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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Swift Boats, Part Deux

The "friends" of the GOP strike again. Why actually debate the issues, when you can just participate in a willful campaign of misinformation? (And by that I mean outright lying.)

Jerome Corsi, writing "Obama Nation" has once again sacrificed any sort of academic integrity he might have once had on the altar of political smear. Although I suspect it probably wasn't much.

Here's what Factcheck.org (a non-partisan political site) has to say:

Mary Matalin, the chief editor of the book's publisher, told the New York Times that the book is not political, but rather, "a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that." The prominent display of Corsi's academic title (he holds a Ph.D. in political science) seems clearly calculated to convey academic rigor. But as a scholarly work, "The Obama Nation" does not measure up. We judge it to be what a hack journalist might call a "paste-up job," gluing together snippets from here and there without much regard for their truthfulness or accuracy.

Corsi promises in his preface "to fully document all arguments and contentions I make, extensively footnoting all references, so readers can determine for themselves the truth and validity of the factual claims." Some of Corsi's claims do come complete with citations. But even a casual glance at Corsi's lengthy endnotes reveals that his "sources" include obscure Internet postings (which are themselves completely unsourced) and opinion columns from various conservative publications. In fact, on four occasions, Corsi cites himself as a source. Where Corsi does cite news sources, he sometimes presents only those that are consistent with his case while ignoring evidence that doesn't fit the picture he paints.

comprehensive review of all the false claims in Corsi's book would itself be a book. Our review touches only on a few of the more blatant examples.

I'm a big fan of Factcheck.org. I like to know if the things our politicians say are true, and sometimes it's difficult to actually discover the truth. And especially at this point when accusations are flying at the speed of light, it's hard to keep up!

I just wish we could get back to the issues. Tax cuts, health care, economy, foreign policy!!!

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