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PBS Ombudsman

The Ombudsman's Mailbag

Welcome to another Ombudsman's Mailbag. Actually, this is as much a column as it is a mailbag, as you will see. And if you read all the letters, it's also quite long.

This week, the inbox was loaded with viewer reaction to two programs. One was last Friday night's (July 13th) edition of "Bill Moyers Journal," which was headlined, "Tough Talk About Impeachment; Should Congress Start Proceedings?" The other involved further discussion of the July 9 edition of "History Detectives" and the subsequent commentary of the ombudsman and the producers about that program that was included in last week's column.

A sizeable sampling of the letters on both programs is printed below, including a new statement by the producers of "History Detectives."

Since I expressed my thoughts on the issue that arose during the "History Detectives" segment last week, I'll take some space here to make some observations on the Moyers program, which deals with the politically explosive subject of impeachment and which turned out to be, not surprisingly, very controversial.

After a long and distinguished career with PBS, Moyers left in December 2004. He came back last year with a couple of special series. But since late April of this year, he is back in earnest as the full-throated host of "Bill Moyers Journal," with a stated goal to "enrich the conversation of democracy with fresh and original voices — perspectives seldom available anywhere else on television — that reflect a diversity of wisdom, experience, and insight," according to the online description of his show.

In my column of May 17 dealing with the first few offerings of the new "Journal," I wrote, half-jokingly, "that PBS may need a separate ombudsman just to deal with the weekly mail praising or pillorying this lightning rod/icon." Last week's program was no exception. I've also said that Moyers is "a force, an original, a hard-to-categorize person of many interests and talents." He is a journalist, preacher, advocate and producer. He has a big and devoted following and also a big corps of critics who see him as biased and question his role on public television.

My views on Moyers and his programs are mixed, and perhaps not very helpful or satisfying to viewers who are hard over one way or the other about Moyers and his programs. In an earlier column about his "Buying the War" program, I wrote, "It's hard to think of anyone else who would have done this important story for American viewers other than PBS and Bill Moyers." I think that is true, and it is why Moyers, in my view, is so important even though he breaks the mold and, in some cases, the rules. He brings a voice and aggressive journalistic approach to television, and to some of the undercovered and understated issues of our time, that is lacking in so much of what is presented elsewhere to viewers.

So, Why Cover Impeachment, and Why Without Balance?

To me, this was demonstrated once again by last week's program on impeachment. This is a subject that gets almost no national media attention, especially from commercial broadcast television. Many will argue, of course, that it doesn't get attention because it isn't going to happen; that it has virtually no political traction, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made clear. That is the conventional wisdom and it is probably true.

But I would argue that it is still a newsworthy topic. So, as a viewer, I'm grateful that it is being addressed. Impeachment is a process spelled out in the Constitution for citizens to use and, although rarely used, the program reminds us that it was used against President Clinton by the House of Representatives just a decade ago for essentially lying to a federal grand jury about his sex life.

On the other hand, there was almost a complete absence of balance, as I watched it, in the way this program presented the case for impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

The program featured two well-informed and articulate guests — Bruce Fein, a Constitutional scholar who wrote one of the articles of impeachment against Clinton, and John Nichols, the Washington correspondent for "The Nation," a liberal magazine, and the author of a recent book on impeachment. The problem is that both guests favored moving ahead with impeachment proceedings.

The only moments of balance on the show were actually provided by Moyers who, to his credit and on a couple of occasions, voiced concerns that others watching this program would have. For example, at one point he said, referring to Fein's bill of particulars against Bush's version of executive powers: "You're talking about terrifying power, but this is a terrifying time. People are afraid of those abroad who want to kill us. Do you think," Moyers then asked Nichols, "in any way that justifies the claims that Bruce just said Bush has made?"

At another point, Moyers said: "But read that prologue of the Constitution. The first obligation is to defend the people, to defend their freedom, to defend their rights. And I hear people out there talking in their living rooms right now, Bruce and John, saying, 'But wait a minute, you know, we've got these terrorists. We know. Look what happened in London just two weeks ago. We know they're out there. Who else is looking out for us except Bush and Cheney?'"

Moments later, Moyers challenged again, saying: "No president and no vice president have been sitting in the White House or sitting in Washington when terrorists, when killers tried to come in airplanes and crashed into the White House, crashed into the Capitol."

Nevertheless, there was no doubt where this program, including Moyers, was heading and it was allowed to go down that road. While Fein and Nichols laid out a range of abuses of power and the law as they see it — from usurping the power of Congress and undermining the checks and balances system to spying on American citizens, contradicting the federal statute known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, condoning torturing, jailing and sending people into foreign detention without any political or legal accountability, an so on — there were no rebuttal arguments or legal challenges other than those few Moyers interjections I mentioned.

This was an hour-long program and it was, in many ways, an education, listening to this view of the impeachment process being laid out, whether or not you agree with it. But the program, in my view, would have been not only less vulnerable to charges of political bias, but also even more educational to more people in terms of illuminating the public about impeachment, if it had contained at the very least a succinct summary of the likely legal challenges to each of the main charges raised by the pro-impeachment process guests.

A Less Well-Known Poll With Less Well-Known Numbers

The scene, and tone, for what was to come was set right at the start of the hour when Moyers said, "A public opinion poll from the American Research Group reports that more than four in 10 Americans — 45 percent — favor impeachment hearings for President Bush and more than half — 54 percent — favor putting Vice President Cheney in the dock."

A couple of things struck me about this. One, the numbers sounded higher than I imagined or was aware of, and that polling group was not one of the major ones and did not strike me as one that was well known or often quoted in mainstream newspapers. And those numbers are very close to a majority, and are a majority when it comes to Cheney. And when there is a majority for anything, that usually means recognizable grounds for action. Also, Moyers did not say how the questions were asked, and pollsters point out that Bush's approval ratings are so low that it is easier nowadays to get respondents to respond affirmatively to impeachment questions. I checked the questions later, and they seemed straightforward.

Nevertheless, the numbers are quite high and, if they are close to being accurate, newly revealing. By comparison, however, a USA Today/Gallup Poll taken a few days after the ARG poll reported on July 10 that 62 percent of those polled said impeachment hearings against President Bush would not be justified, while 36 percent favored such hearings. It did not deal with Cheney.

But even if 36 percent is the more accurate number, that is not an insignificant number and is a factor that, in my view, makes a broader public television report on the subject newsworthy. A recent article in The Boston Globe also summed up some of the things I didn't know. For example, Democratic Party organizations in 14 states have passed resolutions supporting impeachment, as have the legislatures in nearly 80 towns and cities, and legislators in 11 states have introduced impeachment bills. The only impeachment move in Congress is against Cheney and was introduced by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) joined by some of the estimated 14 like-minded House lawmakers.

So there is something going on, although how much is in doubt. And yes, it's news and worthy of a program on public broadcasting, but one that had more balance on such a controversial subject.

I asked PBS whether editorial guidelines about balance apply to Moyers' program or whether his program is in some special category, and to explain PBS support and funding for the program. Here is the response:

"Bill Moyers Journal is fully underwritten by sources other than PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The series is funded by the Partridge Foundation, the Park Foundation, The Herb Alpert Foundation and sole corporate funder Mutual of America Life Insurance Company. The title of the series, Bill Moyers Journal, signals to viewers that they can expect to encounter the strongly reasoned viewpoints of Bill Moyers and his guests. Throughout each year, Bill Moyers deals with a variety of subjects and features guests who reflect a wide diversity of perspectives. The responsibility of balance does not fall to any one episode or series. PBS seeks to present, over time, content that addresses a broad range of subjects from a variety of viewpoints. There are many different types of news and public affairs shows; each with a different format and a different goal. For PBS, these vary from a daily news program like The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to Frontline to Washington Week and Bill Moyers Journal. While we expect all programs to strive for fairness and accuracy, we also want to accommodate a variety of approaches to subject matter in addition to a variety of viewpoints."

Here are the letters from viewers.

For Moyers, Business as Usual; Laurels and Darts

I wish to thank PBS for allowing Bill Moyers to return. I believe that his July 13th program should be required viewing for each and every member of Congress.

Warren Berg, Johnson City, TN

When PBS presented the Bill Moyers show with Nichols and Fein discussing the genius of impeachment, PBS did the greatest thing it has ever done. If you can draw journalistic integrity from their appreciation of the critical state of our nation today, PBS will be invaluable to us, the people, who are fighting to bring the solution of impeachment hearings on Bush and Cheney to bear on the problem of their Constitutional violations. Bush and Cheney must be brought to heel by impeachment, or our republic will not survive. It is that simple. We understand what Jefferson meant, our elected representatives and senators do not.

Geri A. Mellgren-Kerwin, Burbank, CA

I just had the opportunity to watch the Bill Moyer Journal re: Iraq Debate. I was so encouraged by the discussion that raised the level of discussion above partisan politics to the real separation of powers issue. Please ask your local affiliates to replay this show as often as possible. Americans need to hear and engage in this dialogue. This show offered a context for discussion that could help all to think and act responsibly regarding the future of our government. Thank you for such a thoughtful and well produced show.

Gwen Jordan, Savannah, GA

Bill Moyers IS a journalist — I have missed the intelligence and integrity that he displays more then words can convey! Thank you, thank you, thank you for his 7-14th show, I wish every citizen of this Country could view this segment and even more Mrs. Pelosi and Congress and Senate members. I truly believe it's at the point of Impeachment for Bush and Cheney or the death of the greatest concept of Government ever created.

Deborah Christ, Milan, MI

After watching Bill Moyers Journal last evening, I e-mailed quite a few friends and acquaintances alerting them to the powerful interview Bill did with Bruce Fein and John Nichols. The program was not partisan, in my opinion, but focused on the dangers to our constitution now and possibly in the future. I am grateful that PBS continues to air these programs like NOW and Bill Moyers. The commercial stations simply would not carry these messages. John Nichols pointed out that "the fourth estate" has not been doing its job of reporting to the people, and I certainly agree.

Barbara Steigman, East Moline, IL

More Shock than Awe

Last night I watched the Moyers program and was completely shocked and disappointed that PBS would sanction such a presentation. I have never seen a more biased, unbalanced, and extreme political view presented in any media. There was no counter argument regarding a dual impeachment, no discussion of broader negatives of doing so, and no meaningful comparison to past administrations during war. My comments to this effect on the Moyers blog were removed by its editors. This program was the worst piece of inflammatory partisan politics I have ever seen and it has no place on public television. Why do you broadcast the Moyers program? The NewsHour is an example of public broadcasting at its best — the Moyers program an example of its worst.

Jeff Pace, Honolulu, HI

It seems worth saying that Bill Moyers' Journal is the brightest spot on the broadcast horizon these days. I am especially inspired to write by his broadcast last night of the dialogue on impeachment with John Nichols and Bruce Fein. Not because I necessarily favor impeachment or despise the current Administration, but because I feel very strongly that conversations like this, so necessary to our Democracy, are too often either not held or suppressed in what we are forced to consider our main-line media. Moyers truly carries television commentary and PBS especially back to their roots in public service and responsible commentary. It is to PBS's credit that Moyers is on the air. He is truly a national treasure.

Warren Kornberg, Garrett Park, MD

Thank you for bringing back Bill Moyers. In light of the lack of real news and facts, he is performing a patriotic duty of the press to inform the citizens of this country. I was very disappointed when he was censored from PBS and I worried about the future of PBS to be a credible source of news. You are on the right track with programs like Bill Moyers Journal and NOW. America is in crisis in so many ways and we need the facts from the media more than ever and are receiving them less than ever from the commercial stations.

Liliana Bloom, Charlottesville, VA

Bill Moyers' show is the best show on television; it is better than print media; it is better than anything on the editorial pages of the newspapers; it is much better than Washington Week. Thank you for having the courage to broadcast this show.

Peggy Cmiel, San Francisco, CA

Did Some Stations Fiddle With the Timing?

Bill Moyers' program on Impeachment was the most important PBS program I have ever seen on PBS. Why was it moved to make it more difficult for people to watch it? This unannounced change, putting everyone to sleep with other programming and moving this to a late night time slot raises serious questions about PBS integrity. I would find it hard to contribute anything to you at this point, believing as I do that PBS's scheduling decision was deliberate.

Emilie Junge, Chicago, IL

I had difficulty sleeping early this morning (about 2:00 a.m.), which turned out to be a fortuitous type of insomnia. I clicked on the TV, which was set at PBS, and caught NOW, followed by Bill Moyers, followed by EXPOSE. PBS apparently puts so much effort into these high quality, highly-relevant programs, I am surprised they are not aired more frequently throughout the weekend (if not throughout the week), rather than the after-midnight hours when the majority of viewers (on the East Coast) are asleep. If I had not been dealing with a restless night, I would have missed the programs entirely.

Carolyn Leoni, Lantana, FL

I'm watching PBS, Bill Moyers 7/13/07 @ 10:00PM. I'm truly frightened by the magnitude of liberal bias as the guests talk about impeachment and are alleging multiple unsubstantiated crimes against the Commander in Chief as if it is fact, instead of the liberal propaganda it really represents. They cite rumor mills as evidence. Memos and emails that may not exist. There is no one defending the conservative viewpoint against this kind of broadcast, and I am offended public tax dollars are being used to fuel this kind of unchecked liberal speculation without rebuttal.

S. Young, Fenton, MI

I just viewed the Bill Moyers program regarding the importance of the impeachment process being instituted at this time when our democracy is in crisis. I agree with the guests that George Bush and Richard Cheney must be impeached. I pray that there is or are members of Congress that remain loyal to our Constitution and will pursue this process. I hope our Congress has not totally lost its backbone.

Middletown, NJ

I have been a supporter of PBS for thirty years and have always valued the balanced presentation of the issues. Tonight I believe the Bill Moyers program violated this principle to such an extent that I no longer can support, or trust that PBS has the primary mission to stimulate thought, but rather to put forth their own agenda.

Pittsburgh, PA

I feel compelled to tell you the Bill Moyers program regarding impeachment on this date of 7/12/07 was so helpful in outlining and framing the case for impeachment.

Joanne Shemwell, Wyoming, MI

Moyers' show on the impeachment of a president was extremely one sided. A program about such an important issue should have guests that are able to represent both sides of the fence. Just because one guest was a conservative means nothing when both are for impeachment. I would just like to watch a program where viewers are able to make up their own minds about a topic. I enjoy PBS programming, but when it comes to shows of a political nature its obvious where PBS stands.

Greeneville, TN

Please review the 7/13/07 program hosted by Bill Moyers. If this is journalism, I must have misread the definition.

Fort Worth, TX

I watched Bill Moyers on impeachment and would like to see and hear the other side of this issue.

Rio Rancho, NM

I cannot thank PBS enough for Bill Moyers' most recent show: On Impeachment. It was illuminating, it was well done and it was revealing. I worry very much for the sorry state of the media. I've been witnessing such poor coverage of news. News used to be health food for the mind, now its high fat fast food. I even tense when I see ads on PBS for ADM or other huge Corporations. That show was, as one speaker said, "news made for citizens." That was the sort of show that PBS was made for. I left with the feeling that I had to write to you and ask you to pass along my gratitude for the show.

E. Rivers, Cumberland Ctr., ME

More on the 'History Detectives'

Regarding the feedback received about the July 9 airing of the "History Detectives" series, I find it interesting that, almost uniformly, the authors of the feedback notes took issue with the addition of the inclusion of the Swift Boat Veteran's smear campaign information because they believed that that inclusion seemed to suggest that that campaign was wrong, and they don't believe it. Of course, all the available evidence does indicate that the smear campaign was not accurate at all, as indicated by the Producer's response; all you have to do it check it to find out that this is true.

It brings up another interesting point; those viewers that complained quite obviously have no interest in the truth of the matter (or at least in finding out that they don't know the truth of it). Should, therefore, a PBS producer tailor his show to their prejudices; should he/she leave out a very topical and up to date example of the point he was trying to make just to not stir up those viewers?

Which to me brings up a more relevant point: should the feedback of a few ignorant people control the content of shows that the rest of us would otherwise find interesting and topical? Does PBS have any way of telling how big a percentage of the audience for that program actually found that section offensive? Should the (most likely) larger percentage of audience that didn't find it offensive be obliged to write in with positive, soothing commentary in order to counter the noisier objections of a deluded few?

I think that, in most cases, you must go with the instincts and taste of a proven and well-regarded creative team.

Hugh Caley, Albany, CA

The program was fine — forget about those whining swift boat apologists — they did smear the man. That's fact and his failure to respond to the ad cost him. You (the producers) are factually correct and that is all that matters.

Greg Fuller, Bloomfield, MI

On the other hand, maybe Kerry was on his own mission — he comes over for a month or two, gets 3 purple hearts with no wounds and goes back and testifies total nonsense to congress (probably given a script by the democrats who were questioning him.) Maybe, he is a total loser. On the other hand, the Swift Boat Veterans, having been in real combat, took exception with his political power grab at the expense of real heroes.

R. M., Great Falls, WI

Your (ombudsman's) treatment of the Kerry controversy on the "History Detectives" broadcast was fair, balanced and tempered which the original broadcast was not. It's regrettable that the producer failed to see how inappropriate his program's treatment of the Swift Boat matter was. He's right that there is a take no prisoners mentality in current political dialogue (one might have expected a producer who specializes in history to know that that has almost always been the case in American politics) but the commentary by Mr. Cowan was jarring and inappropriate in the context of the broadcast. Sen. Kerry was indeed the victim of a political dirty trick in the '06 campaign but that is another story for another broadcast, one that should be based on thorough reporting, professional and solid journalism, not an inappropriate and out of context essay.

Ed Fouhy, Chatham, MA

Right On

As someone who was actually with Kerry in Vietnam, and specifically with him in an incident where he received an award (a claim that can be made by only about 8-9 members of the Swift Boat Veterans for "truth", by the way), I would like to say that your assessment of that group's smear tactics is correct. In smearing Kerry, which was done for personal, selfish motives on the part of some of their leadership, they managed to smear veterans in general . . . in oh, so many ways. Shame on them.

Doug Reese, Saigon

Two quick points: 1) It is unfortunate that you essentially let the letters to the Ombudsman rehash debunked attacks by the Swift Boat Veterans on John Kerry's record stand. The attacks in the letters were mostly proven false, yet because that wasn't the point of the criticism of the piece, you let it stand. 2) The first letter writer, Sherry Sylvester, let you know a lot about her background except the most salient — she is the former spokesperson for the Texas GOP and Director of Texas Media Watch, a right wing media watch dog, and has repeatedly defended the Swift Boaters who, not incidentally, were funded by Bob Perry, the biggest GOP giver in Texas.

Dennis Yedwab, Washington, DC

The comments from the producers of History Detectives are extremely disappointing, but I guess predictable. I find myself watching PBS less and less. Those who abuse the public trust to further their own political agendas usually fall of their own weight.

John Donnelly, Houston, TX

I'll pass on whether the allegations made in 2004 by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have validity. Close investigation by impartial sources suggests some did, some did not. Kerry has refused to release his military records as promised. Endorsement of the notion that the accusations cost John Kerry the election are, however, easily shown to be nonsense on stilts. The Democratic Party has nominated five northern liberals for the presidency since 1968, and all five have lost. I suspect it is very difficult for northern journalists to acknowledge that their part of the country is not regarded as exemplary by significant numbers of voters, so inevitably some other explanation, usually having to do with the evil tactics of the Republicans, is invoked to explain this remarkable record of rejection. There are deeper trends behind this than just this or that election or candidate. Blue-state journalism does not appear to have the courage to confront them honestly. Talking heads who intone transitory excuses for the failure of Kerry and others to win elections are making fools of themselves — and undermining the credibility of PBS in the bargain.

Mark Richard, Columbus, OH

Regards the Kerry smear. I clearly believe that Kerry was the one smearing the integrity of his fellow soldiers. But, regardless of which side of the issue you are on, this kind of opinion has no place on PBS. I have long observed that there is a definite left wing slant to PBS down to the people you choose to host or author viewing material.

Jim Travis, Colorado Springs, CO

I suppose you could call it unbalanced to only comment on John Kerry's Vietnam record. I would have preferred a mention that George Bush spent the entire war AWOL, drunk, partying, and on cocaine. But that would probably irritate the right-wing bigots even more.

Tom Anderson, Sacramento, CA

I have just read what you and Christopher Bryson had to say in response to the published criticisms of the "Swift Boat" imbroglio and recent polemics on one of your "history" programs. Sad to say, some of my grade school grandkids could see through the rationales you both present to justify including the anti-Swifty comments. (Especially the breathtakingly far reaching ones of Mr. Bryson — both of the facts and the reasons necessitating inclusion of the comments.)

Joe Halbach Sr., Nassau Bay, TX

Falling Into the Same Trap

On the History Detective show debacle: You claim your concern is the appropriateness of including the opinion by Mr. Cowan as part of the greater story. However, you spent almost all of your column trying to prove that his opinion is truth, and cite sources exclusively that back up your position. Regardless of whether Mr. Cowan is correct in his statement is beside the point. Your response should have focused more on the inappropriateness of including his statement in the specific piece, and addressed the producer's false assertion that the Cowan message fit in to the overall story presented. You fell into the same trap as the producers, of including inappropriate material simply because it comported with your own opinion.


Please see http://www.democracy-project.com/archives/003398.html for a discussion of your post about History Detectives and the Kerry brouhaha. You should also read the last link in the discussion, to an analysis of the "unsubstantiated" charge so often made against the Swiftees' case.

Bruce Kesler, Encinitas, CA

When the Navy says the documentation for Kerry's awards was correct and proper they are saying only that the paperwork was properly filled out. They are not commenting on the actual events or non-events. Why did this hero not release his military records? Why did not the New York Times et.al insist on seeing them? Why did not this war hero release his medical records where presumably a simple x-ray could reveal the supposed shrapnel he still carries? Why, because they'd only proven the Swifties correct. The biggest mystery in Kerry's military, well not a mystery but protected by the Privacy Act is the true nature of his original dismissal. He subsequently received four DD214s but none issued coeval to the end of his obligated service. The want of journalists with military experience allowed these things to pass without comment before the Swifties. The FitReps Kerry did briefly offer on his web site are damning, praising him for irrelevancies and categorically faulting his performance; again beyond the kin of journalists.

Larry Ladyn, Phoenix, AZ

My granddaughter was visiting and we watched History Detectives because she loves the show. I allowed it because I thought it would be "educational." It was: I got a chance to show her how propaganda and lies can be packaged in glitzy and seemingly honest programming. I thank you for providing this lesson. The response of the Producers only underlines how removed from reality liberals really are. History must respect the truth. Liberals believe that truth is relative and lying in defense of their positions is not really a lie. The purpose of this program is not to explore history: it is to promote a particular political position whenever you get the chance to sneak it in. Do the producers and participants of this show have any evidence that the Swift Boat people lied? Where is it? I think, if they do then they have to do a show on it.

Lynn Shea, Cohoes, NY

Another Program?

RE: the History Detectives search for the reason that two black men were in a photo of mostly white men in the GAR. There was much concern about the ending piece involving John Kerry and the Swift Boat Vets. Perhaps the best way to settle the issue is for a coming History Detectives show to examine that latter issue and try to settle whether the SBVfT were telling the truth or John Kerry was telling the truth.

Ray Druian, Los Angeles, CA

I was totally shocked to see the blatant partisanship exhibited on a recent History Detectives segment in which the statement was made that John Kerry was "smeared" by the Swift Boats group and that their actions probably cost Kerry the election. This was supposedly an examination of why two black men were in a photograph of Civil War veterans. I was even more shocked to see that the producers still don't get it after reading their response to the criticism! I do believe that at the time of the election I saw the percentage of men who actually served with Kerry and thought him to be unworthy of the medals and the Presidency to be QUITE HIGH (something like 80%). To think that the men who ACTUALLY SERVED with Kerry might have more of an insight than the bureaucrats in Washington was evidently too much for those "fair minded" people producing the show.

John Swinney, Charlestown, IN

A New Letter from the Producers

The following letter is from Chris Bryson, executive producer, Lion TV:

Thank you for your attention to our interstitial on service veterans which aired following a History Detectives story relating to the Grand Army of the Republic veterans organization. We paid close attention to the viewers' letters we received and to your commentary.

Upon reflection we made a mistake. A great deal of reporting makes the case that in the 2004 presidential election Senator John F. Kerry was the victim of unsubstantiated allegations concerning his military service record made by the members of the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. But our interstitial left the impression that this reporting was Wes Cowan's opinion. We regret that. As one of the viewers who wrote to us noted, the four hosts are investigators, not commentators.

[1][1] On the trail of Kerry's failed dream
Pair of wars dominated strategy before election

[1][2] The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008
Chapter 1: The Way to Lose

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