Monday, August 23, 2004

Oh Good Lord, Mickey, just give it up already...

Kaus is desperately trying to parse the new pro-Kerry witnesses against the Swift Bunnies to find... well, I don't know what. I doubt Kaus does either:

Fudging Breaks Out: Alert reader A.F. notes close reading reveals that the pro-Kerry eyewitness account of Pat Runyon--like the pro-Kerry eyewitness account of William Rood--contains some seemingly clever wording. In Runyon's case, it fudges the issue of whether Kerry was actually under fire in the incident for which he won his first Purple Heart:

Runyon said Kerry was wounded after one vessel tried to avoid an inspection.

"Lt. Kerry said, 'I'm going to pop a flare, and when I do, I want that engine started,' " Runyon said. But the outboard would not crank. Meanwhile, the sampan's crew steered it to the riverbank, and people started running on the shore. Runyon said shooting broke out.

Somehow, Kerry's weapon stopped firing. Runyon thinks he ran out of ammunition. He said Kerry bent down to pick up another gun and got hit in the arm.

"It wasn't a serious wound," Runyon said, and Kerry was able to start shooting again. When the firefight was over, Runyon said Kerry told him all he felt was a "burning sensation." [Emph. added]

"Shooting broke out"? Shooting by the people on the riverbank, or shooting only by Kerry and his crew? The story leaves the impression there was a two-sided firefight, but it doesn't quite say that, does it? ... Again, the ambiguity may be inadvertent. Or not!

The emphasis, as it says, is all Mickey's. Yup, 'shooting broke out' is a horribly ambiguous phrase. You can parse that puppy until you're blue in the face.

Unfortunately for you, dumbass, "When the firefight was over" is not. Or can you have a fight with only one side involved?

fire·fight n.
An exchange of gunfire, as between infantry units.

Nope, I guess not.

The best part is that Kaus himself uses the word firefight in his sad little summation, but doesn't bother to think through the implications of the word. Or, indeed, even notice that yes, Runyon does quite say that.

Mickey's pretty much begging to be the first one against the wall when the revolution comes, isn't he? I almost have a bit of sympathy for him... the poor guy will starve once his sinecure is ripped out from under him.

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