Kerry’s non-affair with the non-intern

Well, I’ll be damned!

The entire story blew up.

She says it didn’t happen, and her parents (previously quoted in one of the Murdoch rags as saying that Kerry was a sleaze) report that they plan to vote for Kerry for President.

My previous reaction was that just making Kerry deny the whole business was already a success for the bad guys. Now I’m not so sure. This may actually help innoculate him against the slime to come.

Now it will be interesting to see how many people who were plugging the story are (1) apologetic toward Kerry (and the woman, whose name they have now thoughly dragged through the mud) and (2) angry about having been deceived.

Update Well, not Glenn Reynolds. He seems to think that, because Monica Lewinsky once said she never had an affair with Clinton, the denial by the current victim of the right-wing slime machine, and her parents, that she ever had an affair with Kerry leaves the matter a completely open question.

As far as I can tell, all we have left as evidence that anything untoward happened between the woman and Kerry is the word of the victim’s alleged friend, whom John Ellis (the President’s cousin) says isn’t a very reliable source. Glenn thinks the “liberal media” are employing a “double standard.” Would someone send him a mirror for his birthday, please?

Second update The Slime Machine has its answer handy: since the woman’s father said on Friday that Kerry was a sleaze, and now says that he’s planning to vote for Kerry, Kerry must have gotten to him in the meantime. (Here’s Limbabble pushing the same line.) Meantime, Drudge is now claiming that she was dating Kerry’s finance director, and backing away from the substance of the original story completely.

Ummmm….guys? The only authority we have for the Friday quote is Murdoch’s Sun, the very lowest form of journalistic life. Why should we believe that it was genuine? The SF Chronicle reports that her parents deny having said any such thing:

In a separate statement, Polier’s parents, Terry and Donna Polier of Malvern, Pa., dismissed the “completely false and unsubstantiated” allegations about their daughter.

“We love and support her 100 percent and these unfounded rumors are hurtful to our entire family,” the statement said. “We appreciate the way Senator Kerry has handled the situation, and intend on voting for him for president of the United States.”

The statement did not address purported quotes by Polier’s parents in the British tabloid The Sun that were harshly critical of Kerry. But in a later statement e-mailed to the AP in New York, Terry Polier said he was misquoted by the Sun and that his wife never talked to the Sun reporter. Contacted early Tuesday, the Sun had no immediate comment.

So the Sun isn’t even doing the ritual “We stand behind our reporter” dance. It has an unsigned story on the denial headed “Kerry Girl KO’s Rumours” and referring to the story as “gossip.” (The story does repeat the “sleazeball” quote, but doesn’t bother to discuss the assertion in the previous Sun item, by-lined Brian Flynn, about a TV interview.)

Time for some retractions, fellas.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com