Reporters get paid to ask questions, and most of them do, but today we ran across one who asked one question too few.

Howard Wilkinson of the Cincinnati Enquirer offers a lengthy report on John Kerry’s speech yesterday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention. Audience reaction was mixed, writes Wilkinson, just as it was when President Bush addressed the 10,000 conventioneers on Monday.

Wilkinson, or perhaps colleague Cliff Radel (who contributed to the story), interviewed audience members, seeking reaction to Kerry’s remarks. Among them was Jere Hill, a Vietnam vet from Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts.

Says Hill: “I am a registered Republican, but I have never voted a straight ticket. I have never voted for Kerry. Never will.”

Pretty strong words. Why, we (and probably a lot of Enquirer readers) wondered. Is it Kerry’s plans for troop deployments? His support for stem-cell research? His kite-surfing skills? His cheese preferences? We’ll never know.

We are left pondering one other question:

Didn’t an editor at the Enquirer (who’s also paid to ask questions) think it was something worth asking — and answering?

Susan Q. Stranahan

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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.