Non-Scandal Scandal

The London Telegraph has the rather unwieldy headline, “This won’t go away. What happened is much nastier than is being reported.”

Alex Polier, the twenty-four year old journalist who could end Senator John Kerry’s hopes of becoming the next president of the United States is alleged to have had a two-year affair with the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. Last night the rumours were in danger of becoming a full-blown scandal.

Full-blown in the sense of being completely ignored by the major American newspapers, the Sunday morning talk shows, and, publically at least, the other candidates.

Senator Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran dubbed the new JFK, has vehemently denied any relationship with Miss Polier, and shrugged off allegations that he had a two-year affair with her from 2001. “I just deny it categorically. It’s rumour. It’s untrue. Period,” he said.

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His aides have blamed a dirty tricks campaign for bringing the allegations about Miss Polier into the public eye; they first surfaced last week on a Right-wing internet site, the Drudge Report, which famously first broke the news of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Miss Polier’s parents, Terry and Donna, from Malvern, Pennsylvania, added fuel to the fire by claiming that Mr Kerry did pursue their daughter.

“I think he’s a sleazeball. I did wonder if she didn’t get that feeling herself,” said Mr Polier. “He’s not the sort of guy I’d choose to be with my daughter.

“John Kerry called my daughter and invited her to be on his re-election committee. She talked to him and decided against it.”

The Drudge website also quoted retired Gen Wesley Clark, one of Mr Kerry’s rivals for the nomination, as having told journalists off the record: “Kerry will implode over an intern issue.”

Mr Clark later dropped out of the race and endorsed Mr Kerry.

Given their fascination with George Bush’s 1973 dental records, this would seem to be worth exploring. One would think someone would at least ask Clark about this on the record, since they covered his endorsement of Kerry the same day that the alleged quotation came out.

Update (1149): Fox News Sunday mentioned the non-scandal at the 45 minute mark of the show in the roundtable, covering the media coverage rather than the allegations themselves. Apparently, there has also been mention made on the nightly news shows about Kerry’s appearance on Imus in the Morning denying the rumors.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Steven says:

    I found it amusing that Wallace scrupulously avoided mentioning Drudge, but rather said that the story entered the mainstream via Imus.

  2. bryan says:

    I also found the non-mention of drudge interesting. And on George Stephanopolous, one reporter mentioned that she had talked with the people Clark talked to, and “that’s not the way it happened.” Which contradicts either Daily Kos or one of the other left-leaning blogs, who said he had confirmed that Clark made the comment as drudge reported it.

  3. Eric Akawie says:

    Saturday Night Live mentioned it last night in the opening sketch – so the assumption must be at this point that people have heard of it, even if there’s no real news coverage.