What remains to be seen is exactly what role the Kerry Campaign and the Democrat National Committee played in all of this. It is time the Kerry Campaign's Joe Lockhart, a former Clinton staffer, clearly states what did he know and when did he know it in regards to this issue. All Kerry Campaign Staffers, as well as the candidate and running mate if necessary, and DNC employees should be forced to release all information, emails or correspondence connected to this CBS story or "Operation Fortunate Son."
The media should commit to research this part of the story as vigorously as they pursued Watergate. After all it is a crime to forge federal forms. A conspiracy to defame the President of the United States is particularly despicable. John Kerry states he wants America respected in the world. However, the actions of Kerry surrogates in the media and quite possibly additional members of his campaign staff in this "Memogate" controversy not only hurts President Bush it demeans our standing in the world. It also lowers Mr. Kerry's standing.
I would love to see a truth in advertising component applied not only for media but for political campaigns as well. When you read President Bush has a secret plan to reinstitute the draft or Republicans plan to suppress the black vote and no evidence is ever provided by these accusers they are not just being irresponsible they are being reckless. When these politicians or political operatives become so careless with the truth the American people need help to hold them accountable - the ballot box is often not enough, perhaps there should even be more consequences.
The media used to safeguard democracy and even served to protect our interest, but as we have now witnessed they have become allies in perpetuating a one-sided version of a false rumor in order to hurt one political opponent over another. It is true cable television, talk radio and the advent of the Internet has helped eliminate the significance of network television. But it is inexcusable for CBS to have been a participant in such behavior. We need to discover the truth now about "Memogate" and right our journalistic and political course. There are too many good and honest journalists, and yes even politicians, who get unfairly tainted by this situation.
If in fact Senator Kerry had knowledge of the attempt to mischaracterize the honorable service of President Bush in the Texas Air National Guard, he does not deserve to ever be President, he does not even deserve to be a United States Senator. We know he owes the President an apology for the involvement of his campaign staff in this situation already. But President Bush can get in line, there are Vietnam Veterans waiting for an apology for Senator Kerry's testimony and conduct when he returned from his own honorable and distinguished service in the military.
But based upon recent media history, if there was to ever be a President Kerry, the major media and mainstream journalists would certainly seek to give him a free pass on this and other major issues. If John Kerry was asked to order an investigation into his own campaign or party for their actions in this matter, I am sure his comments would be Thanks, I would RATHER not.
--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached by email at: