Drudge instigates another Kerry witch hunt

It was bad enough when Matt Drudge tried to make a ruckus over an alleged affair between John Kerry and an intern — a total fantasy. Now he’s banging the drum to get Kerry’s old divorce records unsealed, hoping to create an instant replay of last week’s episode with Jack Ryan in Illinois.

This is sickening because it so dramatically goes against the role of the journalist. Any idiot can see in a heartbeat what Drudge is doing. (Whenever Drudge uses exclamation points in his stories, you know he’s trying hard to stir up the shit.)

After last week’s front page headlines over ugly unsealed divorce records in the Republican Illinois senate race, media outlets now face a dilemma: What to do about Democrat presidential hopeful John Kerry’s sealed divorce records!

The race is on in political and media circles to gauge the import of Kerry’s sealed July 25, 1988 divorce from his first wife, Julia Stimson Thorne.

TRIBUNE, which successfully sued a court to gain access to Illinois Republican Jack Ryan’s divorce papers and child custody records [over the objection of both Ryan and his former wife], is considering a similar push on Kerry, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

[TRIBUNE owns WLVI-TV Channel 56 in Boston. It could use its Massachusetts connection as a jumping point to petition the court which granted Kerry a divorce, sources explain.]

Other news outlets may soon follow.


The Kerry campaign late Sunday called any old divorce digging a game of political “gutter ball.”

“This is a trash hunt,” said a senior Kerry source, who asked not to be named.

“No, I do not have a clue what is in the papers,” explained the source. “But it is none of my business. And its none of your business, or any one’s business… You’re playing a game of gutter ball, Drudge.”

“Other news outlets may follow.” Oh, that is journalism at its finest! Why not, “Other news outlets may not follow”? Both are equally true. No, what Drudge is really saying, exactly as he did with the Kerry kerfuffle, is, “I sure hope I can whip up the other news outlets to run with this piece-of-shit smear campaign of mine.”

Drudge is a disgrace, a blight on the profession, a gossip monger and a whore. To hell with him.

Update: Andrew Sullivan comments.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

US politics seem to be getting VERY dirty this year,what business what somebody gets up to in their marriage so long as it isn’t criminal.

You don’t see attacks this in other countries with civilised governments.

June 28, 2004 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

Unfortunately, it started when a newspaper went after a Republican senatorial candidate in Illinois, so now the Republiucans will say — with some justification — that they are demandiing equal justice for all. How awful, when it became okay for the personal sex lives of our leaders to become a valid target for politics. Whether it started with Justice Thomas or Clinton or whomever, it’s ugly and hurtful to everybody.

June 28, 2004 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

Sullivan is wayyy off base with this one:

“exposing the consensual adult sex of Jack Ryan”

Consensual??? Then why did she divorce him?

June 28, 2004 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

Good point. I do think, on the other hand, that he has a valid point about dragging the private sex lives of candidates into the race. It serves no one, and makes our political process appear unhealthy.

June 28, 2004 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

Drudge is a disgraceful bugger.

However, most court records are public records open for all to see and use in a legal fashion. It is only the “exceptional case” that should be closed to the public. What is “exceptional” is what will convince a judge to seal the record. Some situations maybe meritorious, but many requests to seal court records are self-serving attempts to hide something. The fewer seal records the better from my perspective.

Private sex lives of candidates for public consumption is purient voyuerism, but probably in the one-a-million case such knowledge is important to
the body politic. But, how does one know until it is looked at?

June 28, 2004 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

I’ve been able to look at US elections from outside for some time and the world is getting a view of America that suggests that the country is very unhealthy and that its’ leaders are willing to use every base trick that they can think of to defraud or defame voters and candidates.

This is probably the least dignified election in the world right now, excluding the ones where the candidates kill one another, and it is doing real damage to the image of America and to American ideals.

It is little wonder that people look down on politics and don’t vote.

Have some dignity. Get religion and personality out of politics and get down to the issues.

The reduction of American’s reliance on focil fuels and imported goods, the national economy, education and health.

June 28, 2004 @ 10:24 pm | Comment

Pete, perusing divorce records looking for dirty linen is just poor taste and a perfect invitation to character assassination. Our election process is already obscene enough. Publicizing Ryan’s records (not opening them, but publicizing them) was a step backwards and it will make future campaign even nastier and more personal.

June 29, 2004 @ 9:58 am | Comment

Richard you are right of course about the decency or indecency of it all. On another level having records open to public inspection might have a therapeutic effect as people with something to hide won’t run for public office or people wanting public office will be more careful in their private lives. (hopefully?)

June 29, 2004 @ 11:37 pm | Comment

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