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Marianne Paskowski

Is the Media Overplaying Kerry's Gaffe?

November 2, 2006 6:03 PM

Yesterday Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) publicly apologized for a remark he made last Monday at Pasadena City College telling students to study hard. “If you don’t do well in school, you get stuck in Iraq.” With the Nov. 7 election now just a week away the story will just not go away.

Given the Patrician aura Sen. Kerry exudes, the very persona that contributed to him losing the presidential race two years ago, it’s hard to tell if it was a bad joke that didn’t go over, or if his remarks were a veiled insult to the Republican administration which took the country to war in Iraq, and our soldiers who are there fighting.

Of course, the Republicans are basking in his gaffe and the Democrats would do the same if the shoe were on the other foot. But is the media behaving like a terrier with a bone, unable to move on?

I was just looking at an online live poll on AOL. More than 213, 900 users responded so far today. And here’s the vote so far: 57 percent thought his remarks were a deliberate insult; 34 percent thought it was a botched joke; and the remaining 9 percent said they weren’t sure.

So my answer to my own question is, this story still has legs and the media is not in overdrive because clearly the nation cares, days later, given the interest still expressed in today’s AOL poll.


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Comments (4)

John Golden:

The unfortunate reality is that John Kerry has, in the past, taken opportunities to denegrate US service men and women. In that light, his recent statements must be considered factual and an attack on our current forces. If we take at face value his claim that his statement was a joke gone awry then why did he take such a defiant stance and publicy claim he would apologize to no one, when it was clear that politically he had no choice but to apologize.

Let me state that I don't think John Kerry wants the US to suffer an igominious defeat in Iraq, but he certainly would accept defeat IF he's sure that Bush would be blamed. I think democrats think that if they get the reins that they can win this or at least get a tie and leave. Their main goal is to deny Bush a military victory at all costs.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi John

Frankly, in retrospect, I'm glad that Kerry didn't win the presidential race, even though I voted for him. He lost control of the Swiftboat issue, then, and now, again with his gaffe on Iraq by hiding.

What surprised me the most was that he could not seize the moment, yet again, and backed down by canceling all future stumping events before the election. That to me is not leadership. A true leader admits the mistake, apologizes but doesn't stick his head in the sand. For whatever reasons he has become a lightening rod for the Republicans, and my Dem friends were glad to see him get off the campagin trail.

I thought Kerry's subsequent behavior and decisions to not stump after the gaffe showed a character flaw and I don't think we'll see him taking another run for the presidency next go round. Tomorrow night should be good TV entertainment to see how this race turns out. I'm in Mass. and we have some see-saw races. Where are you from? I tryed to Google you only to find a lot of John Golden entries. You could be a forme rfinancial advisor now serving on a college board; a TV consultant; or backing a Broadway play, or none of the above.

Again, thanks for your thoughtful commentary. I do like hearing from the Far Side:}.

John Golden:

I'm a retired former Family & Social Services Admin. employee from Indiana. I was and am a Medicaid disability consultant. I'm 58 years old, married 36 years, father of two beautiful daughters and grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. I'm what you would call a "Zell Miller" democrat. I graduated from Ball State University in 1972 (just a few years after David Letterman) and I went to high school with Jane Pauley. I was the product of a mixed marriage, my father was Hoover Republican and my mother was a Roosevelt Democrat and I've got a degree in History Education. I have become more and more conservative as I've gotten older and finally turned to the Dark Side completely in the 1980's. Damn that JediReagan mind trick; well anyways, that's my tale of woe. I'll say good night and toodles. John

Marianne Paskowski:

You're a good person to know for all of our baby boomer readers who might need some guidance through the Medicare mess they will one day face, thanks to your president., not mine. I'm signing off tonight too, up like a rooster, manana, to go to another moveon.org phone party at 7:30 a.m. to get voters out. That's the alternative to Karl Rove grass roots. Again, come back any time to weigh in with you ralways thoughtful and provacative comments from the Dark Side, your words, not mine. Are you watching Fox News tomorrow night, with Rush Limbaugh in the background?

In the meantime, I'm thinking about a column, not a blog at this same tvweek.com site, about a piece about Al Jazeerat rying to launch an English speaking cable/satellite here. Would you welcome such a channel into your home? The reporting is going slowly. Can't wait to see what it costs to call Doha, Qatar, which I didlast week, where the net is based, and if I wind up on the government's no fly list as a result of making one call on a journalistic assignment. I know people on the no fly list thanks to your president.

But I digress. Tomorrow my media consumption will be NPR in the background, checking online and surfing on TV, among my options MSNBC, CNN, Fox and the broadcast nets in that order. So, good luck and good night. Thanks for sharing.

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