The Corner

Vietnam Pet Peeve

Driving home last night, I heard local talk show host Chris Core say something understandable, but false. That is the notion that Bill Clinton was pounded relentlessly on the draft issue in 1992. (Another similarly false formulation: Bush and Republicans routinely called Clinton a “draft dodger” in speeches. As Dana Carvey’s Bush would say, “wouldn’t be prudent.”)

PLEASE don’t let anyone say that to you and assume it’s true. There was great liberal media concern about the draft issue, and whether it would make Clinton unelectable. But the amount of coverage was actually quite small, especially compared to Dan Quayle, who was much, much more controversial for serving in the Guard than Clinton was for skipping out on the ROTC.

It was even worse as the Clinton draft scandal deepened. In April, it was revealed that Clinton lied for years about having “never been called,” since he received a draft induction notice in 1969. In September, it was revealed that Clinton’s Uncle Raymond had secured a Naval Reserve slot and had met with Senator Fulbright. In neither case did the networks do more than one story each. Wouldn’t be prudent.

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

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