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Just for Mark. The life cycle of the smear campaign

by Ziks511 / February 9, 2005 8:43 AM PST

"However much we might prefer our elections to be decided on the issues, victory on November 2 will almost certainly be long to the side that propagates the most effective smear. For this reason, it is worthwhile to develop our understanding of the smear and of its peculiar niche in our political ecosystem. What is it that allows the smear to thrive? What are its haunts and its habits? To answer these questions, let us examine the life cycle of a particularly robust smear--the ad campaign of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth--within the confines of a single TV network (ABC). As we will see, the life cycle of a smear has four distinct phases."


Rob Boyter

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And Evie, I bring up an old Harpers article because
by Ziks511 / February 9, 2005 8:50 AM PST

Mark and others continue to spread the smear and continue to raise John Kerry's name when they can't think of anything else to say. Even when it has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue posted.

Rob Boyter

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(NT) (NT) Bait! But will they take it.?
by EdH / February 9, 2005 8:58 AM PST
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'Smear' ...
by Evie / February 10, 2005 9:59 AM PST

... is only because the defeated Kerry continues to try to remain relevant and in the limelight with his worn out lack of ideas.

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You forgot cases where
by dirtyrich / February 9, 2005 10:24 AM PST

the smear campaign is extremely weak and dies before its final phase... or where it lacts factual basis and is prematurely aborted.
The fact that made the Swift Boat campaign so effective was that Kerry was unable to dodge it... he could not offer conclusive proof of its falsity.

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It wasn't that he couldn't
by Josh K / February 9, 2005 11:05 AM PST
In reply to: You forgot cases where

He never really tried. He stuck to the high road and that created the impression that he was dodging the question. It very likely cost him the election.

I'm reading the Clinton autobiography right now, and in it he says that he learned that lesson early in his political career. You may not want to fight dirty, but when the other side does you have to defend yourself.

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He took to the high road?!
by dirtyrich / February 9, 2005 11:51 AM PST

One of the main reasons that people remembered the Swift Boat campaign so well and seem to have forgotten the attacks from Kerry's campaign, is simply that Bush timed his attacks better.
Kerry launched his smears earlier in the campaign, starting right after he got the nomination. I think he did this primarily to mobilize and gain the support of pro-Dean and pro-Nader Democrats, but he lost any influence he might have gained over moderates if he had launched them later in the election.
Bush, and Rove, simply bided their time, and attacked when it would have the greatest effect. Both sides launched smears... both sides were tied to groups running ads of a dubious nature, its just that the Republicans used them more effectively.

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Interesting response
by Josh K / February 9, 2005 10:06 PM PST

You acknowledge that Bush and Rove were behind the Swift Boat ads. That's a first in this forum!

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Not what I said....
by dirtyrich / February 10, 2005 7:55 AM PST
In reply to: Interesting response

I said that both sides were tied to the ads... never that they were initiated by the respective political parties. It would be naive to think, though, that the parties were unaware of the upcoming attacks and, once they were out, to make full use of them.
Did Bush and Rove orchestrate the Swifties? No, not any more than Kerry's leadership orchestrated the attempted Air Guard coup or previous attacks by known liberal groups. But did they have knowledge that the smears were coming? Yup. And did they tie their own strategies to them? Probably.
Ultimately, though, it came down to Kerry's failure to defend himself, and that the moderates got sick of his whining.

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Do these 2 statements say the same thing
by JP Bill / February 13, 2005 3:58 AM PST
In reply to: Not what I said....

Did Bush and Rove orchestrate the Swifties? No, not any more than Kerry's leadership orchestrated the attempted Air Guard coup or previous attacks by known liberal groups.

Did Bush and Rove orchestrate the Swifties? Yes, but not any more than Kerry's leadership orchestrated the attempted Air Guard coup or previous attacks by known liberal groups.

Two ways to say the same thing but with different ?

Just wondering?

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Not the same thing
by dirtyrich / February 13, 2005 6:47 AM PST

Your first statement declares that neither campaign orchestrated the respective smears.
The second says they both did.

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(NT) (NT) and the democrats fought dirtyiest
by Mark5019 / February 9, 2005 12:09 PM PST
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(NT) (NT) Oh I don't know, over the years they're even IMO
by Roger NC / February 9, 2005 12:24 PM PST
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(NT) (NT) oik ill give you that
by Mark5019 / February 9, 2005 12:26 PM PST
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Your reply begs a question, Josh:
by Paul C / February 9, 2005 6:40 PM PST

If the Swifties' allegations were scurrilous, then why didn't Sen. Kerry simply execute Standard Form 180, make all his service records public and trust that someone in the press would take the time to dig up the information that would prove the falseness of the allegations?

We'll always be left with the impression that somewhere in those records was something that would have proven the Swifties to be right - and maybe more...

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I wish I had the answer, Paul
by Josh K / February 9, 2005 10:08 PM PST

He seemed to be taking the position that the attacks were beneath response, and he may have underestimated their impact. That's all I can guess.

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and till there released
by Mark5019 / February 9, 2005 10:10 PM PST

and open to the people ill stand by my views of the "hero"

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You don't have to be Karl Rove, Josh,...
by Paul C / February 10, 2005 8:02 AM PST

...to know when attacks are becoming a drag on a campaign, as the Swifties' clearly became. You note that former president Clinton said the same thing, albeit in different words.

The ultimate responsibility for these actions or inactions falls on the candidate, and IMO is an accurate predictor of how that candidate might be expected to act in a crisis situation. Where you see an effort to take the high road, I see someone who froze under stress - not a desirable trait in one who would lead...

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Just one wild possibility
by Roger NC / February 14, 2005 12:45 AM PST

Is that by releasing all records, while it repudiated some, most, or even all the swift boat ads, it would release something else the political machines could chew up and spit out.

Perhaps nothing that truely wrong or bad, just politically suicide?

It could have always been a bad decision of course, but it was obviously hurting bad enough that I tend to believe there was something there he didn't want released, even if it would repudiate most of the existing derogatory claims. It may not even be that bad, perhaps just a personal hangup/embarressment?



click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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You'd think he'd have learned from watching Dukakis
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 10, 2005 12:31 PM PST

who made the same fatal mistake, and also turned a lead in the polls into defeat.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Bet he was trying to protect his lead instead of trying to
by Ziks511 / February 10, 2005 5:47 PM PST

win. Fatal in politics as well as in sports.

Rob Boyter

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i wasnt gonna waste my time
by Mark5019 / February 9, 2005 12:08 PM PST
In reply to: You forgot cases where

but as you said since the man had some thing to hide, or new was true.
otherwise his records would have been opened by him for all to see.

you naysayers jumped all over bushes records, and when kerry said no to releaseing you claim were smearing kerrys name.
i say he smeared it by refuseing to release records

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A 'smeqr'? Ask yourself why...
by Edward ODaniel / February 13, 2005 3:48 AM PST

Kerry STILL refuses to sigh the SF 180.

The only "smearing" going on was by the Kerry Campaign and the Rather liberal media in their reactions to the Swift Vets.

The Swift Vets accusations were BACKED UP in most instances by Kerry's own biography and by the Boston Globe's life story as well as his "journal".

Matter of fact the Kerry Campaign had to remove some of the "glowing" AARs from his web site because they were those of Thurlow.

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