Radio host Neal Boortz echoed a gross mischaracterization of an executive order issued when Senator John Kerry (D-MA) was lieutenant governor of Massachusetts in 1984. On the August 18 edition of the nationally syndicated Neal Boortz Show, he said, “I mean, my God, when he [Kerry] was the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, he signed -- he authored, wrote -- an executive order saying that the state of Massachusetts would not participate in any defense measures against a nuclear attack. And this is the guy that now wants to be in charge of our defense measures against nuclear attacks.”
As Media Matters for America has noted, ABC Radio host and FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity mischaracterized the same executive order to criticize Kerry five days earlier. The executive order was not a “no nuclear defense executive order,” as Hannity claimed, and did not say that “Massachusetts would not participate in any defense measures against a nuclear attack,” as Boortz asserted.
As MMFA documented when Hannity issued the false charge -- which stemmed from a flawed article published on right-wing website NewsMax.com -- the executive order (which, incidentally, does not bear Kerry's name) endorsed the development of a Comprehensive Emergency Management strategy to use in case of an “attack by a hostile power, whether nuclear, conventional, terrorist, chemical or an attack accomplished through biological warfare.” The one civil defense strategy rejected by the executive order -- “crisis relocation planning” -- had been determined to be ineffective and “impracticable,” as the order observed.