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Associated Press, Other Media Lie About John Kerry Senate Race

(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.)

Dear editor,

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 opposition."

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.)


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