Not one significant article? Doesn't that
amount to deliberately writing Cloud's campaign out of existence? As
this AP article is now also doing?
During his Senate campaign, Cloud raised very important points about
Kerry's positions on such vital issues as war, drug prohibition, gun
control, taxes, and more. It's too bad more people didn't get to
hear this, and it's too bad Kerry didn't have to respond, thanks to
this media black-out.
The election is over. Can't we stop the black-out now?
James W. Harris
(PS: The article I refer to is on pg, A-14, Monday, December 02,
2002. Thank you.)