Capture from Video, Capital Ideas
The New York Post issued a strange article earlier today (“DEM FLASHED ‘WRITE’ STUFF AT DEBATE”), declaring that John Kerry removed “a black pen” from his suit coat prior to the first Presidential debate. I’ve since found this story linked to or referenced in a few other blogs, some of which attempt to close a case on Kerry’s responsibility for violating the debate rules, as do the “Kerry aides” quoted in the New York Post article, as follows:
“…the mystery was solved when The Post reviewed a Fox News Channel feed from Thursday’s debate: Kerry pulled out . . . a black pen.
“Kerry campaign spokesman David Wade remained angry at the bloggers’ guilt-by-insinuation.
“‘The right-wing attack machine will say anything to steal a debate do-over,’ he said.
“‘We plead guilty to having a pen.'”
Kerry violated the debate rules, so the “right-wing attack machine” is responsible for Kerry’s violation?
The Kerry campaign admits that Kerry violated the debate rules, and “bloggers” and the “right-wing attack machine” are responsible?
Interesting that the Kerry campaign aides consider that Kerry is being “attack(ed),” while what I thought it was was that Kerry violated the debate rules that he’d previously agreed to abide by, and, people noticed that violation by Kerry, and, if there’s been any “attack,” it is that Kerry violated the debate rules he’d agreed to uphold and his campaign attempts to make it everyone else’s problem (as do a few “rightwing” blog sites, who are just too testy for my tastes, and as do the vast, leftwing flame forums).
So, granted, Kerry’s been shown to have a “black pen” in his hand…on another blog, I attempted to identify, and in doing so misidentified, which of the two Kerry hands in which Kerry was holding what and the response was very petty about the mistype, while the issue remained coldly undebatable — it has come to this in public discourse about these Presidential debates and the only person responsible for all this is John Kerry. No one else. John Kerry because he violated the rules with his wayward hand action(s), whichever hand or perhaps even by both hands.
I want more from Presidents, or people selling themselves as so. I want ethics, an idealism that illustrates. With every passing decade, we get these (mostly Democratic) persons who tweak, bend and violate rules, ethics, expectations and their supporters then ream anyone who questions the sliding standard, or who indicates disappointment afterward.
Things are bad in public discourse, I’ll be the first to admit that I recognize that. A person can write specifically about finely tuned points, and someone else flings the “rant” word your way, and then that’s it: they’ve proven a losing position, resorting to insulting someone trying to get a point across.
What I’d like to know today is what was in the OTHER John Kerry hand? Or, rather, what’s the hand doing, the Kerry hand that does not hold a pen (any pen) at the podium?
Kerry reaches into his suit coat and returns that hand to view, holding something in that hand (it’s his right hand to my view). Kerry approaches the podium and both his hands are busy, unfolding, flipping, moving something. More actions than are necessary to use a pen, any pen, of any color, in either hand.
Several of the still frames (that follow, thanks to “zombie” for the captures) indicate that Kerry is holding an object with surface area way beyond that of any writing instrument, which he “flips” or otherwise opens on the podium before him.
That he removed a “black” pen (or white pen, or silver pen, or any pen of any color) from his clothing after entering the debate stage was a violation of the rules. Inadvertent or otherwise, it was a violation. That he holds another undefined object afterward is still, as yet, unidentified. He’s already violated the rules — the pen — so whatever he’s doing afterward could be “cheating” in an academic sense as to information sharing, but it still “cheating” as to rule violation or violations.
So, suggesting that Kerry’s violation of the debate rules doesn’t merit a penalty — as some bloggers and media sites opine — is further disrespecting the process. Why have rules for debates such as these, why have them argued over and then ironed out and finally agreed to if they aren’t going to be taken seriously? By dismissing violations of these (or any other) rules on some subjective scale of offense defies the nature of the debate rules, and sets in motion a downward spiral of behavior: why not defy or violate the rules, if no penalty or bad result will follow? And, are all violations harmless, blameless, subtle, happenstance, otherwise aimless — as aimless as a wayward pen? Yes, they are.
Kerry either comprehends the rules or he does not. If he does not, then he (or anyone else) isn’t qualified to be running for the Presidency, much less to be elected. In Kerry’s case — this particular situation of Kerry’s violation of the rules (he took a pen out of his jacket, in violation of the debate rules, which forbid “any tangible object” being taken by either candidate to the debate) — Kerry not only violated the rules but he did so with a flourish before a worldwide audience, either revealing that he didn’t/does not respect the rules and therefore can and will and did violate them at will, or, he didn’t understand what he was doing.
I don’t know which is worse.
I can write here, however, that that sort of behavior will get you kicked out of most respectable universities. Kerry gets a pass for his magic pen cheat? It’s not right, it isn’t fair, but it is the Democrat’s way.
From littlegreenfootballs, reader “zombie” offers these more refined still captures, along with the following remarks:
“These images of Kerry pulling something out of his pocket were taken from a digital TiVo recording of the first presidential debate.
“It is now apparent that the object he is seen holding after he places his hand on the lectern is a white pen. What is not so obvious is what it is he took out of his pocket in the first place, since white pens were apparently already awaiting both candidates. The split-second scene of the moment when the object is removed from Kerry’s jacket is still inconclusive – though it almost certainly is not a white pen. The New York Post now claims that it was a black pen, but if so, what became of the black pen, since three seconds later Kerry was using a white pen?
The rest of the images are presented in chronological order (with only the critical moments displayed), and should speak for themselves. Draw your own conclusions.
“zombie” writes that he was able to capture these more refined images “from a TIVO from whence the stills were made”: Capital Ideas
Capital Ideas also offers a much larger still print that clearly shows Kerry with an item in his hand, that is not a pen, and that image heads these comments in BIRD.
The sequence of events of Kerry Cheating: