In praise of John O’Neill

In the Chicago Sun-Times Nat Hentoff pays tribute to the essential Swift Boat Vet: “Kerry critic displays courage under fire.” Hentoff also notes the role played by journalist Thomas Lipscomb — whose work we featured here throughout the campaign — in substantiating the contentions of the Swift Boat Vets:

Among the relatively few reporters who have engaged in substantial research on the contentions of both sides, the most painstakingly persistent has been Thomas Lipscomb in his reports in the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Sun. Lipscomb has found much that credits O’Neill’s charges, and so have I. Former publisher of Times Books and an old-fashioned journalist, Lipscomb is an insistent fact-checker, dogged until he’s ready to file his story.

Hentoff concludes with a glance at the authorized Kerry hagiographer Douglas Brinkley:

[O]n Election Day, historian Douglas Brinkley — who wrote a hagiographic book on Kerry, Tour of Duty, triumphantly told the Financial Times that the mainstream media have ”exposed Kerry’s critics as liars and frauds.” I would not take a course with that careless historian, but I respect O’Neill for his courage and his public service for having enabled many Americans to look much more closely as John Kerry’s presidential qualifications. And, indeed, the Swift Boat Veterans did a lot to keep Kerry from the Oval Office.

(Courtesy of RealClearPolitics.)

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