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Three Minutes of Offense

Reported by Eleanor - August 27, 2004 -

Studio B with John Gibson (Aug. 27, 3:00 p.m.) had a surprising report by Carl Cameron about the smear boat story. The question was: "How can Kerry turn this around and turn the attack against Bush?"

John Kerry's military service is superior to Bush's. Polls show how the controversy affects both. Criticism can backfire. Polls showing a significant amount of doubt about who is responsible for the ads is taking hold. There are a growing number of voters and vets who think Bush had something to do with this, and Bush should denounce them. A backfire against Bush is underway in the polls.

Gibson asked if a republican with a similar history would be attacked in the same way, and Cameron said the real anger is about Kerry's 1971 testimony, and some of these vets are democrats. Kerry has said he regrets some of the language used, but the vets won't stop, even if Bush calls them directly.

Comment: This was a three-minute report out of an hour of news. We're not seeing half, or a third, of the time devoted on this story - as we did before Kerry went on the offense.