September 4, 2004

From "gauzy-sounding talk" to "slashing indictment."

The NYT continues its effort to cheer up Kerry supporters. Today's front page piece by David M. Halbfinger tells us that John Kerry has issued "a slashing indictment of President Bush's record on jobs and health care, saying he had misled the United States into war in Iraq and left a trail of broken promises and worsened problems at home." Yes, that indictment really slashes.
Mr. Kerry has for the most part avoided harsh political attacks on the president, instead emphasizing his expansive plans and offering gauzy-sounding talk of sunrises and grabbing onto dreams. But he returned to the offensive after his character, voting history and even his patriotism were questioned by Republicans in New York this week, and after Democrats faulted him for a hesitant, halting response last month to televised attacks on his military record.
You know how gauze sounds, don't you? In fact, some folks would rather listen to "a thin, loosely woven surgical dressing" than the Senator's drone. But don't worry, he's got a whole new approach. He wasn't actually on the offensive before, because he's too big a man to attack the President just as a way of campaigning to defeat him. But now that Bush has dared to question him, now he's going to fight. Isn't it great that the NYT doesn't clutter its print with too many quotation marks, such as around "even his patriotism"? You all know the Republican Convention was an outrageous, low, unfair, personal attack on Kerry's character and patriotism, don't you?
Criticizing the Republican convention as bitter and insulting one moment, then calling Mr. Bush dishonest the next, Mr. Kerry attacked against what he called his rivals' distortions and said the president's address Thursday made clear he "will literally say anything and do anything in order to try to get re-elected" - a line stolen from Mr. Bush, who used it regularly against Al Gore.
Bush absurdly misused the word "literally"?

Unlike bloggers, by the way, the NYT has editors, who polish the writing on every page, but especially make the front page perfect. For example, they won't let a sloppy writer get away with saying "Kerry attacked what he called his rival's distortions" It will be "Kerry attacked against what he called his rivals' distortions," because you need to establish that he didn't "attack for," he "attacked against." Every misplaced apostrophe will be moved to its proper position.
Mr. Kerry was upbeat and feisty on the attack, even noting "this lonely voice over here" of a Bush supporter on the periphery of his rally. When his supporters yelled, "Two more months!" at the man, Mr. Kerry did their barb one better.

"A mind is a terrible thing to waste, ladies and gentlemen," he said, laughing.
Stop, you're literally killing me with these upbeat, feisty barbs!

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