OK

This is just ridiculous.

"In many respects, the Gannon scandal followed a similar trajectory as the similarly unproven allegations of the swift boat veterans who claimed that John Kerry had lied about his military service: Newspapers could not verify any of the allegations except one that Kerry himself acknowledged. But the veterans' TV ads nonetheless commanded wide coverage as symbols of Kerry's weaknesses as a presidential candidate."

story

Holy fuck. Not only could newspapers "not verify" any of the SBV charges against Kerry--members of Kerry's unit openly contradicted virtually everything the SBVs said.

On the other hand, not one person ever provided factual evidence of any sort to refute the Gannon claims. On the contrary, we were still on the trail when the whole thing was stonewalled into nonexistance by the White House.

It's precisely because rags like the Boston Globe jumped on the SBV bandwagon and completely ignored Gannon that the two storys' trajectories could not be more different.

Salon.com smackdown on the flip.

Salon has the smackdown.

That's right, the Gannon story, which, as Salon detailed, was essentially boycotted by major media outlets for weeks at a time last winter, "followed a similar trajectory" as the Swift Boat story which dominated the political news cycle for a solid month last summer, to the point where it helped wipe out Sen. John Kerry's post-convention bounce last August, and arguably cost him the election.

For some context, consider that during the roughly four weeks last February as the Gannon story made news the Boston Globe published exactly three stories or columns that mentioned the controversy, according to the Nexis electronic database. During the roughly four weeks the Swift Boat story made news last August, the Boston Globe published 41 articles or columns that mentioned the controversy.

Search Nexis' category of major newspapers for mentions Gannon last February and you get 122 hits. Do the same search for Swift Boat Veterans for last August and you get 748 hits.

Yet according to the Globe, the two stories, a fictitious one that targeted a Democratic candidate and was embraced by the Beltway press, and a factual one that targeted a Republican White House and was downplayed by the Beltway press, "Followed a similar trajectory."

Originally posted to scottesposito on Thu May 19, 2005 at 12:13 PM PDT.

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