Carol Platt Liebau

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Drudge is reporting that the tape of terror threats obtained by ABC has been authenticated. Now, Drudge states that ABC is holding off on the broadcast of it "out of fear it will be seen as a political move by the network during election week."

Just a couple of observations. Neither CBS nor "The New York Times" had any apparent qualms about disseminating stories about the missing munitions in Iraq, which had the putative effect of damaging the Bush campaign (and helping the Kerry campaign) in the final days before an election. "60 Minutes," after all, was planning to air the highly controversial charges (now in the process of being significantly discredited, see here, for example) less than 48 hours before Election Day itself.

Here, ABC has an authenticated tape, of much more pressing interest to the American people, much of its contents has already been disclosed, and yet there's still a debate about whether it be reported on. It's also clear to most political observers that, rightly or wrongly, such threats tend to bolster President Bush, as he is seen by most Americans as much stronger than Kerry in fighting threats.

Is ABC's reluctance -- in such contrast to CBS and "The New York Times" -- just the a matter of there being more prudent editors at that network? Is it just coincidence? Or could it be the manifestation of the MSM's reluctance to aid President Bush, even indirectly?


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