Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Holding Press Meetings

It's been a month now since John Kerry last talked to the news media. At that time he took eight questions. A week earlier, on Aug. 2, he held a news conference at which he took two questions. None of the ten questions had anything to do with his service in Vietnam.

Do not look for Kerry to hold a press conference any time soon.

Kerry's reluctance, though understandable, is beginning to draw complains from members -- at least conservative members -- of the news media, which is also understandable.

Chuck Muth, campaigndoctor.com, wrote and explained, (perhaps the only time he'll be on Kerry's side):

The purpose of a political campaign is to win an election; it is not to kowtow to the wishes of the press. That being the case there is only one reason for a candidate to hold a press conference, that being to help him win the election. If a press conference doesn't meet that criterion don't hold it.

Clearly then, as far as Kerry is concerned, holding a press conference today is not in his best interests. There are reporters, usually liberals, who will demand them, whining about their right to know. There is, however, no such right. You won't find it anywhere in the constitution.

Reporters, of course, have a right to ask questions. They have no right to an answer. The right of free speech also includes the right to be silent.

The fact that Kerry is not holding press conferences in itself speaks volumes. It tells reporters and, through them, the people, that there are questions he does not want to answer or for which he has no answers.

There probably are three lines of possible questioning which are making him nervous. One, the charges concerning the validity of his combat medals; two, the validity of his post-service testimony before a senate committee, and three, his penchant for taking stands on both sides of issues.

Until he can devise satisfactory answers to questions in these areas it is not likely he will be holding full-fledged press conferences.

Tom Murphy does NOT hold many press events. He dodges issues all too frequently as well. We need the press to act as "watchdogs." We need open, direct and honest leadership. I crave both in our community landscapes.

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