Friday, August 06, 2004

SLIME MERCHANTS AT WORK. Based on what I've heard so far, it sounds like Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge are sliming Globe reporter Michael Kranish. What a surprise.

Kranish reported today that George Elliott - Kerry's former commanding officer, who'd once defended Kerry and had then gone on the attack against him - was defending him again, sort of. Now we learn that Elliott is back to attacking Kerry, and claiming that Kranish misquoted him. A very strange story indeed.

Limbaugh and Drudge think they know what happened with Kranish. They've learned that Kranish wrote the introduction to a book - which they describe as the "official" Kerry-Edwards campaign book - and that therefore Kranish is in the tank.

Limbaugh calls Kranish "a paid Kerry political biographer!" (Gratuitious exclamation point his.)

Drudge writes: "BOSTON GLOBE journalist Mike Kranish has been commissioned to write the foreword of the Kerry-Edwards campaign book - just as he is covering the campaign in an official capacity as a journalist for the BOSTON GLOBE!" (Gratuitious exclamation point and CAPITAL LETTERS definitely his.)

But wait. Drudge triumphantly links to this piece by New York Daily News reporter Paul Colford as alleged proof of Kranish's perfidy. Yet it seems to me that it doesn't say what Drudge thinks it says. Colford reports that PublicAffairs has canceled plans to publish a book called Kerry/Edwards: Their Plans and Promises, which was to include an introduction by Kranish. Instead, Public Affairs will "bring out an authorized edition of the Democratic duo's personal campaign manifesto," to be titled Our Plan for America: Stronger at Home, Respected in the World. There is absolutely no mention of Kranish's being involved in that project.

In fact, on the evidence thus far it seems that Kerry/Edwards was to be an unauthorized book on the Kerry-Edwards campaign. It makes sense. Kranish is the co-author of John F. Kerry: The Complete Biography by the Boston Globe Reporters Who Know Him Best - which, by the way, is not especially kind to Kerry. That book, too, was published by PublicAffairs. No doubt the publisher saw an opportunity to take advantage of a relationship it already had with Kranish.

I still want to know more. In particular, there's a weird reference in Colford's piece about excerpts of the now-canceled Kerry/Edwards book having been available on the Kerry-Edwards website. But the idea that Kranish would risk his job by taking money to write part of an official campaign book - or even to do it for free - strikes me as preposterous.

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