Parshall and Gaffney mischaracterized Bolton opponents as partisan Bush haters, omitted key facts about Bolton's career

Parshall and Gaffney mischaracterized Bolton opponents as partisan Bush haters, omitted key facts about Bolton's career


Right-wing evangelical radio host Janet Parshall and guest Frank Gaffney, neoconservative Center for Security Policy director and former Reagan administration acting assistant secretary of defense, baselessly accused those who oppose the nomination of undersecretary of state John Bolton to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations of partisanship and bad faith.

Opening an April 5 interview of Gaffney on her syndicated radio program, Parshall asserted, "People who think the U.N. should rule the world will have some serious problems with John Bolton."

While leaving those people unnamed, Parshall and Gaffney went on to claim without evidence that 63 former U.S. ambassadors and foreign service officers who signed a letter opposing Bolton's nomination were motivated by partisanship and animosity toward President Bush:

GAFFNEY: The people who are attacking John Bolton are very clearly really attacking George Bush. ... It is President Bush's attitude about American sovereignty and power that is objectionable to this group of elites, evidenced among others recently by this letter from 60-odd ex-diplomats, foreign service officers in the main, who clearly hate this president.

PARSHALL: Absolutely.

Parshall added that opposition to Bolton's nomination isn't really about Bolton at all:

PARSHALL: This is no longer looking at the candidate and his or her qualifications; this is about using that individual as a bludgeoning tool against an administration you've got serious issues with.

Contrary to Parshall and Gaffney's characterization of the letter's signatories, 45 of the former foreign service members -- more than 70 percent -- served under Republican administrations. They include President Reagan's former ambassador to the Soviet Union, Arthur Hartman, and his deputy ambassador to the U.N., Patricia M. Byrne. Eight of the letter's signatories served under President George H. W. Bush.

The letter mentioned President George W. Bush only once, noting "with appreciation the moves of President Bush at the beginning of his second term to improve U.S. relations with the countries of the European Union and of the United Nations."

Most of the letter highlighted Bolton's career of opposing arms control treaties -- from his successful campaign for U.S. withdrawal from the ABM treaty to his instrumental role in the U.S. withdrawal from the formulation of a verification system for the Biological Weapons Convention.

According to an article in American Outlook, the quarterly magazine of the conservative Hudson Institute, Janet Parshall's America "reaches 3.5 million listeners five days a week." The show is syndicated by Salem Radio Network.

Posted In
Government, Nominations & Appointments
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