John Kerry meets the comedian

Drudge has flagged the story of John Kerry’s appearance on Jon Stewart’s Comedy Channel “Daily Show” yesterday: “Kerry does ‘The Daily Show.” Here’s the description of the climactic moment o f Kerry’s appearance:

As Kerry launched into one of his lengthy monologues about why President Bush avoids talking about issues like the economy, jobs and the environment, the comedian interrupted.
“I’m sorry,” Stewart said. “Were you or were you not in Cambodia?”
Stewart and Kerry then lean in and stare each other down over the comedian’s desk before Stewart asks about some of the other things Kerry’s opponents are saying about him.

The Boston Globe makes no mention of Stewart’s question or Kerry’s eloquent non-answer in its report on Kerry’s remarkably defensive appearances yesterday: “Kerry calls critics of his war record ‘petty.'” The Globe reports on Kerry’s appearance at a fundraiser in Philadelphia yesterday and provides his response to the Swift boat vets characterization of Kerry’s four months in Vietnam:

”Well, I was there for longer than that, number one,” Kerry said, offering his rebuttal. ”Number two, I served two tours. Number three, they thought enough of my service to make me an aide to an admiral [upon leaving Vietnam], and the Navy 35 years ago made the awards that it made, through the normal process that they make, and I’m proud of them and I’m proud of my service and I’m proud that I stood up against the war when I came home, because it was the right thing to do.”
Kerry labeled his critics ”so petty it’s almost pathetic.”

Kerry’s “first tour” in Vietnam would be his service aboard the Gridley. The Globe does not explain or comment on Kerry’s allusion to his “first tour.”
The Globe itself covered Kerry’s service on the Gridley in its series profiling Kerry last year, in the installment we have had occasion to turn to earlier on the Christmas in Cambodia story: “Heroism, and a growing concern about war.” There his time on the Gridley — according to Kerry yesterday, his first tour in Vietnam — is described as follows:

For a relatively uneventful six months, from December 1967 to June 1968, he served in the electrical department aboard the USS Gridley, a guided-missile frigate that supported aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin and was far removed from combat.
“I didn’t have any real feel for what the heck was going on [in the war],” Kerry has recalled. His ship returned to its Long Beach, Calif., port on June 6, 1968, the day that Robert F. Kennedy died from a gunshot wound he received on the previous night at a Los Angeles hotel. The antiwar protests were growing. But within five months Kerry was heading back to Vietnam, seeking to fulfill his officer commitment despite his growing misgivings about the war.

The Washington Times has a report on the story regarding Kerry’s first Purple Heart that we touched on yesterday: “Diary refutes Kerry claim.” The Times reports: “Mr. Kerry’s campaign could not say definitively whether he did receive enemy fire that day.” The Kerry campaign appears to be scrambling on that story as well as the Christmas in Cambodia tall tale.
The Times story also includes Kerry’s testimony to his own virtue demonstrated in his antiwar activism:

At a fundraiser last night in Philadelphia, Mr. Kerry defended his anti-war activism upon his return from Vietnam, which also has come under attack by the Swift Boat Veterans, as “an act of conscience.”
“You can judge my character, incidentally, by that,” he said.
“Because when the time for moral crisis existed in this country, I wasn’t taking care of myself, I was taking care of public policy,” Mr. Kerry told his audience. “I was taking care of things that made a difference to the life of this nation. You may not have agreed with me, but I stood up and was counted, and that’s the kind of president I’m going to be.”

I buy it completely, I’m just not voting for him. Are there a few other folks like me out there?
Tony Blankley comments on the mainstream media’s clunky avoidance and circling around the issues it would prefer not to cover — see Glen Johnson’s Boston Globe story on Kerry’s appearances yesterday — in his weekly column: “Big media’s big mistakes.”

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