Swiftboating is American political jargon for an ad hominem attack against a political figure, coordinated by an independent group, for the benefit of an established political force.
The name comes from the portrayal of John Kerry's decorated military experience in Vietnam by the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth organization. Its ads against Democratic presidential candidate Senator John F. Kerry in the 2004 presidential election campaign alleged that Senator Kerry was being untruthful in his representation of his military record, and was thus unfit to lead. Although the Swift Boat Veterans were ostensibly an independent group, they were a clear political windfall for Kerry's opponent, George W. Bush.
Swiftboating frequently refers to a campaign that uses viral marketing techniques to sell the exaggerations. By using credible-sounding sources to make sensational and difficult-to-disprove accusations against the opponent, the campaign leverages media tendencies to give the story far more play than it would otherwise receive. Mostly used as a pejorative, the term has gained currency among liberal writers, while its appropriateness as a description of political debate has been questioned by some conservative commentators.
 Other terms used to describe political attacks "Borking" Originated from Democratic opposition to the nomination of Robert Bork to the United States Supreme Court, 1987 Character assassination "demonizing the opposition" (coined in 2003 by Paul Krugman to describe Karl Rove's methods)  "politics of personal destruction" (frequently used during Clinton's impeachment hearings)  ad hominem attack Fair Game (Scientology)  Examples of the use of "swiftboating" "Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war. The Swift Boating is especially vicious if the critic has more battle scars than a president who connived to serve stateside and a vice president who had "other priorities" during Vietnam." –Frank Rich in the August 21, 2005 New York Times "Swiftboating Hillary" "Swiftboating Cindy Sheehan" "The chickenhawk attack machine (Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, etc.) has identified Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, as a threat worthy of a tarring and feathering by the swift-boat machinery... Swiftboating will not work on her" "Swiftboating the Crazies" "Swiftboating again" "Dean is being swiftboated." "I do think the race offered one good opportunity for out-of-state Dems and Progressives, and that was to calmly write to newspapers and try to talk to receptive radio hosts about the swiftboating of the candidate." "I’m glad the efforts to swiftboat Paul Hackett have been exposed for what they are." Fox News, Nov. 18, 2005  O'Reilly Factor, Fox News Channel, Aug. 22, 2005: "The swift boating of Cindy Sheehan, that is the subject of this evening's 'Talking Points Memo'." (LexisNexis) Swiftboat ('swift bOt); transitive verb: (1) To accuse a public figure of questionable conduct without the benefit of physical evidence, usually by an entity informally associated with a person or entity benefiting from the accusation. Noun: (2) An unsubstantiated charge made against a public figure or organization, usually made by a proxy entity. See also: Smear, hatchet job, character assassination. (3) An organization dedicated to swiftboating on behalf of a respectable organization. (4) archaic: a type of boat used by the United States Navy to patrol the shores of Vietnam from 1965 to 1970; see also PCF. 
It's on the Daily Howler So I don't Have to write it Click here for the entire post:
THE DUKE’S GREATER OFFENSE: You really have to be a fool to want to sit on antique commodes, but Duke Cunningham fills the bill nicely. Which should come as no surprise, of course. As Marty Kaplan reminds us at the Huffington Post, here was this same stupid man in the fall of ’92: Oct. 9, 1992: The Los Angeles Times quotes Cunningham as urging President Bush to attack Bill Clinton's patriotism, telling him:
"This is an issue that will kill Clinton when people realize what a traitor he is to this country. In some countries, if something like this came out, he would be tried as a traitor. Tokyo Rose had nothing over Clinton."
It’s hard to be a bigger fool—though Cunningham, perched on his antique pot, may have finally managed. But now we see a nasty truth—the fellow who called Clinton a “traitor” was also, in his spare time, selling off his nation’s defense contracts. Here’s our suggestion to liberals and Dems: Cunningham’s bribes are a major offense. But a greater offense, by far, is the sheer stupidity he and his kind have introduced into our public discourse for the past several decades. From Rush on down, they’ve played the voters for fools, from their stupid claims about Clinton-the-traitor to their stupid claims on the war against Christmas. With Cunningham, we now have a “teaching opportunity”—a chance to help the voters see how stupid these clownish claims have been all along.
We’ve suggested, for years, that Dems should just say it: These people are treating the voters like fools. For year after year, they’ve made a joke of our discourse, robbing us of our greatest possession. We’ve suggested this theme because it’s true and important, and because Dems and libs have no other Big Story. Amazing, isn’t it, to look back now and see what this fool was saying back then? To see the utterly fake, corrupt way he dragged our lives and minds through the gutter? It isn’t too late to complain about this—to help voters see, at long last, how frauds like Cunningham played them for fools in the endless stupid slanders of Clinton.
Free Ethiopia I was walking past the federal building in downtown SD and saw some Ethiopian and Ethiopian-American human rights activists who were opposed to the repressive regime running the African country. They told me they were in favor of HR 4423, which is sponsored by Chris Smith (R-NJ) and asked if I could give it a plug on my blog. Mission accomplished. I'm glad to have helped.
Quick note: One thing I miss about LA is that on Fairfax right below Wilshire are some great Ethiopian restaurants.
My Inauspicious Film Debut I was checking out what teams are going to the Ohio high school football finals and I noticed that Massillon Washington is vying for the Division I championship. That led to an outpouring of good memories because MW High School was the location of the beginning of my film career. In 1999, a friend of mine, Frank Cromer, told me that he got a gig as a production assistant for a documentary about high school football in Massillon (the Canton/Massillon area is a hotbed for high school football in a state where football is very hot). Frank offered to pay me a nominal amount to tag along and help out. I told him I was going to do it for free. So for three Fridays, I played hooky from work and helped film high school games--the finished film turned out to be the highly-regarded Go Tigers!
It was an awe-inspiring experience. Although I did lower level production work (carrying the tripod, getting permission to go places for the crew, taking notes, keeping track of time for the crew), I had a blast and it encouraged me to move to LA and continue to do film. I'm also in the film--actually the deleted scenes of the DVD. I won't tell you where because it was a bad hair day.
Film Notes A while ago, I told you that I planned to see the political doc This Divided State. However, I missed it when it was in the theaters and my new place in San Diego doesn't have a DVD player so I have not seen it yet. However, on the film's web site, they have the first 26 minutes of the film available for viewing.
Earlier this morning, I was emailed a friend and was recommended that she see my favorite film of 2004, Overnight (Napoleon Dynamite was a close second). Click here to read a mini-review of it that I wrote after I saw it.
Since I moved to San Diego almost two months ago, I have not seen one film at the theater--even though I have a free movie pass to Pacific Theaters. Nothing hit me.
Tammy Bruce Update In my recent review of Tammy Bruce's book The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists, I kept it brief because the book wasn't worth spending a whole lot of time. One of the many statements in the book that I knew were false but didn't have the time to deal with were Bruce's one-sided reports of liberal/Democratic violence against Republicans during the 2004 election season. After listing some examples of Democratic violence and vandalism against Bush supporters and local Bush campaign headquarters, Bruce smugly wrote:
This is not a symptom of the decline of the entire electoral system. Nothing comparable occurred at Democrat [sic] party headquarters or to liberal activists.
Oh yeah? Tell that to her, Tammy. David Neiwert addressed similar claims by Michelle Malkin in her latest Regnery cut-and-paste screed Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild. Click here and here for a debunking of Bruce's claims that nothing comparable occurred by Republicans against Democrats. I find it incredible that Bruce went on hiatus from writting her column for Chris Ruddy's NewsMax (it was also carried by Traitor Horowitz's FrontPageMag) because she was taking the time to do meticulous research for The New American Revolution; a quick Google search would have put the lie to Bruce's claim that violence and intimidation during the 2004 campaign were directed only against Republicans.
Haw Haw Haw! It's International Chick Tract Day! Click here for more details:
There are four things you should do on November 22nd to celebrate International Chick Tract Day. They are:
1. Use some outdated expression in a fruitless effort to sound "hip." Good examples include, "Far out", "That's heavy man", or "This will blow your mind!"
2. Laugh really hard at something that isn't particularly funny while pointing at it and guffawing, "Haw-haw-haw!"
3. Leave a Chick tract for that special someone who is least likely to have any interest in Christianity. Good examples include rock stars, prison bullies, or religious leaders of non-Christian faiths. The more impossible it is to imagine they will read it and be converted by it, the more probable it is that they will fall on all fours and recite the Sinner's prayer by the end of the story (at least, that's how it happens in the tracts).
4. Consider new ways the Jesuits might be plotting against the United States, the Protestant churches, or Chick Publications. Alert your friends to any likely conspiracies you uncover.
Oh, and need we mention you should also read and enjoy the same tract before you give it away? (You might as well get your full 14 cents worth.) Haw-haw-haw! [Correction by Scoobie: Chick tracts are now 15 cents. Bummer]
I simply don't have the time to give a full review for Skorski's book (the book also doesn't deserve much attention), but it's pretty thin stuff. One thing I noticed in the Media Matters article that piqued my curiosity was that the book was published by WND Books, a division of WorldNetDaily, a wing-nut web site that carries the writings of Hal Lindsey and thief Jerry Falwell. WorldNetDaily is run by Joseph Farah, one of the main players behind the Scaife-funded attempts to implicate the Clintons in the tragic death of Vince Foster (click here for a post that give more details about Farah's involvement in this tawdry scheme). Farah also was a major proponent of Scaife's paranoid urban legend, the Clinton Body Count (click here for a Farah article on it--this guy is completely nuts).
Because the book was published by Farah, it didn't surprise me when I read the book's acknowledgements. Skorski writes, "First I have to thank G-d for giving me the strength needed to overcome the hurdles we all go through in life." It struck me as ironic that Skorski uses the word "G-d" instead of "God"--apparently out of reverence for the Almighty. However, it is blasphemous for someone to thank God for such a slanted book (the two examples of Franken's alleged dishonesty that were debunked by the Media Matters article are in the book). Also, it is an affront to God to also include thanks to lowlifes like Farah and David Bossie (click here and here for brief primers on Bossie; be prepared to throw up).
What are Franken's lies according to Skorski? Well, once Franken applauded former Senator Max Cleland for his military sacrifices and mistakenly said that it was a Viet Cong grenade that badly injured Cleland, not one from a fellow American soldier. In Skorski's mind, that is a lie for which Franken should be excoriated. That's about the best Skorski can do. Ironically, Skorski devoted a chapter of the book defending Ann Coulter (e.g., Skorski defended Coulter's assertion that "liberals hate America"), even though Coulter not only was wrong about the circumstances behind Cleland's injuries but she also denigrated Cleland's service record.
Book Review I read Tammy Bruce's new book The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists. I put it on its own site in order to get a higher rating for a Google search. It's a fairly long review. In case you don't have the time to read the whole review, here's a condensed version of the review: I could shit a better book than The New American Revolution: Using the Power of the Individual to Save Our Nation from Extremists.
I'm Back Sorry about the dearth of posting. I have a huge post later tonight. Quick note: I heard that Playboy will have a forthcoming pictorial of women of the top ten party schools--San Diego State is one.
Al Franken in San Diego I saw Al Franken's radio appearance at the House of Blues in the Gaslamp Quarter this morning. I had to leave around 10:30 because I had an appointment. Al was funny and incisive.
Quick note: Sorry about the dearth of material written (I'll explain later).