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2001-05-07

Media Attacks Democracy Now! Questions for Former Senator Bob Kerrey About War Crimes

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On April 26 Democracy Now! attended a press conference where former Senator Bob Kerrey admitted that he led a NavySEAL mission which killed at least a dozen Vietnamese women and children in 1969. Over the next two nights FoxNetwork’s Special Report with Brit Hume, Mort Kondracke of the Weekly Standard, Mara Liasson of NPR, and othersattacked the questions we asked Senator Kerrey as part of a "left-wing cabal," questioning the credibility ofjournalists who would dare to ask about war crimes and the possibility of resistance.

Tape:

  • Amy Goodman Questions Bob Kerrey, April 26, 2001.

Transcript: FOX SPECIAL REPORT WITH BRIT HUME April 26, 2001, Thursday (18:40ET)

QUESTION: I called Father Dan Berrigan and asked him if he had a question for you. He is the Jesuit priest who...

BOB KERREY, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Oh, I know who Dan Berrigan is.

QUESTION: ... spent much of his life opposing war. And he said he did have a question for you. And he asked: "Do youthink that if you had taken a different path and refused to kill in that" — quote — "'filthy war'" — like heand his brother, Phil Berrigan, did "that if you had chosen to be a refusnik from the beginning, that you wouldn’thave any regrets?" — as he doesn’t as he turns 80 years old next month.

KERREY: Well, I just — God bless him for not having any regrets. I mean, I love any 80-year-old man that doesn’thave any regrets. I do, this one included.

BRIT HUME: What about that question and what about the general behavior of our colleagues in that news conference?

MORTON KONDRACKE: There was a — there was an even worse question where someone said: You’re a father. What would youtell the children of the people that you killed, in effect?

HUME: Yeah, we played that earlier. I don’t know what it was designed — it certainly was not designed to getinformation. It was designed to embarrass him or make him cry or something like that. It was not a journalisticquestion.

MARA LIASSON: No. And it wasn’t, and I don’t think this kind of press conference would have happened if he was inWashington. I mean, that was certain — I don’t know if those people have worked for any publications. I don’t knowif they really were journalists. They were clearly interested in reliving the war and the anti-war movement.

FOX SPECIAL REPORT WITH BRIT HUME (18:43 ET) April 27, 2001, Friday
TONY SNOW: And we’re back with our panel, Fred, Mort and Jim. Mort, let’s talk a little about this controversyinvolving Senator Bob Kerrey, former Senator Kerrey. What was interesting was kind of the tone of the pressconference yesterday, the kinds of questions reporters were throwing at him. What was your impression of it?

KONDRACKE: Well, this struck me as a little left-wing cabal. I don’t know who those reporters were, especially thewoman who decided that she would cover this by calling up Daniel Berrigan, you know, the left-wing priest...

SNOW: War protester.

KONDRACKE: ... war protester — to throw questions at.

BARNES (later): Now, I — I think there’s a political purpose behind this attack on Bob Kerrey, and that is to try tomake sure — this is a left-wing attack, obviously — to make sure that people continue to regard the Vietnam War,even though communism has collapsed in most places, the Vietnam War as wrong, that our involvement was wrong. It wasimmoral. This is a war where the U.S. slaughtered women and children and civilians and so on.

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