ABC Recalls Swift-Boat Vet Ads Against Kerry As 'Slanderous'

ABC News, the outfit stuffed with people who proclaimed their need to "puke" when George W. Bush was allowed to speak ill of John Kerry in presidential debates in 2004, is still betraying their bitterness. In an article on Bush using a recess appointment to make Samuel Fox the Ambassador to Belgium, reporter Tahman Bradley explained on the ABC News website:

Kerry and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., led Senate Democrats' opposition to Fox, who in 2004 contributed $50,000 to the slanderous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which used a series of television ads to undermine Kerry's combat record.

The headline was "Bush Swift Boats Belgium, Congress." That is a nonsense headline, unless we bow to ABC's affinity for liberal lingo, which has now tried to make "swift-boating" a verb, much like the conservative term "Borking." That would seem to be an improvement. As Greg Pollowitz noted at NRO's Media Blog, the original home page link was "Major Donor to 'Swift Boat' Smear Ads Is Made An Ambassador" (Emphasis Greg's). It now echoes the "Bush Swift Boats" line.

Tahman Bradley could only quote the outrage of Kerry and his buddy Sen. Chris Dodd. He made no attempt to describe in his brief article precisely how the anti-Kerry ads were slanderous or a smear. Bradley may also have difficulty with his legal terms, since some insist that "If the statement is made via broadcast media -- for example, over the radio or on TV -- it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience."

This is more of a 2004 rerun than anyone would like to remember. Back then, no one in the national media seemed to care whether Kerry's war stories were true -- or whether his claims of war crimes committed daily by American troops were true. See Brent Bozell for a refresher.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis