Since Jerome R. Corsi, PhD, co-author of the Regnery book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry, has come under scrutiny for comments first exposed by Media Matters for America on August 6, Corsi's co-author, John E. O'Neill has attempted to downplay Corsi's contribution, claiming that Corsi “simply helped us in editing the book.” But the preface, acknowledgments, and book jacket of Unfit, as well as the publisher's promotional materials for the book, indicate a very different role for Corsi. The preface in particular notes that Corsi and O'Neill's friendship dates back 30 years and says, “After reconnecting, they decided to work together to write this book.”
During an appearance on MSNBC's Scarborough Country on August 10 with substitute host Pat Buchanan, when asked by Buchanan about some of Corsi's more bigoted statements, O'Neill downplayed Corsi's role in writing the book, claiming that he was “simply an editor and not really any sort of co-author” and complained about “stories in circulation about his e-mails where he made stupid statements.”
On August 11, on CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, when Blitzer asked O'Neill if he would like to “disassociate” himself from Corsi's comments “which appear to be anti-Muslim, anti-Jewish, anti-Catholic,” O'Neill quickly responded, “Oh, absolutely” -- but then O'Neill proceeded again to downplay Corsi's role. “Corsi acted as sort of an editor of our book. ... He simply helped us in editing the book,” O'Neill said. When Blitzer returned, asking, “All right, but he's listed as the co-author of the book, isn't he?” O'Neill admitted that Corsi was listed as the book's co-author but again claimed that he performed only “a function in editing, in -- particularly in the second half of the book, in historical research, because he had done a great deal of research on the anti-war movement, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, but not in the Vietnam section of the book.”
The preface to Unfit contains three paragraphs: The first describes O'Neill; the second describes Corsi; and the third details their friendship -- which dates back 30 years to their college days, when “the two competed against each other in intercollegiate debate” -- and notes that O'Neill and Corsi “decided to work together to write this book.”
The book's acknowledgements section is written in the plural, suggesting that both O'Neill and Corsi thank those who contributed to the book: “We particularly appreciate...”; “We recognize that...”; “We, as so many others, are indebted...” The acknowledgements section also refers to "our work" and "our words."
Contrary to O'Neill's assertion that Corsi only edited “particularly” “the second half of the book ... but not in the Vietnam section of the book,” according to the book jacket (as well as Unfit's "BOOK DETAILS," which are posted on the Regnery website), O'Neill and “his coauthor” Corsi “interviewed dozens of veterans” and “meticulously documented” Kerry's record:
In this stunning new book, John O'Neill and his coauthor Dr. Jerome Corsi (an expert on the anti-Vietnam War movement) have interviewed dozens of veterans who served with Kerry and have meticulously documented a shameful record of betrayal and deception on the part of John Kerry.
The book jacket also includes brief profiles and photographs of both authors. Both also contributed dedications.