The dust up over Gen. Wesley Clark’s comments about John McCain illustrates how dumb the 24 hour news cycle can get.
Clark, along with Obama, always preface any remarks on McCain with at least a paragraph of fawning praise for His Glorious Service In The Military. You could say that Clark shouldn’t have gone where he went. But it was Bob Schieffer who suggested that being shot down was a qualification–pulling it out of of thin air–and Clark merely rebutted with a factual statement.
Schieffer: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean —
Clark: Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.
Really, Bob. Article II of the Constitution makes no mention of it.
The media jumped on Clark instantly and labeled his comments “swiftboating.” Obama came out immediately to praise McCain’s patriotism some more and make sure no one would associate him with a factual statement like that–people are dumb, he must have assumed, better to run away than explain it to them.
His words generally weren’t read in context and quickly devolved into fantasy, with one FOX guest saying, “I’m very concerned that a four star General would say being shot at is not military service. What in the world does that say to our troops?” Yes, Wes Clark, who has been shot himself, said being shot is not military service. He then took off his medals, threw them over the fence John Kerry’s went over and bowed to Mecca.