Hume claimed media ignored Swift Boat Veteran's book


On the August 16 edition of FOX News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, FOX News Channel managing editor and chief Washington correspondent Brit Hume complained that "except for FOX News here, no major news organization has reported on the specifics of" Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, a book that accuses Senator John Kerry (D-MA) of lying about his Vietnam service.

In fact, the book's co-author, John O'Neill, co-founder of the anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, has had the opportunity to state his allegations directly during several appearances on cable news networks in the weeks leading up to the book's release. And, as Media Matters for America has documented, many of O'Neill's demonstrably false allegations went unchallenged during his appearances on MSNBC's Scarborough Country and CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports. In addition to those appearances, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC have all run stories reporting on the allegations by O'Neill and his group.

Appearances by O'Neill:

  • MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, 8/12: Host Chris Matthews interviewed O'Neill, who falsely claimed that Kerry did not serve two tours of duty in Vietnam.

  • CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, 8/11: Host Wolf Blitzer interviewed O'Neill, who falsely claimed that Swift Boat Veterans "have no partisan ties."

  • MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 8/10: Guest host Pat Buchanan interviewed O'Neill, who gave an account of the combat incident for which Kerry was awarded a Bronze Star that contradicts both Kerry's official Bronze Star Citation and the firsthand account of Kerry crewmate Jim Rassmann.

Coverage of the allegations:

  • CNBC's Capital Report, 8/12: Report on O'Neill's allegation that Kerry lied about being in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.

  • MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 8/11: Report on O'Neill's allegation that Kerry lied about being in Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968.

  • ABC's Nightline, 8/9: Report on the Swift Boat Veterans ad, the upcoming book, and allegations that Kerry lied about medals.

  • NBC's The Chris Matthews Show, 8/8: Matthews posited that one of the veterans in the Swift Boat Veterans TV ad -- the doctor who claims "Kerry is lying about his first Purple Heart because I treated him for that injury" -- "could hurt" Kerry. "If the doctor said, 'I treated him, it was a scratch, he shouldn't have gotten a Purple Heart.' And then if he did get a Purple Heart, it just diminishes one of his medals," Matthews said.

Since Hume's statement, coverage of the allegations in Unfit for Command has continued:

  • Los Angeles Times, 8/17: A detailed summary of allegations against Kerry in the Swift Boat Veterans TV ad and in Unfit for Command.

  • MSNBC's Scarborough Country, 8/16: Twenty-minute debate between O'Neill and John Hurley, national director of Veterans for Kerry.

Posted In
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, 2004 Elections
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