There is a definition those on the Left and many in the media have been using for the term “swiftboating.” They use the term to refer to a smear of a political opponent with unsubstantiated charges. Many in the media even specifically refer to the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth about John Kerry as unsubstantiated. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If I were to use the term “swiftboating,” (which I don’t) I would use it to refer to whistle blowers who organize and use both paid and free media to spread the truth about a person or issue that is being ignored by mainstream reporters.
Bruce Kesler knows more about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth than anyone I know and he sets the record straight on the whole “swiftboating” issue. He even goes so far as to give the dictionary definitions of “substantiated” and “unsubstantiated” since so many don’t seem to be using them properly. Bruce removes any doubt that the majority of the Swift Boat Vet claims were substantiated. (I know I will get tons of disagreement from those on the Left over that statement, but I think the evidence is that compelling.) He then shares his correspondence with Dan Okrent, New York Times “public editor” on the subject.
Next read John Hinderaker’s extensive walk through the Swift Boat ads, in which he makes the case that not only have very few of the claims in those ads been successfully challenged, but that some have not even been disputed..