When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

October 23, 2004

O'Donnell vs. O'Neill


MSNBC's Scarborough Country was co-hosted tonight by Pat Buchanan and Larry O'Donnell, and their guest was Swiftvet John O'Neill. I just came in toward the latter part of the interview, but was treated to quite a show. Instead of allowing O'Neill to make a point O'Donnell deliberately yelled over him: "Don't let him talk! He's a liar. Everything in his book is a lie, and it's all been disproved! Liar, liar, liar, liar, etc., etc." It was quite awe-inspiring to see someone who supposedly has press legitimacy, and whose face most people identify as at least superficially objective simply doing his best to prevent a guest from making a point by drowning him out. During the exchange O'Neill calmly, and politely, asked if he was going to be allowed to finish his statement, and finally, after an intervention by Buchanan, made his point about evidence that Kerry was the author of his own (unsigned) "after action reports."

The effect of the exchange really went far beyond the claims and statements about Kerry themselves, however, because O'Donnell (as one might expect) did nothing to back up his accusations against O'Neill and the other Swiftvets, as though the volume of his voice alone were enough proof. It was, perhaps, one of the strangest and most extraordinary displays of incivility by a "news person" that I have ever seen. Right off the scale.

I'd suggest that the Swiftvets run part of the sequence in one of their ads to demonstrate the real quality of their opposition. Many of these men earned medals more impressive than Kerry's (including one Medal of Honor), and most served far longer in harm's way. This sort of treatment is simply disgraceful. There's no excuse for it.

Update: Daily Recycler has a video excerpt. (Hat tip: Cap'n Ed)

Launched by Demosophist at October 23, 2004 04:52 AM

Retaliatiory Launches

A worthy idea but the election is about 10 days away. What's the turnaround time for the creation and broadcasting of a TV commercial? ^_^;

Posted by: The Snark Who Was Really a Boojum at October 23, 2004 10:16 AM

So let me get this straight. You are pissed off and whining because someone called John O'Neill on his lies? And called a liar, a liar?

Silly Bushies.

Posted by: Rob at October 26, 2004 09:39 AM


The substantive bitch here is that he didn't actually call O'Neill on anything. He just shouted abuse and didn't actually get around to making any comments of substance.

A similar image might be President Clinton on a talk show with someone shouting Lewinski! Vince Foster! Whitewater! Draft dodger! over the top of anything President Clinton was trying to say.

So, if the lack of substance is not something to be deplored, then I guess I am silly.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at October 26, 2004 04:10 PM

And just to add to BRD's point, I don't think anyone has made a substantive criticism of O'Neill's book since it came out. Basically nothing but name-calling, of people most of whom have military records far more impressive than Kerry's. At least in BRD's example ("Whitewater! Draft dodger!") the accusations were specific, even if not backed up by any facts. Of course the initial "fact" that O'Donnell placed in evidence was that the after action report wasn't "signed." But, of course, it wasn't signed by anyone else, either... and O'Donnell simply couldn't afford to allow O'Neill to actually respond to the charge... because the facts of the case are so damning, for Kerry.

Now, the question is are Kerry's recent exaggerations: about his clotch with the UNSC, claims of a secret draft and Soc Sec privatization, the loss of explosives that were never there to lose, etc., etc., going to cost him anything in terms of votes.

If you look carefully at his candidacy... there's nothing but vapour there. He's either on both sides of every issue, or he's backing up his case with fabrications and exaggerations. It's quite a show.

Posted by: Demosophist at October 26, 2004 04:49 PM

If you disagree that John O'Neill is a liar then you are a tool. He has been PROVEN to be a liar.

Posted by: Rob at October 27, 2004 03:30 AM

Proven to be a liar, eh? Interesting if true, but merely saying doesn't make it so. If you aren't dealing in alternate history would you like to specify when and how this was "proven"? With links and evidence to back your assertions up? o_O

Posted by: The Snark Who Was Really a Boojum at October 28, 2004 07:39 AM

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