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This has got to stop.
A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military awards.
So how many of the Swift Boat Liars actually served on the same vessel as Kerry?

The story was written by Tom Raum.

Let them hear it:
Don't call him a whore. Just point out the mistake. Ask him not to make it again. Win them over with politeness, not spite.

Update: Emailers are being told that the story has been updated. You can stop writing :)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 07:45 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  asdf (none)
    it is an intentional obfuscation...
    saying " men who served on the same vessels"
    is technically correct because most of them did
    serve on swift boats.  

    however, it leaves the impression that they
    served in the same boat and is irresponsible
    because of that..

    •  Raum Replied (none)
      I emailed, Raum replied.  He says the story has been corrected.
      •  He lied (none)
        I just checked, and the story has not been corrected.

        "Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" - Salvor Hardin

        by Zackpunk on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:26:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I got a reply, too. (none)
        "The mistake was caught and fixed. Thanks. Tom Rau"

        That was it.

        What mistake? His slanted journalism? I see no difference in the article...

        Time for a reply reply...

      •  Nothing corrected as of 12:24 EST (none)

        "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

        by LionelEHutz on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:21:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't lie about the correction, calm down (none)
        Look at the latest version of the story, not the old version of the story.

        From what I understand, the AP puts out revised and corrected versions of stories throughout the day.  What people here are looking at is the old story posted in the morning.  You have to look at the later versions.  You wouldn't keep looking at your newspaper, and be angry that it wasn't somehow magically corrected, would you?  That's kind of what you are doing if you keep going to the old Yahoo! URL for the morning story; if you go there next year, I am sure you will still find the original morning story.

        I wouldn't expect the AP to correct the story by modifying it everywhere it was originally posted.  How would you expect them to be able to do that?  It's not like every AP outlet dynamically links to the AP to pull the story in, they most probably get it once when it is posted, and then put it on their site.

        Plus, even if they did have the ability to edit a story after it was posted, at every Web site in the world where it was posted, everyone here would complain about how the AP was trying to hide the truth from people by revising their stories after they were published.

        Don't call the guy a liar just because you keep looking at the same URL, and the story is, surprise, the same.

        •  Not the same story (none)
          While it contains some of the same info, the "latest version" you have linked to does not appear to be the same story.
          •  The story is revised as new things happen (none)
            The story is generally about the opening of the convention, and what the Republicans are saying there.  When the original story was posted before 9 AM, the main things to report were McCain's appearance early in the morning on CBS's "The Early Show", Cheney's early morning appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America", and Bush's pretaped interview shown in the morning on the "Today" show.

            Later in the day, after the convention opened and people were speaking there, the reporter added things said at the convention by Ed Gillespie, Dennis Hastert, Michael Bloomberg, etc.  The reporter couldn't put these things in the first story at 8:49 AM, because they hadn't happened yet.  The convention didn't open until 10 AM.

            This is why the later version does have some of the same info, yet does not appear to be the same story.  New things are added as they happen, some earlier things are kept, and the story is revised.

        •  Slate (none)
          I think Slate has an excellent correction system.  They simply fix the mistake and put an "*" next to it.  The * is a link, and if you click on it, you see a footnote describing the correction.  You can see this techique in the 3rd paragraph here.

          This post is just a preview. Get the full effect at

          by TrentL on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 10:44:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (none)
      It is more or less correct through the use of the term "vessels" but at the same time, it's misleading.

      "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry, 1971

      by Demise on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:39:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Its plural (none)
    that's how he "gets away with it", unless it was just an oversight.
  •  Not so bad (none)
    "same vessels" not "same vessel."
  •  Well... (none)
    I think that when this author mentions "same vessels," he is referring to the fact that these men actually did serve on the same vessels--swift boats--as John Kerry. To a close reader, he's certainly not implying that these guys were Kerry's shipmates, but I wouldn't be surprised if the phrasing was chosen in order to be deliberately misleading to a person who doesn't know that although the SBVT served on the same classification of boat as Kerry, they never actually served together.

    "There are forty people in this world, and five of them are hamburgers." --Frank Zappa

    by littlefreed on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 07:50:30 AM PDT

  •  Done. (none)
    Even though it says same vessels, it is still way too sneaky, and deserves a correction.
  •  It IS really sneaky (4.00)
    And I think that the reporter must have known what he was doing.  Nevertheless, I was polite in my letter:

    In your story, "McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning" (, you state that "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth [is] made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam."  In fact, none of the SBVT served on the same boat as Kerry.  To the extent that you were trying to say that the SBVT served on Swift boats -- the same KIND of vessel that Kerry served on -- you probably should have chosen a less ambiguous phrasing, as the clear implication of your sentence is that the SBVT served on Kerry's boats.  This is an important distinction, as the credibility of the SBVT would be far greater if the had actually served on the same boats as Kerry.

    •  Good Template (none)
      This is a very good template for how to initially approach journalists who write something that should have more clarity.

      As someone posted earlier on this thread, he's apparently corrected the story.

    •  I was much nicer than you. (none)
      Maybe I wasn't nicer. I just re-read it and I think I sound a little passive-aggressive.

      Dear Tom,
      I read your recent article titled:
      'McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning'.

      The article was well written but there was one crucial error where you state that:

        "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for
      Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam......."

      In reality, none of the members of SBVFT ever served on the same vessel as Kerry. At best they served on other vessels in his squadron but never on the same boat.

      Those who did serve with Kerry on his boat/vessel are unanimous in their praise for him as a commander and all attest to his bravery under fire.

      This is a small point I'm sure, and purely
      unintentional on your part but I just wanted to bring it to your attention.

      "Never believe anything until it's officially denied."

      by Manix on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:46:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Washington Office (none)
    He works out of the DC Office:

    Phone #: 202 776 9400

  •  FYI (none)
    Mr. Traum- I am writing to express my concern over a recent report involving the group of Swift Boat veterans who oppose presidential candidate John Kerry. In your report, you note that these men "served on the same vessels" as John Kerry. That is simply inaccurate. They did not serve on John Kerry's boat, and I would request that you note this clearly in future reportage.
  •  Letter sent (none)
    I read your article on Yahoo this morning.  I was surprised to see this paragraph:

    "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military awards. "

    You are obviously not aware that only 1 person from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth served on the same vessel as Sen. Kerry.  And that person was not there during any of the times Kerry won a medal.  I realize that that is not the impression that the Swift Boat veterans have been giving in their misleading ads and interviews, but it is important that journalists such as yourself verify any facts prior to printing an article.  The public must be able to believe what journalists say is unbiased, fair and, most importantly, true.

    Thank you for your time.

    Thank goodness they didn't ask Bush to spell sovereign.

    by Liberalpalooza on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:01:54 AM PDT

  •  same TYPES of vessels (none)
    NOT the same vessels. It is not correct the way it is stated.
  •  i have an off topic question (none)
    i've been trying very hard not to read the note, but i can't help myself, its like cigarettes. i keep thinking, just this once! i swear i'll be fine! so anyway, i read it again today and the following caught my eye:

    "If the already wobbling Kerry campaign can take the pressure of being behind -- both in the CW and actually. (Note Note -- we are being kind with "wobbling" -- we could have gone with "disension-wracked" or something comparable.)"

    "Will John Kerry's campaign use its week (mostly) out of the spotlight to make some staff changes? (Note we are too polite to use the words "significant shake-up.")"

    so my questions are: why do they describe the kerry campaign as wobbling and why are staff changes being made? does it have to do w/ the response to swift boat maybe?

    •  This is infuriating (none)
      All of these professional political analysts know full well that this month was Kerry's weakest spot where he is at a huge financial disadvantage. They should be saying that emerging from this month still tied with Bush is a sign of a brilliant operation. I was sputtering mad when CNN "called" the race for Bush this weekend minimizing battleground state polls and citing recent ad buys as a big factor in their analysis. They said this knowing full-well that Kerry was not into ad buys this month because he is already on the limited fixed federal funding. Next week when he and Bush are on an equal financial footing they will pick up again. (I noticed this funding gap was not one of the finance reform items McCain is pushing in the latest "muzzle the 527s" rhetoric.). Well, at least they are not calling Bush the "Comeback Kid".
    •  A Note For The Note (none)
      I enjoy reading The Note; I particularly liked The Note during the primaries last year and early this year.

      One thing I've never liked about The Note: The too-cool-for-school hipster schlock.

      Some days I just want to ask "What?!? Did iTunes not have enough Modest Mouse and Bright Eyes to satisfy your smug hipsterness today? So you need to take it out on some political candidate or campaign or another?"

      They'll be relevant as long as they don't bite the angst-ridden pale hand that feeds them. But they're getting awfully close to doing precisely that.

      •  Amen (none)
        I hate Modest Mouse and everything associated with Modest Mouse. Makes me want to go back to high school, but this time as a jock, just beating the hell out of everyone wearing an ironic t-shirt.

        In fact, I should switch to the Republican Party. I guarantee that no one who's voting for Bush listens to Modest Mouse or even knows who Modest Mouse is.

        Fucking Modest Mouse.

        Jim Morrison lives.

    •  its a meme (none)
      I read a letter to the editor in the Seattle Times today about its recent endorsement of JFK, and the letter described the Kerry campaign as "imploding".

      Wait, isn't that the BUSH campaign?  Seriously... hes the freaking incumbent and they haven't managed numbers anywhere near what they need to be competitive as the undecideds decide that they really don't like the shrub.

      "I just live forever, there just is no end / I just trust the oppression like I trust yr friends." (I got a) Catholic Block, by Sonic Youth

      by Demosthenes on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:36:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks for your answers (none)
      i thought there might be some truth to it as i recently read something about john bringing on some people from clinton's campaign, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

      i just know we're going to need to be as tough as nails for the next two months. john's won a brief reprieve from the attacks because of the convention, but you know rove is gonna come out guns blazing come next week. in particular, i hope kerry headquarters is armed and ready to deal with the attacks on john because of involvement in the vietnam protest.

  •  My email to Raum (none)
    Dear Mr. Raum,

    Today you wrote:

    "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military awards."

    Of course, this is not true---none of the SBVT served on Kerry's boat.   In fact, the men who did serve on Kerry's boat back the official Navy view of these events and not the SBVT advertisements.

    Please correct this error.

  •  My letter (none)

    I'd like to point out a mistake in your article.  Instead of saying "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam" you should have said that they served on the same "type of vessels as Kerry".  

    One in fact did serve on the same vessel that Kerry served on, but that was after Kerry had left Vietnam.

    Your mistake was easy to make, this group (SBVFT) tends to use confusing language to hide their false statements.

  •  Mine: (none)
    A little unconscious mistake on your part, and misleading:

    The Swift Boats for Truth guys "served on the same vessels" as John Kerry in the same way Captain Kirk and John Glenn both flew spaceships.  To not point out what should be patently obvious - that almost to a man, these guys had no knowledge of Kerry in combat, is journalistic misconduct.

    Please correct!

  •  Here's what I sent Raum (none)
    Um, I hate to burst your bubble, but none of the SB guys "served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam."  All of those who did support Kerry's version of the facts -- you know what facts are, right, you know, the events that actually happened, rather than the revised version, 35 years later?  Your story is wrong, and you need to correct it.  Thank you.

    We made a promise, we swore we'd always remember: no retreat, baby, no surrender -- Bruce Springsteen jsmdlawyer

    by jsmdlawyer on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:19:48 AM PDT

  •  i sent mine! (none)
    Please be a little more careful with your reporting. While what you say is technically true, that some of the Swift Boat Veterans did in fact serve on the "same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam," this is a highly misleading statement. It has been well established that either the SBV served on the same vessels AFTER Kerry did, or served on SEPARATE vessels from Kerry at the same time. Those who served closest to Kerry, i.e. who served on the same vessels AT THE SAME TIME, corroborate the Democrat nominee's version of events, as does the official Navy documentation. To question those Navy documents is to question everyone who got a medal at that time, including some friends who are very near and dear to me.

    I find it troubling that the media continue to lend legitimacy to the SBV after all of their accusations have been completely undercut by their own prior statements and testimony, and while the President has yet to release all of his military records despite promising to do so on Meet the Press months ago. Saying that Kerry is the one who has made his service the issue doesn't cut it in my eyes, as the President has made claims about his own service on his own website that have turned out in fact to be false.

    I know controversy sells stories, but there are plenty of administration controversies to report about that have basis in fact. There may even some legitimate controversies about Kerry that have some basis in fact. This story is not one of them, so please try to refrain from implying so in the future.

    It's amazing what happens when you listen to the other person's opinion --- GWB, 12/18/00

    by Doug in SF on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:21:03 AM PDT

  •  my email to Raum (none)
    FWIW, what I sent... I think there's one error -I forget that one of these guys WAS in Kerry's boat at some point, but not during the medels/purple heart episode.... oh well......  Does anyone know if this kind of letter to reporters really effects change?  I'd like to think it does, but some feedback would be reassuring...

    Dear Mr.  Raum

    In your story, "McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning" (, you claim that "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth [is] made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam."  

    Hopefully, you well know that NONE of these men served on the same boat with Kerry and barely knew of him at the time.  All who served directly with him absolutely support him.

    You attempt a trick by stating "served in the same vessels" which is true in the sense that they served in a swift boat... somewhere... not  next to John Kerry or, possibly, not in the same country.  

    What does it mean if someone who works in the same workplace as Tom Raum (meaning an AP reporter somewhere in the world or a photographer for a random newspaper) claims "Tom Raum is deceptive and biased towards President Bush in his journalistic style"?  

    Not much, if they never even met Mr. Raum.
    I'm sure that claim has no merit.  
    Am I correct?

    Thank you for your attention..blahblahblah

  •  Here's a newbie's letter (none)
    Mr. Raum,

    Might I make a simple request that you please take care in the content presented in your articles?  The following paragraph was taken from your article, which I read on yahoo:

    >>A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military awards. <<

    "Made up of men who served on the same vessels?"  This suggests that the SBVT were there with him that day.  Might I point out that only one man involved in that group was actually there with Kerry at the time, and not, might I add, on the same boat.   There are many more men, that were actually on those same vessels, including Kerry's boat, that back up Kerry's accounting of events than this one man and the others in this group who have no first hand knowledge of what happened that day.  Please, PLEASE stop continuing to perpetuate their attempts to attack John Kerry's record by being so careless with your choice of words.  At least, I hope it's careless.  Which I choose to give you the benefit of the doubt.  The paperwork and majority of actual witness accounts are in his favor, not against.  

    Thank you,
    A believer of facts, not fiction...

    In reading some of the other letters, I'm wondering if I have/had my facts wrong.  I was under the impression that one of the men in the SBVT was there, and earned his own bronze star, and was on a boat yards away from Kerry's boat.

    We are The Knights Who Say "Nay". We do not now, nor have we ever, wanted a Shrubbery....

    by abbysomething on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:23:12 AM PDT

  •  I'm way out of the mainstream here, (none)
    but it seems to me that writing this person amounts to spam.  The gentleman has stated his opinion and I'm sure he worded it exactly the way he meant it.

    I may be incredibly pessimistic but I don't see how writing journalists who slant toward Bush is going to make any difference.  Would you write Fox and ask them to be more honest in their coverage?  Of course not, it would be a waste of time.

    Would you do a voter registration drive in an upscale gated community?  Would you try to get your local Republican congressperson to switch parties?  Then why are you trying to sway the media?  They are the opposition.  If you want to make a difference, make people aware of outlets like Air America Radio and Daily Kos.

    If you feel the need to write an email, find an undecided voter and email them a worthy article that they wouldn't likely see using traditional media outlets.  It's much more likely to produce a favorable outcome.

    •  The problem is... (none)
      There are basically two major news organizations - AP & Reuters - and when 'news' stories become slanted with political accusations and do not confirm or deny with facts, then it is no longer 'news', but 'opinion', and should be addressed as such.

      We expect Faux News to spew that kind of garbage, but if there is any hope of recoving objective journalism, you need to call them out in such instances.

      If enough people jump, the world will move.

    •  Never quit, never surrender (none)
      He didn't state an opinion, he stated a fact which wasn't so much fact but fiction.  Had he wrote an article saying that he believed "Bush rocks!!!"  I would have let it pass as he is entitled to his opinion no matter how much I disagree.

      We must not allow the press to go without a fight.  We should and we must confront any lies they tell.  We may not succeed but if we don't try we have no chance at all.  What good will pointing an undecided person to an online article if all the other news is full of lies?  How can we trust they will believe 1 article of truth versus a dozen that lie.

      No, we must fight for the media.  We must hold journalists accountable for what they print.  Do you think Tom Raum will ever print that particular lie again?  Will he question the next "fact" about the Swift Boat Vets?  Therein lies our victory.

      Oh and although we don't start with Faux News, their time will come.  We start where we have a chance then keep broadening the fight.

      Thank goodness they didn't ask Bush to spell sovereign.

      by Liberalpalooza on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 10:37:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My letter to Mr. Raum (none)
    Good day, Mr. Raum.

    In reading your article regarding Sen. McCain's statements regarding the Swift Boat advertisements, I found language that is clearly misleading in regards to that organization.

    While making a point to mention that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth served on "the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam," you fail to mention that none of the members of the organization served on the swift boat with Sen. Kerry.

    Your choice of verbiage for describing the group gives the appearance of credibility to their message. This writing direction overlooks the fact that all of the SBVfT members that were present during the questioned times have given, for over 30 years, statements that correspond with Sen. Kerry's account and the US Navy's official record. It is only within the recent political cycle that their stories have changed, but these facts are obviously passed over for more "gotcha!", Jerry Springer-esque inspired moments of "journalism".

    Although, in the past several years, this lack of critical journalism has been pervasive across all mass media, I cannot stand idly by as truly objective journalism is lost.

    If you choose to include accusations that have no proven factual basis, then it would only serve a political means if you do not balance such accusations with the facts researched.

    Thank you, and enjoy your day.

    •  ditch "verbiage" (none)
      Excuse the pedantry, and only because we are talking about the dangers of misleading words....but you use "verbiage" where you mean "language" or "wording" (or some straightforward synonym). "Verbiage" means superfluous, wordy language, implying ill-educated pompousness and possibly obfuscation. It is always better to use simple language, and it is a great shame that misuse of words like "verbiage" actually deprives them of their real meaning, weakening our language as a whole (see also the mistaken synonyms "disinterested" for "uninterested", and "verbal" for "oral".

      In case, there was obfuscation, whether through slyness or sloppiness we can't say, but it was definitely not through the use of "verbiage".

  •  One plea to everyone (none)
    Don't use "Kerry's version of events"!  That plays to the he said/she said line that the media uses to justify it's coverage.  It's not his word, it's the U.S. Navy's official version of what happened in all of the events in question.  SBVT uses the phrasing deliberately, we don't need to play along and we don't need to let the media do it either.

    Let the swift boat idiots then turn around and claim that Kerry must have written all the reports that the Navy documentation is built on.  By using the "Navy version" language, it's not he said/she said.  The onus is on them to add an extra step of explaining it rather than just claiming that Kerry is lying.

    •  mine (none)
      Dear Mr. Raum,
      In your story, "McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning" I found your wording when you discribe the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" confusing.  You state they were  made up of men ON THE SAME VESSELS" as Kerry in Vietnam.  I know that  NONE of the men accusing Kerry of lying were on the actual vessel Sen. Kerry was on....   It is bad enough that the press continues to publish these lies, but please don't exploit it any farther with your ambiguous wording.  I realize the press loves a fight but I must say, the level you all have sunk to, keeping this story alive, is dispickable!

      The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are! (who?)

      by bluecayuga on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:37:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  mine too (none)
        Mr. Raum,

           In you article today, entitled "McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning", you mistakenly noted that "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam" were running ads against Sen. Kerry.  These men didn't serve with Sen. Kerry.  Though many of them happened to be in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry, they weren't on his vessel.  In fact, the men who did serve on the same Swift Boat have all endorsed him and even appeared on stage with him at the convention during his prime-time acceptance speech.

          While I'm sure this was simply a mistake, please refrain from further instances of it.  This is a Republican talking point in their attempt to distort and smear Sen. Kerry and it's simply not true.  Our democracy depends on fair and accurate reporting, please help to ensure we have both.

    •  You are so right... (none)
      I'm afraid I did fall into that train of thought when I sent my letter.  D'oh!  You are correct in that Kerry has nothing to defend. His actions are on record and the swift and loose with the truth veterans are the ones that need to defend their position.  Which they can only do with more lies based upon lies that continually go unchallenged by the media.

      We are The Knights Who Say "Nay". We do not now, nor have we ever, wanted a Shrubbery....

      by abbysomething on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 08:50:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's mine... (none)
    Dear Mr. Raum:

    Today I read in your article "McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning" the following:

    "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military awards."

    As I am sure you are aware, only one person who served with Sen. Kerry on his vessel has been critical of him.  Certainly, none of the members of the Swift Boat organization served on more than one vessel with Sen. Kerry as you have stated.  Perhaps you intended to write " who served on the same kind of vessels...".  However, considering the vicious and untrue charges that this organization has leveled against Sen. Kerry and their attempt to influence the upcoming presidential election, I believe it is vitally important for the press to accurately report their relationship to the Senator and the substance of their charges.  I hope in the future you will attempt to be clearer.

    I thank you for your time,

    •  And his response... (none)
      You're right of course. It should have said same-type vessels. It was inadvertent. The mistake was caught and fixed. Thanks. Tom Raum.
      •  But that brings up another question? (none)
        I put this in the middle of my letter, and frankly, give his reply, I wonder even more at the answer:

        "I'm curious, though, as to why you decided to highlight that point anyway?  Is the fact that they served on the same type of boat as Kerry more important to the story than the fact that none served on his specific vessell? "

      •  No it wasn'tf (none)
        You're right of course. It should have said same-type vessels. It was inadvertent. The mistake was caught and fixed. Thanks. Tom Raum.

        I just (3:45 pm Eastern) checked the link, and the article there has a dateline of 8:49 am and does not show any such correction.

  •  It did get changed (none)
    The original URL posted above points to the original version of the story.  However, if you go to Yahoo and follow their link, you get a
    new version.
  •  Double SIGH.... (none)
    Today's Daily Howler reviews the lack of media response in describing the eyewitness accounts of Lambert, Russel and Langhofer's in response to the lies of the Swiftvet People about whether enemy fire was present during the incident where he received one of his purple medals...

    This is really sad....

    •  A complete disservice.... (none)
      Here's the link to the actual article in which Lambert was interviewed:

      Swift boat memories

      (This is my first attempt at a link so I hope it works.)

      At any rate, Lambert does give a concise accouting of what happened that day.  Although, he mentions that Kerry only served four months of his tour, which we all know he served longer than that, not to mention that it was his second tour on top of that.  

      It is sad that the media doesn't have the balance to give these actual witness accounts the same airplay that they gave the swift boat shitfountains (pardon my language. This stuff just makes me so mad).

      We are The Knights Who Say "Nay". We do not now, nor have we ever, wanted a Shrubbery....

      by abbysomething on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:20:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tom Raum Drives Drunk (none)
    I'd like to get this on-line once and for all, so that when people Google Tom Raum's name, they'll get the story of Tom Raum driving drunk.

    After all, I know guys who drive the same cars that Tom Raum does, and they say he drives drunk.

    Yeah, they may never have met Tom, but they do drive the same cars he does, and they do have a long-standing history of hating people who write unsubstantiated crap for the AP, so I think they're legitimate sources.  

  •  To Whom It May Concern: (none)
    I read the following article, titled McCain: Kerry Fair Game for Questioning, written by Tom Raum.  

    In that article, Mr. Raum describes the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.  I take issue with this statement from the article:    
    A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military awards.

    The first part of the statement is an error.  The men in SBVfT did not serve on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam.  This fact has been in the public record for some time now.  It is true that the SBVfT group has run very harshly critical ads, but the claims made in their ad have been discredited.   The Swift Boat Vets, unfortunately, used outright lies and misleading statements to attack John Kerry.  

    Mr. Raum did our political process a disservice by reporting this false information, giving the group's disingenuous statements an image of credibility.  He could have checked the facts of his story by doing some research.  

    "I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."~Charles De Gaulle *CHEERS to blogs!*

    by spyral on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:04:50 AM PDT

  •  Why be polite? (none)
    If there's one thing I've learned from the 90's, the rights mockery and derision are far more effective at influencing press coverage than reasoned discourse.
  •  wait a minute! (none)
    I thought one of them took over Kerry's boat once he left Vietnam.  If that is so, then he did, in fact serve on the "same vessel."  It just wasn't with Kerry at the time.  Am I incorrect?
  •  RAUM SPEAKS! (none)
    You're right of course. It should have said same-type vessels. It was
    inadvertent. The mistake was caught and fixed hours ago. Thanks. Tom

    In reference to this letter:
    Dear Mr. Raum -
    None of the The Swift Boat Vets for truth actually served ON the boats
    with Kerry. They served in Vietnam arouind the SAME time Kerry was in
    Vietnam. So if I clean the offices of AP, I may never have seen you or
    spoken to you - but in a sense I did work with you. Right?
    For instance, John O'Neill, the author of "Unfit for Command" was on the
    same boat as Kerry AFTER Kerry had finished his duty. So if I used your
    desk after you had quit your job, does that give me the right to
    criticize your work ethic? No...
    Thank you for getting the facts straight. Many people in newsrooms
    across America depend on what you write.
    JKU :-)

    PS - this is in reference to:
    "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men
    who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running
    harshly critical ads questioning the Massachusetts senator's leadership
    qualities and claiming he embellished his record to receive military

    "Oh, but it is their cheif and constant care to appear as everything but what they really are..."

    by JKU on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 09:43:12 AM PDT

    •  actually... (none)
      I'm not a fan of harassing a journalist (or anyone else) with excessive amounts of email, but as of 12:49 est the link to that story still reads in the original misleading fashion. Since you got a reply asserting that it was already fixed, you might want to politely let him know that it has not been.
  •  I wrote him, but... (none)
    I wrote Mr. Raum, politely pointed out the confusing verbiage, and he wrote back very quickly saying it was fixed, which it looks like it was. But...

    I can't help but think that maybe we're making a mountain out of a molehill here. It was one little statement in an article that also points out that Dick Cheney avoided service during Vietnam. A conservative could easily say, "What difference does that make?"

    •  It is not a moutain out of a molehill (none)
      Whether done slyly or sloppily, it perpetuated an untruth at the heart of the SBVT allegations. It was not some sidebar to the main show. As such, its inclusion in the story is unconscionable.

      P.S. See up-string about using "verbiage" for "language".

    •  It;'s not a small thing (none)
      Even more important that his cutesy adding of the "s" to vessell rather than saying they served on the same type of boat is a much bigger point.

      Why is the fact that they served on the same type of boat MORE relevant than the fact that none served on Kerry's boat?  

      I think we are somewhat missing the forest through the trees here by focusing on the misleading way the guy wrote it.  I think we ought to be pounding him for which facts he chose to include because of the way they lead people to view the story.

    •  one change -- not rippling through (none)
      If you look the story up via Yahoo! News, you'll see that it's been reprinted in a wide variety of news outlets, and that change has not been updated on any of them -- to take one at random:,1282,-4461184,00.html

      And, by the way, every time I click that link, the wording is the same as it was this morning.  Not sure where Mr. Raum thinks it's been fixed.  But, as I said, it doesn't matter -- it's already out there, all over the place.

  •  It's not spam to write a journalist... (none)
    ...journalists require readers and reader responses are important as oversight when the journalist makes a mistake.  Encouraging good journalism is worth our time...most especially when the writer can learn from his mistakes, correct them (as this one did) and be more careful in the future.  It is especially important for an AP reporter, whose postings are reprinted in thousands of newspapers across the country.  Here's my note to him:

    Tom:  Nice article re McCain and the dispute re the ads by SBVT...however, it is important, I think, to be absolutely accurate in discussing this issue and the sentence below from your article is seriously misleading to the casual reader:

    "A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, made up of men who served on the same vessels as Kerry in Vietnam, has been running harshly critical ads..."

    None, Tom...NONE of the men in those ads served on the same vessels as Kerry at the time he was on those vessels.  Maybe before, maybe after...maybe nearby in a similar vessel, but NOT on the same vessels WITH Kerry.  So, while your sentence may be, strictly speaking, accurate -- it misleads the reader by not being clear in describing the actual facts.  

    I'm sure this sentence construction was inadvertant and that as a reporter and very fine writer you will, in future descriptions, want to correct the impression left by this particular choice of words.  It matters.


    Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

    by oldpro on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 10:17:18 AM PDT

  •  Just wanted to emphasize (none)
    The error has been fixed.  Mr. Raum says it was a 'typo', as he really meant the same 'type' of vessels.

    It's been fixed, so we should probably stop spamming him now.

    •  yeah sure (none)
      it was a typo. I pointed out in the email I wrote to him that inserting type of into the sentence would make it technically correct, but that it's still totally irrelevant to the "issue" (if you can call it that). And people wonder why 70% thought saddam masterminded 911...
  •  What about other parts of the story? (none)
    Is this the only portion of the story we should be criticizing? What about:

    "Kerry led a veterans' group opposed to the war and, during Capitol Hill testimony, said U.S. soldiers committed atrocities with heir commanders' approval."

    This is a bit disingenuous. Kerry was very careful NOT to blame the soldiers, but to lay blame for atrocities on the leadership and structure of the war plan. The phrase "with their commanders' approval" does not accurately convey this, and perhaps should have read "on their commanders' orders". Instead, it makes it sound like Kerry was saying the soldiers were eager to commit atrocities and the commanders gave a secondary ok. You have done exactly the same thing the SBVT have done in their ad, which is to take testimony out of context and distort the intent of Kerry's words.

    Am I way off base on this?

  •  You know... (none)
    ... it would be great if the Kerry campaign team was half as organized and capable as we are. We must have gotten at least 30 or 40 e-mails off to this poor SOB in just the first thirty minutes after the error. If Kos had directed us to do so, we could have also sent out individual e-mails to the editors of our local papers, pointing this out as an example of how Kerry is being subjected to the same things Gore was. Now THAT'S a good meme, the sort any editor worth his salt could hammer out into a good dozen stories. That, after all, is what they really want.
  •  Updated? Nah. (none)
    As of 2:12 on the East Coast, when I've read Kos' update telling us to stop, the story still reads as originally posted.
  •  swift boat liars (none)
    I think the Media know exactly what they are doing. This is the Dean Scream and a mini-Monica. They are obeying their corporate paymasters and trying to knock Kerry out of the running. The Republicans said they were going to try to smear Kerry and make him look ridiculous with innuendo (they didn't say lies, but we all know that) and they are doing it. It's just they didn't mention that the Media was going to be right in there doing it for them.

    BTW, I looked and looked for mention of the protest march last night on the news and couldn't find it. I tried for an hour right after CSPAN quit broadcasting it.  Am i wrong on this? Please say yes.

  •  They're picketing a Swifty! (none)
    Hope this glorious piece of news hasn't made the rounds already.

    We never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us. - Reverend Al Sharpton

    by blksista on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 12:27:53 PM PDT

  •  Inadequate (none)
    I find the AP's new version to be highly inadequate.  It's a non-correction.  They simply put out an updated version that omits the error.  Meanwhile, the original article still exists and there is no statement from the AP or from Raum specifically acknowledging and clarifying the erroneous statement.  I say, keep emailing them until they publish an actual CORRECTION.
  •  NOVAK CAUGHT (again) (none)
    The New York Times has reported a connection between conservative columnist and CNN "Crossfire" host Bob Novak and the anti-Kerry book "Unfit for Command". Mr. Novak's son, Alex, is the director of marketing for Regnery, the book's publisher. "Unfit for Command" is the basis of many accusations recently leveled by the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group. When asked why he had not previously revealed his ties to the publication, Mr. Novak said "I didn't think it's relevant."

    You can always delve further into the obvious/hilarious.

  •  I hate to tell you... (none)
    ... but I don't see any correction there.  don't know who's trying to stop the email deluge...


    Those who would trade an essential freedom for temporary security deserve neither freedom nor security. ................ Benjamin Franklin

    by redfox1 on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 03:45:05 PM PDT

  •  A linguist checks in ... plural not an escape (none)
    Trying to get off the hook by pointing out 'vessels' was plural doesn't work. In conversation, leaving out the 'type of' ('same type of vessel/s')  is not uncommon, but it is bad writing for a journalist, and unacceptable in the context of the article.

    The phrase 'same vessels" might make the statement literally true if Kerry and the others served on several different boats, while not there at the same time. The implication that Kerry served on multiple boats is natural, especially to those who, like me, don't know such details of military swift boat service.

    In other words, the natural interpretation of "same vessels" is one where there were a bunch of boats, these guys and Kerry served on several of them. The implication is that they did so at the same time, because there is nothing in the context to indicate otherwise.

    The writer screwed up, and is just trying to cover his ass. A journalist must write clearly. At best, he didn't. At worst, it was a deliberately misleading act, and therefore a dishonoable and dishonest piece of journalism.

    I'm a linguist, licensed to use words any way I want to!

    by MakeChessNotWar on Mon Aug 30, 2004 at 04:24:16 PM PDT

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