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« Our Balanced Media: Numbers Don't Lie | Main | Priceless »
August 19, 2004

Our Balanced Media, Redux: WaPo Reporterette Fellates John Forbes Kerry in Print

Aaron Burr is back again, and demands that I READ IT ALL. So I guess I should READ IT ALL, and maybe you should, too.

This is a reprint of an old WaPo article, from June 1, 2003. It sort of lets you know -- just sort of -- whose side the WaPo is on.

In a way, I appreciate this style of "journalism" better than the what we usually see. At least here the clearly-smitten and moist Ms. Blumenfeld isn't too coy or cute about her allegiances or biases. She's as subtle as shotgun blast.

Just for fun, I have bolded Ms. Blumenfeld's frequent mentions of Mr. Kerry's "nuance," "intellect," and/or "complexity." Mentions of how butch and manly and sexy and tough-guy he is are in bolded italics.

This is a hard article to get through. It reads like a very long entry in a teenager's Crush Diary. But on to the fellatio:

The Washington Post

June 1, 2003 Sunday
Final Edition


LENGTH: 2640 words

HEADLINE: Hunter, Dreamer, Realist;
Complexity Infuses Senator's Ambition

BYLINE: Laura Blumenfeld, Washington Post Staff Writer


John Kerry eats dove. Even better, he shoots them. From behind the
stalks of a Southern cornfield, he'll watch them flutter and dart, and fire.

"You clean them. Let them hang. It takes three or four birds to have
a meal," said the Massachusetts senator. "You might eat it at a picnic,
cold roasted. I love dove."

Dove, quail, duck, deer. Kerry described how to hunt and gut them, talking as he sliced through a steak at midnight after campaigning all day
in Iowa for the Democratic presidential nomination. Carve out the heart, he said over dinner, pull out the entrails and cut up the meat. Bad table
manners, perhaps, or good politics.
After Sept. 11, 2001, some Democrats argue, they can't take the White House if they sound like doves.

That is not a problem for the dove hunter. Kerry, 59, is the only combat veteran in the field. He stands 6-foot-4. He rides a Harley, plays ice hockey, snowboards, windsurfs, kitesurfs, and has such thick, aggressive hair he uses a brush with metal teeth.

[he also has to strap his massive cock down to his leg to keep it from randomly assaulting foreigners in the street-- his cock will brook no nonsense from swarthy foreign-types. -- ed.]

"That's our slogan," quipped his ad man, Jim Margolis. "John Kerry: He's no weenie."

"He doesn't need a consultant to tell him how to dress like an alpha male," said his friend Ivan Schlager. "He is a damn alpha male."

[okay, now I'm starting to get aroused myself.]

It is more complex than that, though. With Kerry it often is. Yes, his
message is the hard-line "stronger, safer, more secure America." But there's another part of his message, and it borders on the sentimental. "We have to get back to dreaming again," he told Democratic activists in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Echoing Robert F. Kennedy, he often closes with the line, "I'm running for president of the United States because I really believe it is time for this country to ask again, 'Why not?' "

In a series beginning today, The Washington Post will examine all
nine Democratic presidential candidates: their campaign messages, the roots
of their ambition, their ability to connect with voters. On all three
counts, Kerry is nuanced and often misconstrued. What makes him compelling as a person makes him vulnerable to opponents who say he lacks clarity as a candidate.

Kerry's complexity has been an issue since his national debut in 1971. He became famous for a war within himself: He had fought in Vietnam and came, reluctantly, to believe the war was wrong.

["reluctance" is a sign of complexity-- ed.]

As spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" The senators were awed by the young man's poise and by his Bronze Star, Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. He was a hero. Complexity worked the first time around.

It is much tougher now, as he presents himself as both a dreamer
and a realist, an old liberal and a new Democrat, for the war in Iraq and yet
troubled by it. While other White House hopefuls lined up for or against
Iraq, Kerry voted for the war and then criticized the president for failing
at diplomacy.

"It's the natural reluctance of a soldier to put young Americans in harm's way," said fellow Vietnam veteran and former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.).

But Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), one of Kerry's competitors, accused him of being "ambivalent" when the country needed leadership. Republican strategist Richard Galen said, "People who were disappointed by the Gore campaign sniff another Gore coming because he doesn't have any clear message."

Kerry always has enjoyed breaking down issues, arguing all sides for sport, like a game of mental racquetball.

[Yuppies, especially those who came of age in the 1980's, consider racquetball very manful indeed. Hence, the bold italics. -- ed.]

While his Yale roommates played cards, he'd be refining a debate-team speech. He still debates his staff for fun, often playing devil's advocate against himself. Sitting on his office balcony at the Senate, he scribbles speeches on yellow pads. Occasionally, he'll even write poems, like the one he reluctantly read to a reporter: "I had a talk with a deer today/ we met upon the road some way . . . between his frequent snorts/He asked me if I sought his pelt/cause if I did he said he felt/quite out of sorts!"

[I didn't create a category for crap poetry. -- ed.]

He has been testing his writing talent on the campaign trail. Some lines have worked, such as: "Never before has so much had to be done in America
and so little asked of Americans." Others have not, like his call for a "regime change" at home during the Iraq war. "It showed a political tin ear," said Merle Black, a professor of politics at Emory University. More likely, it showed a man stumbling on his love for a turn of phrase.

[He's a warrior, but he's also had a lifelong love affair with the English language... swoon!!! -- ed.]

"The most important thing with message is staying on it -- which I didn't
do," said former senator and presidential candidate Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.),
when asked about Kerry. "I liked to ramble around. Have a little fun."

Kerry's advisers have urged him not to ramble, to speak less about issues and more about his life. At a recent gathering of Democrats in Duncan, S.C.,
Kerry promised he'd make America safer. Then he touched on his usual
themes of health care, energy independence, progressive internationalism,
creating jobs while protecting the environment.

He finished with a smile that held until a man raised his hand to speak.

"I'm sorry to say -- that won't be able to beat Bush," said Elvis Muhaabwa, 52. "Bush is a one-topic man. He's going to hammer it in our ears. Even if it's not true, we will believe it."

"I understand you have to boil it down," Kerry said, his voice ratcheting
up. "But I'm here, talking to smart Democrats."

Afterward, Muhaabwa said, "After he leaves, he'll be thinking about what
I said."

That's where Muhaabwa was wrong. Because when Kerry left, he drove to the airport and climbed into the pilot's seat of a twin-engine Cessna.
The cautious politician gave way to the other Kerry. This was Primal John,
the pilot who flies barrel rolls, who relaxes by windsurfing in a squall,
who ran with the bulls at Pamplona and, when trampled, got up, chased the
bull, and grabbed for its horns.

[Another way to describe these actions are as the activities of an idle-rich kept man going through a midlife crisis. There's a reason most men don't run with the bulls at Pamplona -- we don't have the money to go there, and we certainly don't have the money to take care of our families should we be hospitalized for a long period. But "Primal John" does have a ring -- ed.]

Now Kerry revved the plane's engines, clamped on his headset, cracked a joke about the Red Sox and rumbled down the strip.

[No one who likes baseball can be a faggit. -- ed.]

"This is Five Papa Juliet at 120 degrees, climbing to 7,500 feet," he told the control tower as the ground dropped away.

[Hemingway, of course. -- ed.]

As the tiny plane bumped and shook, he looked more and more relaxed.

[Sort of like Maverick in Top Gun, only taller and more "complex." Surprised his campaign posters don't read, "A Good Looking Rebel Who Plays By His Own Rules." -- ed.]

Flying to his next campaign stop, he chatted about maneuvers to avoid flak in combat.

[uhhhh, he picked up his pilot's license in the fucking eighties or nineties. What, precisely, does this dipshit know about dodging flak? He knows as much as I do from watching Star Wars -- shields double-front, try to lock down that motivator, Artoo. Is this guy trying a tad too hard or what? -- ed.]

The political flak he'd just taken was far from his mind. Throttle, propeller, speed, fuel: Kerry was happily in the moment. He turned the plane
to dodge a threatening cloud.

[Nice maneuvering, John! You dodged a cloud. And that cloud was making Mach 2 if it was moving an inch. -- ed.]

There were no ambiguities. It was simple.

[Complex Super Intellectual is also Decisive Man of Action. Film at Eleven.-- ed.]

Jacket off, shades on, Kerry stretched out on a park bench in Charleston,
S.C., his head and feet sticking off the bench at both ends. "We need your
help, man. Rally the troops," he said into his cell phone. "I want to win!"

Kerry was on a fundraising jag, dialing supporters between campaign stops. He has excelled at raising money, at creating a national campaign network, and at hiring top consultants. First to announce his candidacy, he's been unambiguous about his ambition.

To get from that Charleston bench to the roots of Kerry's ambition, roll
back 50 years to postwar Europe, to a boy riding alone on a train.

[Mature beyond his years. He was hailed as a "train-riding prodigy" by the European press. -- ed.]

Kerry, the son of a Berlin-based American diplomat, was sent to a Swiss
boarding school at age 11. If he wanted to go home, he had to take a train to Zurich, switch trains to Frankfurt, then switch to a military train that passed through communist Berlin.

[He was switching trains in postwar Germany all on his own as "boy." Right, a "boy" -- a boy James Bond, you mean. --ed.]

"Your blinds had to be down as you traveled through the forbidden east
sector," Kerry said in an interview. "I'd peek, pick up the blinds. Soldiers
would rap with their gun barrel -- you have to pull down the shades."

Two things happened to the boy. He biked around, saw the rubble of
Hitler's bunker, sneaked into bleak East Berlin (until his father found
out and grounded him), and was awakened to the impact politics had on
people's lives. Second, he kept on challenging himself -- bigger adventures, greater dares.

[Sounds like the tagline for Lethal Weapon II.]

"When you travel alone at age 12," he said, "you gain confidence and self-reliance."

[And you thought I was making that up. You thought I was reading too much into his heroic accounts of riding fucking trains. Shame on you for doubting me. -- ace]

Often on his own, he tested his survival skills.

[Okay, how much further can we push this? The kid manages not to fucking die when left to his own devices in a peaceful Western country and now we're calling it "survival skills." Did I mention this fucker was rich and well-connected? What survival skills did he need, apart from being able to sign a fucking credit-card receipt? This isn't fucking Africa, for god's sakes.

I just can't take this article anymore. I'm starting to lose it. --ed.]

He biked through France, took the ferry from Norway to England, camped alone in Sherwood Forest. His wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, explained: "It's like, he's landed a jet: 'I can control. I know how to do it. I'm safe.' " He took risks to feel safe? Kerry likes to quote the French writer Andre Gide: "Don't try to understand me too quickly."

[He's Voltaire and Doc Savage rolled into one. And did I mention his cock randomly assaults foreigners?-- ed.]

By the time Kerry arrived in New Hampshire at St. Paul's boarding school
-- his seventh school by eighth grade; his family moved around -- his need
for challenges and his interest in public affairs expressed itself in politics. A Catholic Democrat in a predominantly Republican Protestant school, he represented John F. Kennedy in a debate during the 1960 campaign.

Lloyd MacDonald, the class president, stood in for Richard M.
Nixon: "John was very ambitious. As far as John was concerned, he expected to be president of the United States. I wanted to be president, too, but I
never would have admitted it. It was at odds with prevailing notions of what
was cool."

Kerry volunteered for Edward M. Kennedy's 1962 Senate race. He broadcast
from a loudspeaker on his Volkswagen Beetle, "Kennedy for Senate." Then he
added, "And Kerry for dogcatcher!" At Yale, classmates teased him about
his initials, "JFK."
The F was for Forbes, his mother's old-line New England family.

"John was from a prominent family, but he wasn't wealthy" compared to
his peers, said his friend George Butler.

[Not to "wealthy" compared to his peers, who were ultrarich American aristocrats. He was just one of those aristocrats with the lineage and the bloodline but without all the wealth.

But he was still richer than 95% of the country. This stupid bint is trying to pretend he was some sort of hard luck case.]

Kerry loaded trucks in a grocery warehouse and sold encyclopedias door to door. "He was a little bit of an outsider because he had to work during college summers. It gives you tremendous drive to make up for it."

[Mmmm. I always get suspicious when people begin recounting such trivial and commonplace hardships as working at a grocery as some sort of testament to their character.

I worked at a 7-Eleven during college. Maybe they should just elect me Pope.]

After Yale, Kerry volunteered for the Navy. He returned from Vietnam with
his faith in the government shaken. He felt betrayed; his friends had died
in the war. In 1972, he ran for Congress as a "peace candidate," campaigning
so relentlessly that once when an aide came to pick him up, he found Kerry
asleep in the shower. Kerry lost, but he won as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and as senator in 1984. The same avenging anger that animated him after Vietnam shaped his work on the Hill.

[Detective John Forbes Kerry is on patrol in Washington... and he's taking out the trash!!!

Now, friends, pay close attention or you're going to completely miss a recap of his years as Senator:]

Rather than focusing on legislative matters, he went after government corruption. In 2000, he considered running for president and was a finalist as a running mate for Al Gore. It wasn't his time, but there was no question of his ultimate goal.

[One sentence. One! And the best the writer could find to say about his senatorial career was that he didn't focus on mere "legislation."]

Now, he's competing in the extreme sport of politics, running for president. "He thrives on stress and pressure," said former senator
Timothy E. Wirth (D-Colo.). "I said, 'The Republicans have 250 million dollars,
it's going to be relentless.' He smiled and said, 'Bring it on.' " He's reflexively competitive, the first into freezing water, the skier with the fastest time. Excelling was the Kerry family ethic, starting with his father, who taught young
John to sail while wearing blinders so he'd learn to navigate in the fog.

[And to track and kill a puma using only his feet.]

It wasn't enough that John's pet parakeet could say, "Hello." He taught it to
squawk in Italian and French.

[This writer is so desperate to make everything about John Kerry sound manful and adventurous that she loses all perspective and judgment. Teaching a fucking parakeet how to squawk in French ain't exactly Steve McQueen territory, you stupid love-smitten bint.]

His adventures, he said, are not reckless.

[But that's just what he says-- don't believe him. Heroes are always denyhing they're heroes.

One of these days, I'm going to start just denying that I'm a hero. "I'm not a hero," I'll insist. "I'm just a guy typing up sarcastic remarks on the internet."

People will immediately begin calling me a hero. "He's lying!" they'll exclaim. "He's a goddamned hero and I know it!"]

"The things I do are completely in control, up to my ability," Kerry said firmly.

[Don't believe him-- James Bond says the same thing to Q after he comes back with the crashed-up Lotus.]

"They're not big adrenaline rushes."

[They're totally adrenaline rushes.]

" More like meditations."

[Right-- meditations for manfully rebelious maverick action heroes, maybe.]

" Doing things correct is relaxing, rewarding. Fun, fun, fun. If you're doing aerobatics, it's very simple fun."

[Understated heroism-- he just casually refers to "aerobatics," or stunt flying, as "very simple fun."

That sounds like hero-talk to me.]

"It must be part chemical," said his wife. "Look at him. He's a total
string bean. I mean, he's wired, bzzzzzz. In Portuguese you say fulminante,
it means you're revved up. Why did he have to take up kitesurfing now?
Not just windsurfing. It's so dangerous. And the guitar lessons! Why does
he have to learn guitar at this time of his life? He challenges himself."

[Why does he have to learn guitar at this time of his life?

Gee. I don't know, Terezzzza. Why does a sixty year old man buy a corvette?

I'm guessing that the three most popular ages for picking up guitar are 15, 20, and 50. ]

On a recent afternoon in his Senate office, Kerry was challenging himself
with a piece of Spanish classical guitar music. "It's very hard," he said,
mid-strum. "I broke one of my nails."

[Again, she lacks judgment in what constitutes a manfully-vigorous anecdote.]

His hand raced up and down the neck of his guitar, his fingers working the frets.

[Sounds like the frets weren't the only thing he was working.]

"We've got to go, John," his chief of staff said.

He tried another song, picking the opening notes of "Don't Cry for Me,

Another staffer cleared his throat.

"Oh, you'll like this," Kerry said, ignoring him, playing the theme song from "Love Story."

His press secretary interrupted, "Senator, the car's waiting. . .

Just one more song. A Beatles tune from 1965. He strummed the guitar and
belted: "Yesterday. . . ."

Kerry's face appeared at the door to the Iowa Scott County Democrats

Mike Boland, 60, an activist, whispered, "I heard he's aloof."

Kerry stepped into the crowd, planting his big hands on workingmen's
quizzing students about their majors, telling a woman about the time his daughter's pet frog jumped on his nose. He waved, hugged,
guffawed and sat knee to knee with a grandmother. Boland said: "This guy's not
personable? What a phony issue."

Yet it has been an issue, especially with journalists, all the way back to yellowing newspaper clips of 1971, which describe Kerry in such terms as
"slick," "too pretty," "ambitious," "opportunistic."

John Norris, Kerry's state director in Iowa, said he isn't worried: "The
East Coast press uses the word 'aloof.' It's been an asset, because Iowans
come with low expectations."

Kerry appreciates the irony. "I'll say thank you to every journalist who
wrote [expletive] articles about me," he joked.

[Explicatives are something manly action men use. They also say things like, "I'll be back" and "Yippie-ki-yay."]

Then he added, "I plead guilty to being a little brash when I first got into politics."

[Again, sounds like that hero-talk to me.]

"I wish they had a delete button on LexisNexis."

There is something about him, "the Kerry effect," that provokes a
visceral response. He is too towering, too confident and too rich (his
wife's fortune exceeds half a billion dollars) for people to walk away
indifferent. As one Kerry friend said, "People see him and say, 'Geez,
I'm short, bald, stupid and poor.' " They feel either swept away or swept
aside. When he smiles, one on one, people literally squint and blink; when he
doesn't, light carves shadows in his face and his deep-set eyes sink
into the dark. At a house party in Florence, S.C., the women giggled,
charmed by the way he pronounced "y'all," and said he looked like GI Joe. The men anointed him the next JFK.

[He's the sort of man women want to be with, and men want to be.

Okay, I'm running out of cliches. But is this some wild fucking bullshit or what?]

But even in Massachusetts, polls have put his job approval rating ahead
of his personal popularity rating. His friend Dan Barbiero said it comes
down to Kerry's complexity: "There's still a lot of idealism in John.
It's corny and people tend to be cynical, and coming from this big, patrician-looking man you wouldn't expect it. You look at him and say, 'He's
putting this on.' "

It's been a hard rap to overcome in part because Kerry is reserved. He
inherited it from his mother, along with her devotion to public service.
"She taught us you stiff-upper-lip it," said his sister, Diana Kerry. "John
is a man of the people. Of the little people, actually. He needs to project
who he really is by simplifying."

And who is he, really?

[Bond. James Bond.]

[And now comes the "Magic Hat" business:]

A close associate hints: There's a secret compartment in Kerry's briefcase. He carries the black attach everywhere. Asked about it on several occasions, Kerry brushed it aside. Finally, trapped in an interview, he exhaled and clicked open his case.

"Who told you?" he demanded as he reached inside. "My friends don't know
about this."

The hat was a little mildewy. The green camouflage was fading, the
seams fraying.

"My good luck hat," Kerry said, happy to see it. "Given to me by a CIA
guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia."

Kerry put on the hat, pulling the brim over his forehead. His blue button-down shirt and tie clashed with the camouflage. He pointed his finger and raised his thumb, creating an imaginary gun. He looked silly, yet suddenly his campaign message was clear: Citizen-soldier. Linking patriotism to public service. It wasn't complex after all; it was Kerry.

He smiled and aimed his finger: "Pow."


Now, I ask you:

Had the Kerry campaign written a profile of Kerry themselves -- or had Kerry himself written his own profile -- would it have departed from the above text in any way?

posted by Ace at 02:14 AM