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Police officers endorse Bush; news media silent

By Jim Kouri
web posted September 20, 2004

The nation's largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, announced in September that they enthusiastically endorse President George W. Bush for reelection. More than 300,000 police officers are members of the FOP. Yet, the news media intentionally or unintentionally ignored this important endorsement by our nation's law enforcement community, which shows the trust American cops have in Bush's ability to wage a war on terrorism and his resolve to protect the homeland.

When the international firefighters union endorsed John Kerry (largely because he believes buying more fire engines will protect us from terrorists), the news media could hardly hold back their excitement when making the announcement of that endorsement to the American people. Of course, they never mentioned that the New York City firefighters endorsed Bush -- and let's be honest, they are the guys who charged into the burning twin towers on September 11, 2001. Many of them laid down their lives -- along with NYPD and Port Authority cops -- to save the victims of the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history.

In addition, other police unions including New York City police organizations endorse President Bush. Most recently, the NYPD's Sergeants Benevolent Association added their wholehearted endorsement of our Commander-in-Chief. Yet the media's silence over these important endorsements is deafening.

But why are the mainstream media ignoring these announcements by our nation's cops? There may be several reasons: Perhaps they only wish to run news stories that question Bush's leadership or paint him as a draft-dodger, such as the recent 60 Minutes hatchet-job regarding the President's National Guard service; or perhaps they are only interested in covering news of various union endorsements of Senator John Kerry; or perhaps the story isn't sexy enough for the mere 30 seconds or so it would take to inform the American people that their protectors support their President. The cynic in me says that the news media have very little use for cops to begin with, except when they serve as anonymous sources or help them in their coverage of an important story. Usually, the coverage of police by the mainstream media involves allegations of police brutality, their alleged use of excessive deadly force or stories of police corruption. And of course there's the old Liberal standby: police racism or racially-motivated police abuse.

On the same day that the Fraternal Order of Police made their decision to support President Bush for reelection, Senator Tom Harkin, a fierce Kerry supporter, was all over the news shows and cable news networks calling Bush a liar about his military service. His allegations rang hollow and displayed on his part hypocrisy which knows no bounds. For it is indeed Senator Harkin who lied about his military record. In 1992, during his own presidential bid, Harkin advanced the myth that he flew fighter missions over Vietnam. It turned out that he never saw action in Vietnam. He was never a Vietnam veteran. Yet here is a liar calling the Commander-in-Chief a liar. Only in politics. So the news media, who are -- or should be -- aware of Harkin's fabrications lavish extraordinary airtime on him, while ignoring honest cops supporting someone they believe is an honest leader.

Is there any wonder that in a recent poll taken by the 14,000-member National Association of Chiefs of Police, 92 percent of the police commanders and sheriffs responding said they believe the media (print and broadcast) were not fair and impartial in their coverage. Ninety-two percent! And the arrogant minions of our nation's newsrooms even ignored that poll. Are you surprised?

Jim Kouri is a certified protection professional, writer, commentator and contributing editor for Chief of Police Magazine. A former chief at a housing project in New York City's Washington Heights district -- dubbed Crack City -- he serves as Fifth-Vice President of the National Association of Chiefs of Police (www.aphf.org). He possesses over 25 years of law enforcement and security experience and writes a regular column for KingNewsMedia.Com.He's the author of Crime Talk: Conversations with America's Top Crimefighters and Assume The Position: Police Science for Novelists, Screenwriters and Journalist, and his magazine articles appear in many publications. He's a frequent guest on many TV and radio stations including Fox News, CNN, CBS, ABC, CNBC, and others. The views expressed herein are those of the writer and not necessarily the views of the National Association of Chiefs of Police or its membership.

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