Bob Kerrey, New School’s ‘Moderate’ War Criminal

With Bob Kerrey back in the news (New York Times, 12/11/08) as the faculty of the New School University that he heads gives him a vote of no confidence, it’s worth recalling the kid-glove treatment given to him by most of the media when his involvement in Vietnam-era war crimes was revealed (Extra!, 7-8/01).

Oddly, New York Times reporters Marc Santora and Lisa Foderaro, who wrote about the New School vote, don’t seem to recall that Kerrey participated in a massacre of Vietnamese civilians–an atrocity that caused considerable controversy when it was exposed by the New York Times Magazine (4/25/01)–when they recount the major events of his career, though they do remember that Kerrey “briefly considered a run for mayor of New York in 2005.” Presumably a war criminal heading up a school largely founded by refugees from Nazi Germany is a problem for at least some faculty members, but the New York Times‘ summation of the politics of the situation is that Kerrey’s own politics “were too moderate for the unabashedly liberal campus.”

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.