Tuesday, August 22, 2006


John Kerry has Showdown with Reporter, Hits Raw Nerve that Reporter Reveals to Bloggers After Conference Call

Posted by Pamela Leavey
August 21st, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

A recurring theme in the liberal blogosphere is to note the propensity of the MSM to allow the Republican Noise Machine to control the message in the media. In Lapdogs, Eric Boehlert demonstrated clearly that “the news media have utterly failed in their duty as watchdog for the public.”

An instance of this was seen clearly during the conference call with John Kerry and Patrick Murphy, a week ago Friday, when Jonathan Kaplan of The Hill asked Patrick Murphy, “Do you think Ned Lamont’s victory in Connecticut hurts or helps your chances of defeating the GOP incumbent?”

Murphy responded and Kaplan pushed the meme again, that perhaps Lamont’s victory was a gain for the GOP.

After Murphy’s second response to Kaplan, John Kerry interjected his thoughts on Kaplan’s question and made it very clear to Kaplan that the press “should not allow them [the GOP] to be able to try to transform failure into an offensive policy to suggest that someone is weak because they have an alternative that works.”

Kaplan snidely responded to Kerry saying, “Isn’t that your job not ours?”

John Kerry proceed to give Jonathan Kaplan a quick lesson in what the role of the media really is — “We communicate through you,” Kerry said. “We need to invite you to hold them accountable… We speak but if it doesn’t get out there, the American people don’t hear it.”

So many of us watched in utter dismay during the ‘04 election cycle as the media suppressed the message from our presidential nominee, John Kerry. Kerry was right when he told Kaplan, “if it doesn’t get out there, the American people don’t hear it.”

When John Kerry and Patrick Murphy signed off of the conference call, a few reporters and bloggers hung on and that’s when Jonathan Kaplan revealed that John Kerry had hit a raw nerve with him…

After a brief interchange about Mike Conallen hacking into the conference call (see earlier post here), Jonathan Kaplan responded, “Hey if you’re going to blog about… and rip Fitzpatrick, why don’t you rip Kerry for blaming the media for how he can’t communicate with the American people.”

A blogger responded to Kaplan, saying “…the media does not put the Kerry message out…”

Kaplan responded, “Screw that and Screw him!! For Him to criticize us, it’s his own fault.”

No, Mr. Kaplan, as John Kerry explained, it’s your job — that is the role of the media.

Kaplan refused to identify himself when asked who was speaking, although, it was clear that it was Kaplan and he was responding to the dressing down that Kerry had given him just a few moments earlier on the conference call.

After being asked repeatedly who had said “Screw that and Screw him,” one party on the call identified the speaker has Jonathan Kaplan of The Hill. But, Kaplan still refused to verify.

An editor at The Hill has verified that it was indeed Jonathan Kaplan on the second segment of the call, who said, “Screw that and Screw him.”

“Thank you for sending the files. There’s no doubt it was Kaplan.”

The interchange was a clear example of the real bias of some in the media, who allow themselves to be played by the GOP. Mike Conallen, the GOP CoS who hacked into the call had revealed that day that “a reporter” gave him the dial in information. There’s little doubt in my mind who that reporter was.

Jonathan’s Kaplan’s verbal outburst proved John Kerry’s point verbatim. Members of the press should not be allowed to get away with this sort of behavior. Contact Jonathan Kaplan and The Hill and let them know that Kaplan’s behavior was out of line.

UPDATE: Stuart O’Neill of Political Interviews, has a new post up on this with the complete audio’s. It was due to Stuart’s dillegence that the original tapes were made available for me to cut. Many thanks to Stuart, who’s original post on the Mike Conallen angle of the press conference is available here at Political Dogfight.

UPDATE 2: Thanks to Atrios, C&L, Markos at DKos, the Daou Report, and all the readers on the DKos Diary & DU for taking interest in this story.

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