Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Balance, kinda: Today's anti-527 editorial in The New York Times is interesting for its subtle nod toward the reality that there are some 527s who are supporting Sen. John Kerry.
Campaign finance reform has accomplished a good deal in forcing the parties to rely on relatively modest individual donations. But thanks to the F.E.C., the nation's Potemkin political watchdog, the big soft money donations have found another channel. They go to "527" advocacy groups, named for a section of the tax law under which they are supposedly beyond the F.E.C.'s reach. To really qualify under that law, groups would have to be totally independent from the political campaigns that are running George Bush and John Kerry for president. This abuse of common sense came to the public's attention graphically in the Swift boat attack ads against Senator Kerry's war record, run by a shadow group with clear ties to the Republican Party. [emphasis added]
While we should applaud the Times for acknowledging the possiblity of a Kerry campaign-527 connection. However, readers of the paper would be well-served if the Times would put its graphics artists to work and sketch out the connection for its readers.
The fact that the Times has stuck to the Democratic Party talking points on the shows that it has given up any pretension toward the journalistic goal of objectivity.