Now that the Boston Globe has in its possession what it claims are Kerry’s “full military and medical records” is the Globe ready to make these much-anticipated records available to the public? Managing Editor Mary Jane Wilkinson replied, “It is my understanding that Kerry will release these papers to anyone else now that he has signed the Form 180. The Boston Globe is not going to make available the papers we have received.”
But “the onus is on the Globe to explain why they are not releasing the records. They at least ought to give the public some reason,” according to former journalism dean and Fordham University Larkin professor Everette Dennis.
“With the opportunity to release the Kerry material on the internet inexpensively, there certainly is no physical problem preventing the Globe from publishing them,” Bill Gaines, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Knight Professor of Journalism at the University of Illinois, told me. “The decision they have made certainly doesn’t seem to be in the interest of their readers and not very good journalism.”
Both the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times claim that Kerry will release any papers in their possession to anyone else who applies. But that isn’t what The New York Sun’s Josh Gerstein found when he called Kerry’s able press representative, David Wade. Gerstein reports: “Asked whether the senator would permit release of the records to The New York Sun, Mr. Wade said, ‘The issue is over.’"
But it isn’t. And it won’t be until the public has access to the SF-180 which procured release of the papers. Freedom of Information Act requests for it are now under way. Those requests will most likely be successful, perhaps as early as next week. And there is nothing barring its release before those requests are processed but John Kerry, and The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe. ...
And The Boston Globe made several calls to editors at the Chicago Sun-Times, complaining that I was giving them the kind of unpleasant treatment reporters give sources who stonewall on questions about matters they think are of vital public interest. They were right. I was. And those questions got the Globe to admit they had the SF-180 two days later.
Perhaps now they will release it and even Kerry’s worst critics will find it in order and finally be silenced. In that case, David Wade may be right: “The issue is over.”
I guess I was surprised that there were no military records that cleared up issues previously raised about Kerry's Carter-era discharge records.
I also have a post on Kerry's grades.