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Kerry Media No-Nos
October 25, 2004

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

It's not easy to write a column about John Kerry. And it's not just because thinking about the guy gives me that fingernails on the chalkboard feeling.

It's because now, before I write anything, I first have to consult the Dukakis/Gore Manual of Style, which lays out all the acceptable procedures when dealing with John Kerry coverage.

The thing's chock full of "can dos" and "shove its," meaning it dictates what I am and am not able to say when it comes to the Dem candidate for prez. Here a rundown on the media mandated yeses and nos I can talk about.

Yes: the Vietnam War hero, medals and all
No: the anti-war zero with the Fonda connection and war crimes confession

Yes: video footage of his heroic "reenactments"
No: "Howdy Doody in the Tank" pics where he dressed up in a germ-free suit and looked like a pork sausage.

Yes: his mocking of the sitting president's speech
No: his extreme grouch makeover a la Botox and Zoom

Yes: the rugged outdoorsman who skis, surfs, bikes and hikes
No: the Easy Rider sans training wheels who was apparently demonstrating how to pop a wheelie when he skid out and hit the dirt and the Downhill Racer who blamed a secret service agent for a tumble saying the "[SOB] knocked me over"

Yes: Dick Cheney's daughter being "who she is"
No: Teresa Heinz "57 varieties of flubs" Kerry, who questioned whether Laura Bush ever had a real job, like discovering a cure for arthritis using nine white raisins and rum

Yes: the French Kofi kisser
No: the "Oil for Bribes" backer and master global test taker

Yes: his altar boy history, solid cafeteria-Catholic standing and use of the "all depends on" rule when it comes to mixing up Church and State
No: the facts on partial birth abortion and use of the "who cares" rule when it comes to banning the murderous practice

Yes: his "Stronger America" line
No: his pilfering of Dick Cheney's 2000 "Help is on the way" slogan and his "bring it on" cry that swiftly morphed into a "call it off" plea

Yes: his refashioned Pottery Barn rule
No: remarks about pottery resembling his spray-on tan

Yes: his ostrich ad
No: his left-of-Kennedy record in Congress and stint as second in command to Dukakis

Yes: his brewskie swig during the Red Sox game
No: his pampered cuticles and smartly shaped fingernails

Yes: his poll numbers among Hollywood celebs
No: the photo-op hunting session complete with starched camouflage outfit, designer shotgun and caddy for the dead geese

The Big No-no: Any discussion of John Edwards wanting to tag along but having to cancel because he couldn't find a camouflage hairnet

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2004
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

All Rights Reserved