Friday, August 20, 2004

More Dark Helmet News!

The Instapundit has a great round-up of reactions to the NY Times dud (the Patterico quote is a hoot) and another post which points to something I overlooked. Of course, along with the editorial in the "news" pages, the Times has to provide an editorial in the editorial pages to instruct the Kool-Aid drinkers in proper thought patterns. Mickey Kaus:
Like many of my friends, I wasn't paying much attention to the Swifties until Kerry went postal on them. (Hmm. Was that a smart move? What happened to the rope-a-dope strategy?) I don't know which side is right. I don't know that I'd even hold it against Kerry if he did exaggerate a bit to get the three Purple Hearts that let him leave Vietnam.
Kinda like some of the fishing stories I hear, I guess. Of course, fishing stories aren't the basis of anyone's campaign for President.
I do know that if freedom of speech means anything it means that a group of citizens can get together to bring up this sort of charge against a presidential candidate, subject to the laws of libel. But read this New York Times editorial and see if you can avoid concluding that the Times doesn't think the Swift Boat Veterans Ad should be stopped because it might be financed with corporate or union money in violation of the spirit of McCain-Feingold. The Times doesn't even really think it should be stopped because it was financed by a rich individual Republican (something that's clearly perfectly legal under McCain-Feingold as long as the group running the ads is not incorporated). The Times thinks the ad should be stopped because you just shouldn't be able to make such "outlandish" independent charges in a campaign. They're against the speech, not the financing. Like Kerry, they're trying to come up with a "process" reason that avoids the inconveniently messy issue of truth. But their process reason--an attack on "independent" criticism per se--seems particularly dangerous.
Hey, it wasn't "approved speech," Mickey! I also like the idea of Lurch going postal - what a concept!

UPDATE: Drudge is currently headlining "KERRY CAMPAIGN CALLS FOR BOOK BAN"