There's one and only one response to the Villagers' vapors: "General Clark has never denigrated John McCain's military service, and neither has anyone who speaks for Senator Obama. As Max Cleland and John Kerry can tell you, only Republicans do that."Speaking of that Kerry fella, he's taking some heat for not having Wes Clark's back on MTP. While Kerry may believe he disagrees with Clark's comments about the relevancy of McCain's POW experience to the presidency, he's really reacting to the spin. It's disappointing, but unsurprising, especially given the setup = in his question, Brokaw told Kerry that Clark had used the words "untested and untried," as if Clark actually had denigrated the character McCain's service, which he pointedly had not done.
Should John Kerry have been fully briefed and informed on Clark's actual statement in context? Perhaps, but he really does have other matters to attend to. It happens. It happened, for instance, with Obama's reaction to Rev. Wright's National Press Club appearance. As his response made clear, he didn't actually understand why Wright was at the NPC, or what he said, or what the actual source and cause of controversy was. Most folks didn't, and don't. He reacted to the conroversy - a word whose etymological link to "contrived" has rarely been more relevant - or, if you will, to the spin, just as Kerry has in this instance.
Tough one to solve, but the adoption and widespread dissemination of mcjoan's formulation would be a big step forward. The next step would to be to inculcate the notion that pretty much any anti-Democratic spin can be presumed to be one more part of the big Republican lie.