DATE: 3/16/2004 07:45:00 AM
Mistake? - The reporter who originally broke the story about Kerry saying "foreign leaders" wanted him to beat Bush is offering a correction. Pardon me for saying so, but bull(cough). If that wasn't really what Kerry said, then why has he spent so much time defending his statement? More to the point, what is motivating this reporter to suddenly change a story damaging to a particular candidate? Actually, never mind. That much is obvious.
If the reporter had any question whatsoever about the quote, it never should have gone into the original story. Sometimes this takes listening to the quote in question over and over and over again and comparing it to your notes until you have either figured out what is being said or decided it's not worth putting into the story. There were plenty of "great" quotes I left out of stories when I was reporting because I either couldn't read my notes or couldn't hear clearly on the tape. The reporter in question here should have been more careful.
Of course, I don't think this is at all why he's coming forward now. The press has been in full defend-Kerry mode for weeks now, ignoring gaffe after gaffe. The reporter here didn't make a mistake. He did his job, as Kerry's subsequent defenses of his statement have shown. The question now is whether Kerry, having defended the earlier statement, will grasp this current rope he's being thrown in an attempt to take the issue off the table.