What if we’d listened to Gennifer Flowers? She would not have made an iota of difference in the presidential election, though what she had to say did foreshadow some of what happened in those halcyon Clinton years.

But the electorate is so evenly divided now that the loss of a handful of votes here and there could have a profound impact on the outcome. That’s why the response to the Swift Veterans for Truth has been so swift and terrible.

I haven’t the foggiest if the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are telling the truth, but I want somebody in the mainstream media to investigate what they have to say, both in their press statements and in the book, “Unfit for Command,” by Swift Boat vet John O’Neill. But there’s been something less than overwhelming enthusiasm from the Fourth Estate:

“The press covered [their press conference] much as they covered Paula Jones’ first press conference,” writes Ann Coulter.

“With the media playing their usual role as Truth Commissar for the now-dead Soviet Union, the Swiftees are having to purchase ad time in order to be heard. No Tim Russert interviews, no ’Today’ show appearances, no New York Times editorials or Vanity Fair hagiographies for these heretics against the liberal religion. The only way Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could get less attention would be to go on ’Air America’ radio.”

Do you realize that without blogs, which are playing a role in the presidential race for the first time, and much-maligned media organs that don’t hew the liberal line, the vets would be relegated to the supermarket tabloids as Ms. Flowers was?

It’s worth thinking about this because the current election is an exercise in media power. They’ve made up their minds, even if the electorate is still grappling with the question of who’ll be president for the next four to eight years.