I was watching Fox news, and they have reported that John Kerry pulled a black pen out of his pocket during the debate. I also found this article from the NY Post. While this is still a clear violation of the debate rules, and is still an indication that this is a man who feels some sense of privilege and thinks the rules don't apply to him, It's not the end of the world.
I'm still not 100 percent convinced, though. Kerry had something in his hands. And it was not a pen. In fact, the pen, which seems clear from the reverse-angle still photo that Fox showed, would have been blocked by Kerry's hand from the angle the rest of us saw. And yet we all saw something. Did anybody check the other hand? I'm going to try to find a higher-resolution clip/photo and report later.
Okay, looking through the video again, it looks like Kerry might have something already in his right hand, but I can't be sure because the resolution sucks. I think what it is, is that Kerry pulls the pen out of his jacket with his left hand and his right hand, hidden by the left, picks up some notecards or something already on the podium and transfers them to the left hand in an attempt to straighten them or unfold them, making it look like the cards came from the left hand.
And before you go accusing me of making a big deal out of nothing, let me point out:
1. The pen is still a violation of the rules, confirmed by the Kerry camp who said "we plead guilty to having a pen."
2. If the Bush team had made that same sarcastic confession, you all know the headlines would read: Bush Admits Breaking Debate Rules!