Okay, so people in the Bush-supporting (mostly center-right, some center-left) blogosphere are linking to this morning's NY Sun speculation that John Kerry's discharge may have been less-than-honorable. Jeff Jarvis has denounced them for it, throwing around accusations of mudslinging.
Now, I'm not going to over-exaggerate the NY Sun's reach: I really don't think that anything this paper runs will have much effect. Right-wing media still isn't taken very seriously in the States (or anywhere, really), and the NYSun is basically a tabloid already. And I disagree with Jarvis that this information is "mud:" Kerry has decided to run on his record, and has lied about that record on more than one occasion - he deserves to be exposed as the deceiver he has been, and the people should know as much as possible about the man they may select to run their country.
But you know what, folks? If this kind of crap is wrong for the Democrats, Liberals, and left-leaning media, it's wrong for the Republicans, Conservatives, and right-leaning media. Releasing "scandalous" information mere days or hours before the polls open with no chance for rebuttal or debate of any kind is mudslinging, regardless of content. If you have this information and you decide to sit on it until it could unleash the greatest amount of damage - no matter who you hope to help - you are undermining an informed society, and as such you are undermining democracy. This is despicable, and the NY Sun should be ashamed.
Whether or not the information is true (and I have absolutely no opinion - just this once - one way or the other), if you are going to release it, you must do so as soon as you have it and have verified your sources. To do otherwise is to engage in demagoguery. If it was wrong for the NYTimes and CBS to collude in the bogus "missing weapons" story (and I say it was), then it is wrong for the NYSun to release this story with full knowledge that it could not be sufficiently debated before the election.
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