On The New York Times' weblog The Caucus, Kate Phillips wrote that “swift-boating became a verb for negative ads” during the 2004 presidential election. However, the group behind the ads, the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth, did much more than just run “negative ads” -- they launched a widespread smear campaign against Sen. John Kerry based on lies, factual distortions, and baseless attacks on Kerry's Vietnam War record and personal life.
In a September 13 entry on The New York Times' political weblog The Caucus, Times reporter Kate Phillips wrote that, in the 2004 presidential election, “swift-boating became a verb for negative ads, coined after the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, attacked Senator John Kerry's [D-MA] military record and was heavily financed by leading Republicans.” In fact, as Media Matters for America documented, the Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth did much more than just run “negative ads” during the 2004 presidential election -- they launched a widespread smear campaign against Kerry based on lies, factual distortions, and baseless attacks on Kerry's Vietnam War record and personal life.
Media Matters was among the first to use “swiftboat” as a verb, in reference to Ed Klein's poorly sourced, factually inaccurate, gay-baiting book about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President (Sentinel, June 2005). Klein's publisher, Sentinel, announced before the book's release: “Just as the Swift Boat Veterans convinced millions of voters that John Kerry lacked the character to be president, Klein's book will influence everyone who is sizing up the character of Hillary Clinton.”
Phillips's weblog entry dealt with a recent advertisement by the Vote Vets Political Action Committee attacking Sen. George R. Allen (R-VA), which Phillips claimed “promises a new ad cycle during which soldiers on the Democrats' side will swift-boat Republicans.”