« Having Trouble Commenting? | Main | Strong Words »

May 22, 2004

Why Won't Media Cover Swift Boat Vets for Truth?

In case you still believe the mainstream press is objective and actually covers the news, consider this interview with John O'Neill, co-chairman of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The group held a press conference on May 4th to explain its mission: to set the record straight about Kerry's service in Vietnam and the accusations during the Winter Soldier affair. The Swift Boat Vets had also gathered signatures of

IBD: Did The Associated Press cover the event?
O'Neill: A reporter from The Associated Press attended the news conference and then refused to write a story on it.
AP received many inquiries asking, "Why have you not run a story on it?" They simply issued a statement saying they didn't believe it added anything to the dialogue between veterans and John Kerry.
IBD: What about the Kerry camp's charge that your effort was steered and paid for by Republicans?
O'Neill: It's ironic because they've paid for all the veterans supporting them. The people are literally on salary. . . . They're typically flown around on a plane. None of us have been paid by the Republicans; none of our bills or expenses. And in fact none of us has any serious tie of any kind with any party.

Nope...no news here. Petition from large group of vets saying Kerry is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief. Allegation Kerry pays vets supporting him, denial of Kerry's accusation that Swift Boat Vets are paid by Republicans....nothing the voting public might need to hear. Just move along now - if we find out anything that we think you ought to know, trust us - we'll let you in on it.

Continue reading...

- Cassandra

May 22, 2004 at 10:03 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why Won't Media Cover Swift Boat Vets for Truth?:

» Kerry complains about media blackout from Ereblog
National Review has helpfully posted the transcript of John Kerry's April 1971 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It's an occasionally interesting exercise in brown-nosing and carefully scripted compliments and insults (the form... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 21, 2004 11:52:03 PM


The answer is frightening...simply that the media are the enemy in this war-and not just in America.
Here in Australia, anyone who relies on the traditional media for reporting about Iraq has a totally distorted and negative view of the war.
If we lose this war we will have lost it to the media, not the enemy on the ground. It's high time-way past time- the Administration stated clearly and in the strongest possible terms that the U.S. is being misrepresented by the media.
For those of us who support America and wish her well, it's disheartening to have to endure the media bias and outright lies without seeing them challenged.

Posted by: Keith at May 23, 2004 12:45:02 PM


It's funny with all their innuendo about censorship and "chill winds" that the media can't see that what they are doing is tantamount to censorship. If you continually present only one side, you are not reporting news - you're editorializing. In fact, there's another word for it that one normally associates with government: propaganda.

Strangely enough, our government is in a propaganda war, not only with Al-Jazeera, but with our own media.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 12:52:43 PM

Get a clue:
Here's something from salon.com
Smear Boat Veterans for Bush
The "swift boat" veterans attacking John Kerry's war record are led by veteran right-wing operatives using the same vicious techniques they used against John McCain four years ago.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
By Joe Conason

May 4, 2004 |

The latest conservative outfit to fire an angry broadside against John Kerry's heroic war record is "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" , which today launches a campaign to brand the Democrat "unfit to serve as commander in chief." Billing itself as representing the "other 97 percent of veterans" from Kerry's Navy unit who don't support his presidential candidacy, the group insists that all presidential candidates must be "totally honest and forthcoming" about their military service.

These "swift boat vets" claim still to be furious about Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony against the war in which he spoke about atrocities in Indochina's "free fire zones." More than three decades later, facing the complicated truth about Vietnam remains difficult. But this group's political connections make clear that its agenda is to target the election of 2004.

Behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are veteran corporate media consultant and Texas Republican activist Merrie Spaeth, who is listed as the group's media contact; eternal Kerry antagonist and Dallas attorney John E. O'Neill, law partner of Spaeth's late husband, Tex Lezar...

Perhaps this didn't get the coverage you'd like from the press because the press saw it for what it was. Republican smear politics, not news.
I'll believe John O'Niell's claims that his group is non-partisan about as soon as I believe that there were no-attrocities committed in Vietnam.
But go ahead, you can cry conspiracy. Those big bad liberals are controlling the media. There there...

Posted by: Paul at Jun 2, 2004 6:29:48 PM


If the media are truly objective, then they'll cover both sides. They covered unsubstantiated innuendo and rumors about the Bush AWOL affair - why not this? Or is it only kosher to cover smear politics when it is Democrats who are doing the smearing? It was also considered kosher for them to plaster unsubstantiated rumors that President Bush Sr. had an affair, but they discovered scruples all of sudden when it was Kerry who was under the microscope. Very interesting. Especially as your bud Conason is one of those who was caught in a flip-flop on the journalistic ethics issue there.

If you look at any organization, it's not going to be hard to find one tie-in to a political party. That doesn't mean the whole organization is sponsorsored by the right wing. That argument is a non-player. Kerry pays the vets who follow him around.

Posted by: Cassandra at Jun 2, 2004 6:39:04 PM

They're funded by communists. John O' Neill is a hypocrite.


Posted by: anon at Aug 4, 2004 7:27:12 PM

Joe Conason is hardly an impartial party - he's the wonderful guy who fed all those rumors to the media about GWB Sr. having an affair and then loudly demanded the media refrain from giving any coverage to the Kerry affair rumors.

Talk about a hypocrite...

Posted by: Cassandra at Aug 4, 2004 7:39:56 PM

Interesting arguement, "funded by comunists". consider the fact that Kerry's face is mounted in a communist museum.


How do you get any more communist than that?

Don't worry after Jane and Kerry protested the war and the US pulled out 2.5 million Vietnamese paid with their lives. And communists didn't really need to be stopped?

Posted by: Barry at Aug 5, 2004 6:37:16 AM

Barry - I have two posts on that very topic. Good point. Also, the Swift Boat vets for Truth have a new ad out and it's hardly just John O'Neill talking.

Has he co-opted scores of former VietNam vets? Are they all Communists?


You can dismiss one man, but when the voices start mounting up, you can't shout them all down.

Posted by: Cassandra at Aug 5, 2004 6:52:56 AM

Another interesting tidbit the media won't cover: the Swift Boat vets had to send the Kerry campaign a cease-and-desist letter after they caught him using a photo of a group of them in his campaign ads, implying they supported him.

They surveyed the vets in the photo and found that almost none of them were Kerry supporters.

Posted by: Cassandra at Aug 5, 2004 6:56:16 AM

Democrats and the UN had a "Police Action" in Korea in 1950-54. Thousands of US Service Men died. The Democrats also were in charge in the VietNsm War where thousands more died. After 50 years we still have troops in Korea and because of ANTI-American protesters like Jane and Kerry we lost the VietNam war. DO WE REALY WANT THE DEMOCRAT AND AN ANTI-AMERICAN, John Kerry, AS OUR COMANDER-IN -CHIEF IN IRAQ ? And as for the UN, as MRS. Kerry would say, SHOVE IT!

Posted by: James Sanford at Aug 6, 2004 10:13:33 AM

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Posted by: Purple Raider at Aug 6, 2004 10:26:50 AM

The Swift Boat Liars for Bush are just that - pathological liars. John O'Neill has been trying to destroy John Kerry for over a decade. Why should anyone listen to his lies anymore? He didn't even serve with Kerry.

The funders of this group are rich Texas Republicans. They have over $158,000 to throw away just smearing the reputation of a war hero for the heck of it.

Get a clue - this has Karl Rove's stink all over it.

Posted by: Shelly at Aug 11, 2004 3:32:10 AM

The Swift Boat Liars for Bush are just that - pathological liars. John O'Neill has been trying to destroy John Kerry for over a decade. Why should anyone listen to his lies anymore? He didn't even serve with Kerry.

The funders of this group are rich Texas Republicans. They have over $158,000 to throw away just smearing the reputation of a war hero for the heck of it.

Maybe the media won't cover it because they've heard it all before - every election year. These bozos crawl out of the woodwork like clockwork. This has Karl Rove's stink all over it.

Posted by: Shelly at Aug 11, 2004 3:34:35 AM

Hmmm... let's see....

Swift Boat vets: $150,000 (woo-hoo!)

George Soros: $15 million

If throwing a lot of money into defeating a candidate makes you a liar, what does that say about Soros?

Try reading the book Shelly - they have affadavits sworn out to back up all of their claims. How many people did they have to "brainwash" to do that?

Or are all those vets lying? Every single one?

Posted by: Cassandra at Aug 11, 2004 4:54:16 AM

It is disturbing to watch the elite media so I don't watch it anymore. If they would just allow both sides of these issues, GWB would be at least 10 points ahead in the poles. Let these Swift Boat Vets SPEAK UP and COVER THEM FAIRLY! Let them have an honest debate. Let the people decide who are telling the truth. We are smart enough.

Posted by: Bertie at Aug 18, 2004 9:17:50 AM

Paul: "If Salon.com says so, those veterans must be liars! And the mainstream media is not biased, you hear me!? Not biased!"

anon: "They're commies! An opinion from Salon.com says so!"

Shelly: "The Swiftboat veterans are liars because I say so! They must be part of the Republican war machine because Republicans contributed to their cause! I smell a Karl Rove conspiracy!"

Whatsamatta, leftists? Can't answer the charges? Pretty funny hearing you complain about a "smear campaign" after you've done your darndest to smear anyone and everyone who disagrees with you instead of answering the charges.

Posted by: Thersites at Aug 20, 2004 11:26:05 AM

Exactly. As I keep saying, Kerry is the only one with access to all his records.

Why doesn't he counter with evidence rather than insults and innuendo?

If you are accused with supporting evidence, you counter the EVIDENCE. Kerry has chosen to attack the messengers because the evidence does not support his version of events.

Posted by: Cassandra at Aug 20, 2004 12:13:56 PM