The Lonely Senator, Update

posted at 4:02 pm on January 5, 2007 by Bryan

Via InstaPundit, the intrepid reporter whose site insinuated that the photo of John Kerry sitting alone in a chow hall in Iraq was itself bogus, has now verified that the photo is real, but the absence of troops in it is misleading:

Specifically, it turns out that Kerry was at that table to conduct an off-the-record breakfast discussion with two reporters, so there would have been no reason whatsover for troops to be sitting with them. In fact, Kerry and the reporters even sought out empty seats, I’m told.

And he backs it up by talking to the reporters involved. So it turns out that Kerry et al sought out the empty table to have a private conversation. That makes sense to me, so I hereby retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely.” He wasn’t lonely. I apologize for the error.

The paragraph that preceeds TPM’s revelation, however, is a laugher:

The wingers spent many, many hours on this photo, trying to prove its authenticity. I’m not going to dispute that it’s authentic. Rather, I’m here to report that I’ve now contacted at least two people who say they were at the table with Kerry. And it’s clear that the winger characterization of the photo is entirely bogus.

It was, of course, our friends on the left who insisted that the photo itself was bogus by challenging facts of Kerry’s travel schedule, the data embedded in the photo, the decorations on the walls around him, etc, forcing our other friends at Powerline and elsewhere to prove that, yes indeed, that is a chow hall in Iraq, and yes indeed, Kerry was there at the specified time in question, yes indeed, most people don’t set the dates on their digital cameras, yes indeed, the decorations are there as in the photo, and yes indeed, there is a Portuguese flag hanging there even though Portugal has no troops in Iraq anymore. Our friends on the left toss up silly conspiracy theories with multiple moving parts, our friends on the right spend hours and hours shooting said conspiracy theories down. That’s just how it works most of the time. Good for Mr. Sargent at TPM for taking a route that’s a little friendlier to facts and leaves no room for conspiracies in what should be the final accounting of this photo.

But that said, again, I retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely” and regret the error.

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Oh, OK.

Is there any footage of the troops mobbing him and cheering for him, like they would say, Rumsfeld?

Pablo on January 5, 2007 at 4:08 PM

No.

Bryan on January 5, 2007 at 4:10 PM

How come they couldn’t just refute the “lonely” charge by revealing the stacks (stacks, I say) of eyewitness accounts from U.S. military personnel who lined up around the block to meet John F’n Kerry? (Like they did with, say, Bill O’Reilly.) Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

ReubenJCogburn on January 5, 2007 at 4:10 PM

I take it Kerry didn’t take them up on the offer to tour downtown Baghdad?

.

GT on January 5, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Ummm… further inquiry?

Why was he sitting in a chow hall, at US Military Expense, with two CIVILIAN REPORTERS???

Romeo13 on January 5, 2007 at 4:15 PM

Ronery? Pshaw, he has Tehrayzah and lots of Dead Presidents to keep him company.

MostlyHarmless on January 5, 2007 at 4:15 PM

I retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely” and regret the error.

Oh I disagree. I think he is still a lonely man.

vcferlita on January 5, 2007 at 4:17 PM

But that said, again, I retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely” and regret the error.

Bryan, is it OK to call him a pathetic troop-bashing loser?

fogw on January 5, 2007 at 4:18 PM

Is there any footage of the troops mobbing him and cheering for him, like they would say, Rumsfeld?

Pablo on January 5, 2007 at 4:08 PM

What about MSM footage/pics of islamists mobbing and cheering him, like they would for Bin Laden?

Rick on January 5, 2007 at 4:19 PM

But that said, again, I retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely” and regret the error.

But he is Bryan, he is, a legend in his own mind.

Kini on January 5, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Fake but accurate?

mikeyboss on January 5, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Bryan, is it OK to call him a pathetic troop-bashing loser?

Fine by me.

Bryan on January 5, 2007 at 4:22 PM

Just don’t make any cracks about him hiding behind Terrezzzzzaaaaaa’s skirt.

(Just kidding…..couldn’t reist) ;)

.

GT on January 5, 2007 at 4:24 PM

At least you put your retraction on page 1.

I appreciate your professionalism. Nice job!

budorob on January 5, 2007 at 4:25 PM

But just remember…

He was lonely before he wasn’t lonely.

armyvet on January 5, 2007 at 4:35 PM

Now, if only the AP would retract….

Rich on January 5, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Yes, but we’re obsessive for checking out a politically significant story of a massacre and immolation in Iraq. Gotcha.

see-dubya on January 5, 2007 at 4:38 PM

Let me get this straight, you’re going to believe 2 liberal “journalists” over the person who took the picture? I’ll stick to the original explanation.

Capitalist Infidel on January 5, 2007 at 4:44 PM

he wasn’t lonely. Rather is routed troops out of their seats for a private meeting … in an open chow area?

That’s about the stupidest thing I’ve heard yet.

Sorry. Not buying it.

One Angry Christian on January 5, 2007 at 4:44 PM

Ummm… further inquiry?

Why was he sitting in a chow hall, at US MilitaryTaxpayer Expense with two CIVILIAN REPORTERS???

Romeo13 on January 5, 2007 at 4:15 PM

That’s a little more accurate I believe.

JaHerer22 on January 5, 2007 at 4:45 PM

So he travelled to Iraq to talk to reporters? Weren’t there any reporters in the US that wanted to talk with him?

That’s kinda lonely.

jtdavies on January 5, 2007 at 4:45 PM

My brother, who is in a senior leadership position, and dines in the Embassy mess where Mr. Kerry was photographed said to me, and I quote, “We all avoided him like the plague.”

Pretty much sums it up for me.

KelliD on January 5, 2007 at 4:49 PM

That’s a little more accurate I believe.

JaHerer22 on January 5, 2007 at 4:45 PM

Yeh, taxpayers don’t pay for the military do they?

Nitwit.

fogw on January 5, 2007 at 4:50 PM

I bet Terry McAuliffe would like to keep Kerry company for a few minutes.

.

GT on January 5, 2007 at 4:50 PM

How about “Ronery”?

Who took the pic and did he really “cancel his press conference because no one came”?

Drtuddle on January 5, 2007 at 5:00 PM

I retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely” and regret the error.

The retraction won’t work for me, Bryan. Lonely Kerry is seared–seared in my brain.

Bugler on January 5, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Took the liberals too long to spin this. I don’t believe a word of it.

Wade on January 5, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Here is the source that TPM didn’t cite.

Hardly proof of anything really!

Pam on January 5, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I have nobody for my own
I am so lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
Wish I had someone to talk to at lunch.

Now I’m a senator, a lonely senator
Away from home through no wish of my own
That’s why I’m lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I wish that I could go back home

Interviews, never a state-side interview
I have to go overseas to get an interview
I’ve been forgotten, yes, forgotten
Oh how I wonder, how is it I failed

Now I’m a senator, a lonely senator
Away from home through no wish of my own
That’s why I’m lonely, I’m Mr. Lonely
I wish that I could go back home

My apologies to Bobby Vinton.

armyvet on January 5, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Bryan, I have to take issue with this entire post. First of all, you write several paragraphs and yet fail to mention the one thing all of must never, never,forget regarding John F. Kerry: The man served in Vietnam.
I repeat: The. Man. Served. in. Vietnam.
This brave warrior spent weeks dodging the bullets of the wily VC all the while keeping tight rein over the savage instincts of his fellow Americans, the poor ignorant fools, who would, at the slightest provacation, begin lopping off ears and ravaging the countryside in the manner of Jhengis Khan.
Lonely?
Yes he is truely lonely.
As any man would be who had to bear such a burden with only his wife’s many estates to comfort him.

John Kerry is reporting for duty.
Always.
And what a lonely duty it is.

billy on January 5, 2007 at 5:14 PM

Never mind. billy said it better.

thebookkeeper on January 5, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Anyone who has been in leadership will tell you it can get lonely. But it must be doubly lonely when you have to rein in your uneducated, stupid, illiterate, ignorant, neandertal enlisted troops like he had to do so they wouldn’t commit atrocities.

armyvet on January 5, 2007 at 5:21 PM

He has 3 THREE Purple Hearts!!!

They keep him company.

Talon on January 5, 2007 at 5:24 PM

Seems a bit weak. I mean, were troops ordered to keep away? No one seems very excited that he’s there. If Bush or Rumsfeld were sitting there, wouldn’t you expect to see guys jockeying to get in the picture, interview or no?

And remember that wasn’t the whole story:

“This is a true story….Check out this photo from our mess hall at the US Embassy yesterday morning. Sen. Kerry found himself all alone while he was over here. He cancelled his press conference because no one came, he worked out alone in the gym w/o any soldiers even going up to say hi or ask for an autograph (I was one of those who was in the gym at the same time), and he found himself eating breakfast with only a couple of folks who are obviously not troops. ”

Was there in fact a cancelled press conference? Did no one talk to hime at the gym?

But hey, give the guy SOME credit. At least he’s not claiming to have spent Christmas illegally ordered into Cambodia this time. Though I’ll bet the memory of his Captain Crunch is seared, seared into his memory…

TallDave on January 5, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Botched loneliness.

shooter on January 5, 2007 at 5:54 PM

I dare Kerry to hold a press conference on a military base. The senior enlisted might force the PFC’s and Lance Corporals to attend, if they don’t…

Theworldisnotenough on January 5, 2007 at 5:54 PM

Botched loneliness

HAHA.

Theworldisnotenough on January 5, 2007 at 5:54 PM

I dare Kerry to hold a press conference on a military base. The senior enlisted might force the PFC’s and Lance Corporals to attend, if they don’t…

Theworldisnotenough on January 5, 2007 at 5:54 PM

In Oct 1995 I was in Kuwait on a regular deployment cycle when Saddam threatened to re-invade. The 24th ID (reflagged as 3rd ID in 1999) was sent in to act as a deterrant. Anyway, Clinton came over to “encourage” the troops (read: photo op). My unit was only a company size element (ODB 560) with about 60 of us there. The Co Sgt Maj came into the warehouse we were using as sleeping quarters and told us he needed 10 volunteers to go to this speech Clinton was giving. He said if he didn’t get volunteers, he’d have to select them. Two days later, he selected 10 “volunteers” to go see Pres. Clinton speak. No one wanted to attend and the guys who did hated it. I was a Sergeant (E5) at the time. Oh, and the guys who went? They were E6s and E7s – HA! Of course, in a unit like that you don’t have any junior enlisted.

Short story? We were forced to go see the President speak.

armyvet on January 5, 2007 at 6:14 PM

I’m sorry man. That must’ve been hard on morale.

My big thing is simply, why can’t we see any pictures of marines smiling with Kerry? Where are they? Is it just the Navy that’s full of democrats?????

DeathtotheSwiss on January 5, 2007 at 6:33 PM

Is it just the Navy that’s full of democrats?????

DeathtotheSwiss on January 5, 2007 at 6:33 PM

LOL, funny you should ask. In another unit I was in, it was a joint organization and on my team we a few squids. Two of the three were democrats. Everyone else on the team? (Air Force, Army, and Marines) They were all Republicans!

armyvet on January 5, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I’m still not buying the “private meeting” in an open mess hall story.

Have you ever BEEN in a mess hall? You can’t do ANYTHING private in there. That’s ridiculous.

One Angry Christian on January 5, 2007 at 7:23 PM

So, like, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Let me guess.
The name of the first reporter is “Jamil Hussein”, right?
Who’s the second reporter? Natalie Holloway?

CyberCipher on January 5, 2007 at 7:38 PM

Senator Lurch shunned the troops, no the other way around? Well, I’m shocked at this egregious error, people. Shocked, I say!

Took the liberals too long to spin this. I don’t believe a word of it.

Wade

No kidding.

Spiny Norman on January 5, 2007 at 9:29 PM

So Jon Cary went all the way to Iraq to talk to 2 reporters and IGNORE the troops.

Interesting–very very interesting.

Booo on January 5, 2007 at 9:36 PM

But that said, again, I retract calling Sen. Kerry “lonely” and regret the error.

Why?

Teh Liberals at TPM asked their friends the uber-liberal reporters if they could put a top spin on the picture with magna-liberal Jon Cary. BFD.

Jaibones on January 5, 2007 at 10:12 PM

So, just change the title from “Troops snub Kerry” to “Kerry snubs Troops”

n2sooners on January 5, 2007 at 10:26 PM

armyvet, That was a great story about Bubba! Military guys have the best stories.

Drtuddle on January 5, 2007 at 10:53 PM

Who cares if it was fake? It was accurate ;->

Purple Avenger on January 5, 2007 at 11:55 PM

Why would he be having an interview with the NYT’s in the mess hall? Maybe to get some good publicity? Wouldn’t it have been a bit better for him if he had taken the time to actually talk to the troops that he spit on? I guess him giving an interview was a bit more important.

Pam on January 6, 2007 at 12:20 AM

Specifically, it turns out that Kerry was at that table to conduct an off-the-record breakfast discussion with two reporters, so there would have been no reason whatsover for troops to be sitting with them. In fact, Kerry and the reporters even sought out empty seats, I’m told.

Pam on January 6, 2007 at 12:27 AM

The real problem here is simple. Kerry, knowing that the majority of US Troops took his words as a direct insult, brashly went among them in order to further his own political agenda. He wants the presidency so bad he doesn’t care who he hurts, offends or pisses off and it is now even more painfully obvious that he has zero respect for the Armed Services.

Even his “apology” was a smarmy I’m Smarter than the Military statement. What he should have said was this, “Regardless of my intent, I said extremely insulting and hurtful things about the military and for that I am sorry. I can only ask you to believe me when I say it was not my intent to insult the uniformed men and women.”

DeathtotheSwiss on January 6, 2007 at 10:52 AM

He was lonely, before he wasnt lonely, or was he..

Still a Douchebag either way.

Viper1 on January 6, 2007 at 10:56 AM

It doesn’t matter if he sought out an empty table for his meeting…the point is that it remained empty.

James on January 6, 2007 at 12:03 PM

It doesn’t matter if he sought out an empty table for his meeting…the point is that it remained empty.

James on January 6, 2007 at 12:03 PM

Yep. You know that if there was any footage of him surrounded by people in uniform, he’d be shoving it in our faces as often as he mentions Vietnam. Which means that such footage doesn’t exist. No amount of liberal spin is going to change the fact that Kerry’s feelings for the military are mutual.

ReubenJCogburn on January 6, 2007 at 1:15 PM

Kerry should not have had a very hard time having a discrete meeting.

duff65 on January 6, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Yeah, snubbing the troops to get a few lines of print in the media is a good thing. This gives the story a great, warm, love-the-troops-if-it-might-give-me-a-decent-public-image kinda spin that I can’t resist. Mr. Kerry, you are the democrats gift to conservatives that keeps on giving.

SailorDave on January 6, 2007 at 6:04 PM

So…

Mr. “I love the troops” went half way across the world, and while on a military base chose to spend his time with his Allies from the New York Times?

What a poser. Truly, I’m begining to believe that the term poser was created to describe Kerry.

(Really, It’s sad. I think less of Kerry after his explanation than I did when I thought the troops snubbed him. At least when I thought the troops snubbed him, I thought

“wow, that’s too bad… but he brought it upon himself.”

But then we learn he was busy being a poser for the papers?

What a _____.

Instead of making the most of his time abroad to learn from the troops, he’s busy with his unending self-promotion.

Lame.

Jones Zemkophill on January 6, 2007 at 10:42 PM

armyvet,

Seems we have similary stories. I had to do some of the best scheming in my military life to avoid having to attend a Clinton speech just a month before yours. 2 September, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the Japanese surrender. An entire Carrier Battle Group was ordered to Pearl Harbor from San Diego so that Billy Jeff could stand on the deck of a nuclear carrier and give a speech with the Arizona Memorial in the background.

I was the enlisted watch coordinator for my squadron, and worked several deals to keep from being the senior enlisted rep (read babysitter) from my command for the public event. Instead, my bicycle and I had stomped over Kamehameha highway to Haleiwa for the night, a place with no phones.

I remember a marquee sign at the officer’s club at Pearl, offering a Hawaii welcome to “The President and Mr. Clinton” Now where is that photo…

Freelancer on January 7, 2007 at 12:06 AM

The moonbats are in a tizzy that Kerry’s not lonely? Screw them and the plastic turkey they rode in on.

CrankyNeocon on January 8, 2007 at 1:03 PM