Actually, I usually don't even pay attention to the byline. But sometimes I read articles that are so biased that I know it was imported from LA. Today the Trib has an article by three LA Times reporters Janet Hook, Mary Curtius and Greg Miller, headlined "Bitter debate, then conflicted vote".
This article is basically defending Kerry against the flip-flopper label. He's not unwilling to take a principled stand, he's just conflicted. I swear the article could be a press release from the DNC.
It actually bashes Bush early, albeit indirectly. It has Barbara Boxer wondering, "Why would you trust the president?", implying that Kerry would be and was misled.
It then goes on to describe Kerry's thought process:
A look at how Kerry made up his mind on the war vote makes clear how conflicted he was before he cast his vote. The concerns that plagued him--the questions he asked at public hearings, the caveats and reservations he voiced on the Senate floor before casting his vote...
Later we find out that:
Kerry announced that his gut told him to vote for the resolution. But his speech on the Senate floor was riddled with reservations and caveats.
So there you have it. Kerry voted for the resolution but had lots of reservations about it. He even stated them on the Senate floor!
Now I'm sure if you go back and look at the questions each Senator asked in a meeting, or the speeches they gave on the Senate floor, they would all have caveats and qualifications. It's called covering your ass and it's something politicians do quite often.
And none do it better than Kerry. In fact, I'm sure it was especially easy finding material that had Kerry expressing doubts about the resolution since he seems to be on all sides of every position at one time or another.
The article also states that the problem isn't that Kerry is a flip-flopper, only that he looks like one. As a Stanford University political scientist is quoted, "The strategic blunder is that he's allowed Bush to make the case that this guy is all over the map." Whatever.
The article actually quotes Kerry telling the Boston Globe that "I have the ability either way to make substantive arguments for what I'm doing."
That should be his campaign slogan.