Patterico's Pontifications


Patterico Seeks Yet Another Correction from the Los Angeles Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 10:09 pm

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning: Kerry Starts Firing Back at Critics of War Record. The front-page article makes this incorrect statement:

None of the men in the Swift boat group behind the anti-Kerry ad, including [Larry] Thurlow, served on Kerry’s patrol boat during the war.


It is widely known that one of Kerry’s former crewmates, Steven Gardner, is a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Here is a statement from Gardner that has been reproduced on the Vets’ web site:

“My name is Steve Gardner. I served in 1966 and 1967 on my first tour of duty in Vietnam on Swift boats, and I did my second tour in ’68 and ’69, involved with John Kerry in the last 2 1/2 months of my tour. The John Kerry that I know is not the John Kerry that everybody else is portraying. I served alongside him and behind him, five feet away from him in a gun tub, and watched as he made indecisive moves with our boat, put our boats in jeopardy, put our crews in jeopardy… if a man like that can’t handle that 6-man crew boat, how can you expect him to be our Commander-in-Chief?”

— Steven Gardner

Hmmm. I’m no history expert, but 1968 and 1969 sure sound like “during the war” to me.

The L.A. Times‘s hit piece on the Vets from August 17 acknowledges that Gardner is a member of the Swift Boat group, and indeed served on one of Kerry’s boats during the war:

Steven Gardner, the only member of Kerry’s former crews to join Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and actively campaign against Kerry, has told some reporters that PCF-44 was 50 miles away from Cambodia that Christmas Eve.

Simply put, the Times has goofed. Again.

What makes this mistake especially odd is that the August 17 piece, which acknowledged Gardner’s service as one of Kerry’s crewmates during the war, was co-written by Maria L. LaGanga — who is also one of the co-authors of today’s piece denying that any Swift Boat Vet served on one of Kerry’s boats.

How curious.

I have written the following e-mail to Jamie Gold, the “Readers’ Representative” at the Los Angeles Times:

Dear Ms. Gold,

A front-page story in today’s L.A. Times titled “Kerry Starts Firing Back at Critics of War Record” (August 20) states: “None of the men in the Swift boat group behind the anti-Kerry ad, including [Larry] Thurlow, served on Kerry’s patrol boat during the war.”

This is not true.

As an article in your paper’s August 17 edition acknowledges, Steven Gardner, a member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, served on one of Kerry’s patrol boats during the war.

This merits a correction.


Patrick Frey
Patterico’s Pontifications

As always, I’ll keep you up to date on any response.

More Sucking Up to Hugh Hewitt

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 5:08 pm

Hugh Hewitt linked to the blog again today. Hugh, I’ll make you a deal: any day you want to link to my blog, I’ll remind people how to demand that local L.A. radio station KRLA start putting on your show between 5 and 6.

It’s easy. All you have to do is click on this link and tell KRLA: “Put Hugh Hewitt on from 5 to 6!” I don’t care whether you live in L.A. or not — just do it.

P.S. If you do this, do me a favor and leave a quick comment to say you did. I want to see if we’re getting any response to this campaign.

Kerry Wakes Up Sleeping Issues

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 5:06 pm

Today the Washington Post prints an article about the Swift Boat Vets’ charges, titled Kerry Says Group Is a Front For Bush. The story says that Kerry is

[u]nder pressure from Democrats to respond to a television ad and book challenging his valor in Vietnam.


I’m confused.

See, according to the Post article, Kerry “did not address some of the [Swift Boat Vets’] accusations, including the charge that he lied about crossing into Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968. But I’m pretty sure I read in the New York Times just this morning that the “Christmas in Cambodia” accusation is “the one allegation in the book that Mr. Kerry’s campaign has not been able to put to rest.”

Didn’t I read that? Just this morning?

Why, yes — I did.

So if Kerry is under pressure to respond to the Vets’ ad, I guess he’s doing a pretty lousy job. That, or the New York Times was full of it when it said that the Kerry campaign had put the Vets’ other allegations to rest.

Memo to New York Times editors: an issue is not “put to rest” when the campaign is under pressure to address it. See how that works?

Steve at ThoughtsOnline has more on the Post‘s coverage.

More Predictable Stuff from Steve Lopez

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:45 am

Dog Trainer columnist Steve Lopez writes about the Swift Boat Vets’ attacks on John Kerry this morning, in a piece called Truth Is Casualty in Fight Over War Record. It opens like this:

James “J.J.” Jenkins, who came home from Vietnam with three Purple Hearts, wore a neck brace and walked with a cane as other vets called out hellos and how-ya-doings.

I immediately thought: what do you want to bet that Jenkins ends up being a prop for Lopez’s pro-Kerry, anti-war views?

Can I call ’em or what?

Too bad Lopez didn’t have the guts to use his column to relate a conversation with a veteran who hates Kerry and/or believes the Swift Boat Vets.

Now that might have been worth reading.

P.S. Mr. Lopez, I found just the guy for you to talk to: Charles Reilly of Manhattan Beach. He wrote this letter in this morning’s Times. Mr. Reilly is a Vietnam veteran who says:

The reasons that veterans are angry with Kerry are very simple and easy to understand. First, they are not happy with his three superficial wounds that allowed him to leave Vietnam after a mere four months.

Kerry’s outlandish testimony about his fellow veterans [after he returned from Vietnam] to a Senate panel in 1971 left most veterans with a very bad taste in their mouths. His branding of his fellow veterans as war criminals was a boldface lie that he has never retracted. Veterans have no quarrel with Kerry’s antiwar stance after he returned from the war. But we do feel he forever betrayed our honor with his politically motivated grandstanding before the Senate.

For him to be using his Vietnam service now, and for political reasons only, is disingenuous and arrogant.

And we’re not attacking “one of our own.” Kerry left us a long time ago.

Mr. Lopez, it should be easy to find Mr. Reilly’s phone number — letter writers to the Times are required to provide one.

I’m looking forward to your column.

Good Question — And I Think I Know the Answer

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 6:23 am

Brit Hume asked a great question yesterday of the pundits on his panel: if President Bush asked the Swift Boat Vets, a 527 organization, not to run any more ads about John Kerry’s military record — wouldn’t that be, like, a campaign finance violation?

Have campaign finance reform advocates such as John McCain and the New York Times thought about that?

P.S. Because that would be “coordination,” y’see.

Thurlow Will Sign the 180

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 12:54 am

Larry Thurlow has now said he’ll sign Form 180, allowing the release of his military records.

The ball’s in John Kerry’s court.

Wow . . .

Filed under: Morons — Patterico @ 12:41 am

Go read Michelle Malkin’s incredible tale of being ambushed by sub-moron Chris Matthews.

P.S. I have a pretty good story about 60 Minutes that I want to tell. It’s about a guy I know who got ambushed by Dan Rather. It’s not quite as bad as Malkin’s story, but it’s pretty bad: a story about the power of TV editing to distort the truth beyond all recognition.

I have to ask my friend’s permission to tell the story. I’ll let you know.

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