The Corner

Discrediting the Discreditors

I haven’t read Jerome Corsi’s book, Obama Nation, so I’m not going to defend it from the criticism it’s been getting. However, I can say with confidence that much of the criticism it’s been getting — yesterday in the NYT and today in the Washington Post – seems itself suspect. What we have here is the mainstream media attempting to discredit attempts to discredit Obama, and in the process they are discrediting themselves. Today’s Washington Post story “New Books Aim To Unweave the Obama Narrative,” by Eli Saslow contains this gem:

In 2004, Corsi co-wrote “Unfit for Command,” in which Swift boat veterans criticized Sen. John F. Kerry’s Vietnam War record. That book was also widely disproved.

Um, really? While I think it’s true that not every claim surrounding the dozens and dozens of questions the Swift Vets’ book posed about Kerry’s military record is 100 percent accurate, saying it was “widely disproved” is a bit much. Does the Post have some compelling explanation for how Kerry earned three purple hearts in the span of four months without spending a day in the infirmary? Can they explain how his nonexistent trip to Cambodia was “seared” in his memory? The way Kerry unfairly smeared his commanding officer in Brinkley’s Tour of Duty book such that corrections had to be made for the paperback? Can they explain how he testified to Congress of widespread atrocities committed by American soldiers, entirely without evidence? His high-level participation in an anti-war protest group that spoke openly of assassinating U.S. Senators? etc. At some point, people ought to acknowledge that the Swift Vets charges were effective because there was, in fact, a lot of truth behind them.

What’s going on with the Swift Vets is nothing less than an attempt to completely rewrite history. Once the media is done tar and feathering the swift vets understandable concerns about Kerry’s miltary record as entirely invented — they then have the gall to use the swift vets example as an example to dismiss all other criticism of Democratic politicians.

Suffering collateral damage here is our own David Freddoso, whose book The Case Against Barack Obama I’m more familiar with and I can vouch for. Also in the Washington Post article:

Authors of the other anti-Obama books were similarly forthcoming about their motives. They wanted not just to analyze Obama but to debunk him, they wrote. In the introduction to “The Case Against Barack Obama,” Freddoso says he felt compelled by duty: “As it became clear that he was going to win the Democratic nomination for president, it seemed irresponsible to stand by as so many were offering admiration, piety, even worship to — of all things — a politician. Because the idea of Barack Obama as a reformer is a great lie.”

Saslow doesn’t say it, but the clear implication is that Freddoso’s motives are suspect. Since when does a member of the press who suggests that a politician shouldn’t be lionized get accused of having suspect motives? As for Freddoso’s suggestion that Obama as reformer is a “great lie” — that is a verifiable, if also debatable, claim. And it’s one that Freddoso makes compellingly and at length in his book. I’d love to see spectacle that would ensue if Saslow stopped attacking Freddoso’s motives and countered his book by making the case that a card carrying member of the Chicago political machine and unaccomplished Senator is a reformer.

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