Democrats & Liberals Archives

What a difference 4 letters can make

Much fuss has been generated of late regarding a statement Presidential Candidate John Kerry was reported to have made, indicating that he had campaign backing from ‘foreign leaders’. Enough of a stir was caused that Secretary of State Colin Powell was compelled to get involved, making the following joust at Kerry on “Fox News Sunday”:

“I donít know what foreign leaders Senator Kerry is talking about. Itís an easy charge, an easy assertion to make. But if he feels it is that important an assertion to make, he ought to list some names,Ē Powell said. ďIf he canít list names, then perhaps he should find something else to talk about.Ē

Kerry declined to take the bait, declaring his business was his own. This appeared a bit oddly defensive in the midst of campaigning, but this recent Drudge report may shed some light, if substantiated.

It seems an erstwhile Boston Globe reporter is trying to set the record straight regarding this newly infamous quote.

"I mistranscribed a key word," explains Patrick Healy, a political reporter for the Boston Globe who covered the event in a pool capacity.

"Listening to the audio recorder now, in the quiet of my house, I hear 'more leaders' and I am certain that 'more leaders' is what Senator Kerry said."
Healy claims in an e-mail correction: "Transcribing on the bus in Florida, and again on the plane ride to Tampa, I heard 'foreign leaders' rather than 'more leaders'. I am very sorry for this screw-up, and please feel free to hold me accountable to your editors and higher-ups."

This does beg the question of why Kerry never denied making the statement, but in the current media environment, perhaps this just would have sparked a frenzy of Conservative attacks. Attacks along the lines of, "But, Mr. Kerry, it says clearly right here, in your OWN words...", and the like.

Unfortunately, it is doubtless that Kerry will be forever marked as having made the statement, regardless what refutations come out after. The media loves their soundbites, so much like Gore is still erroneously quoted as having said he invented the Internet, so Kerry will have his 'foreign leaders' in his back pocket.

Posted by tamsen at March 16, 2004 1:38 AM