This is a real take-it-for-what-it’s-worth, from the American Spectator’s “Washington Prowler” column:
According to a Kerry campaign source, senior campaign advisers tasked two Washington-based campaign staffers to vet the recently published Unfit for Command.
“The purpose was to compare what that book had with what we had on file from Senator Kerry,” says the campaign source, who said that the research project developed more than 75 instances where Kerry’s recollections, previous remarks, or writings conflicted with the book’s reporting.
“We took some of the most glaring examples, like the Christmas in Cambodia story, and presented them to senior staff, and we assume that those things were put in front of Senator Kerry,” says the source. “We haven’t heard a word about it. All we were told is that it was being taken care of.”
The campaign source said that the book was not considered a “serious” problem for the campaign, because, “the media wouldn’t have the nerve to come at us with this kind of stuff,” says the source. “The senior staff believes the media is committed to seeing us win this thing, and that the convention inoculated us from these kinds of stories. The senior guys really think we don’t have a problem here.”
The Prowler, although always a hoot to read, strikes me as kind of a “Debka for politics,” meaning it runs a lot of anonymously-sourced juicy stuff that sounds really interesting, but rarely pops up anywhere else, or pans out in the long term. It’s often “too good to check,” as they say in the journalism biz (who the heck in the Kerry campaign would ever say that kind of thing to the Spectator?).
I’d file this one under that general rule of thumb… but the last paragraph sure rings true, doesn’t it?