The Associated Press and The Washington Post quoted a spokesman for the American Issues Project, which has produced an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama, without mentioning that he was employed in 2004 by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that led a smear campaign against Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 election.
Reporting on an ad by the American Issues Project (AIP) attacking Sen. Barack Obama for his association with William Ayers, the Associated Press and The Washington Post quoted the group's spokesman in August 21 articles without mentioning that he was employed in 2004 by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that led a smear campaign against Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 election.
Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn wrote that the American Issues Project has a “past link to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign” and “wants to spend $2.8 million on an ad questioning Democrat Barack Obama's relationship to a founder of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground.” The article then reported that one of AIP's board members, Ed Failor, is a former paid McCain campaign consultant. A Washington Post article about the ad that appeared in its campaign diary The Trail also reported that Failor did paid work for McCain in Iowa, collecting $50,000 through July 2007. Both articles quoted AIP spokesman Christian Pinkston making assurances that Failor was no longer connected to the McCain campaign. However, neither article mentioned that Pinkston is founder of a public relations firm that was employed in 2004 by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that ran a campaign of false and baseless smears against Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War record in 2004, including a book co-written by discredited anti-Obama author Jerome Corsi.
By contrast, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times both reported in August 22 articles about the American Issues Project's ad that Pinkston was involved with the Swift Boat campaign. New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, after reporting Failor's connection to the McCain campaign and quoting Pinkston saying, “This has nothing to do with McCain,” wrote: “Mr. Pinkston's firm, the Pinkston Group, had worked for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that ran advertisements against Senator John Kerry when he ran for president in 2004.” A Media Matters for America search through Swift Boat Veterans' expenditure disclosure forms on the Internal Revenue Service's website confirmed the Pinkston Group's employment.