Skip to comments.Blogger Breakfast with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
Posted on 02/17/2005 11:10:57 AM PST by Pikamax
Blogger Breakfast with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
Creative Responsive Concepts, the PR firm behind the SwiftVets campaign against John Kerry, hosted a "Bloggers Breakfast" this morning at the J.W. Marriott across the street from the Reagan Building where CPAC is being held. The event has MC'd by Greg Mueller from CRC and the featured speakers were John O'Neill and Bill Franke of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
John O'Neill did most of the talking with occassional comments from Bill Franke and Mueller.
O'Neill got off on a strong note with the bloggers in the room by expressing his appreciation for the bloggers help in getting the SwiftVet message out and breaking the "monoply on the flow of information" in the MSM. O'Neil described the early discussions among the SwiftVets and CRC where they concluded they needed a "multi-task way of approaching the media". O'Neill likened the SwiftVets outeach to the communications system, the "tap code" system, developed by U.S. POWs in Vietnam. The SwiftVets realized the need to develop their own tap code, a way of getting their message out, and blogs provided a means to do that.
Greg Mueller from CRC described the three prong strategy they developed with a end-game objection of forcing the MSM to cover the SwiftVet story: (1) a book; (2) the now famous SwiftVet Ads; (3) earned media to, in turn, drive fundraising to buy "gross ratings points" (more ads) and thereby more earned media. This program was incredibly successful. When pressed by this blogger, Mueller estimated that the value of earned media for the SwiftVets was well over $100mm and likely the most successful program ever run by any organization ever.
For O'Neill and Mueller, the first step was to make use of the tap code system available through the blogs was to develop their own site. After early iterations of the site was repeately attacked and hacked, they finally came up with a robust web site and the donations began to roll in as the book was released and the first series of ads ran (3 states for about $400,000).
O'Neill noted that according to FEC records, 75% of the contributions were small, individual contribution from over 155,000 individuals yet the MSM focused on one large donor, Perry. In fact, the more the SwiftVets were attached by the MSM, the Kerry campaign and their 501 allies, the more money the SwiftVets raised.
The SwiftVet campaign was further spurred on by Moveon.org which spent 20mm attacking the SwiftVet ads by showing the opening of the SwiftVet commercial which featured the SwiftVet web site address.
Kevin McCullough & Kevin Aylward
Lawrence O'Donnell's attack on John O'Neil on MSNBC resulted in $300,000 in contribution the next day; people would hand cash to John O'Neill as he walked through airports. Franke recalled O'Neill pulling $3,500 out his shirt pocket after one such stroll.
Muller, O'Neill and Franke each had numeours stories of intransigience in the MSM: the head of the editorial board of a major newspaper that attacked the SwiftVets repeately yet refused to meet any of the SwiftVets or to read their book, Margaret Carlson refusing time after time to meet with any of the SwiftVets and then going on national TV claiming that no Swift Boat Veterans for Truth members were willing to come forward and defend their charges against Kerry to her. O'Neill claimed that CBS News' 60 Minutes put together two "exposes" on the SwiftVets that never ran because it turned out the SwiftVets chrages proved correct.
In perhaps the most interesting comment at the breakfast, O'Neill linked the success of the SwiftVets ad to the downfall of Dan Rather. O'Neill believes that CBS News "popped" the Dan Rather story early as a way to thwart the SwiftVets momentum.
In the Q&A Session afterwards, Franke revealed taht the SwiftVets are in discussions now about whether to go after Kerry in '06 in Masschussets. He did confirmed that if kerry runs for President in 2008 they will definitely come back, in force.
O'Neill shared his reaction on watching Kerry accept the Democratic nomination in Boston over the summer. To much laughter, O'Neill related how when John Kerry saluted and said "reporting for duty" his first thought was 'great, he's going to serve the other 243 days.'"
Asked why he believe Kerry continues to refuse to sign "Form 180" and authorize the Defense Department to turn over his complete set of miliary records, O'Neill said that "informed speculation" has suggested that Kerry got a less than honorable discharge and that his security clearance has been revoked. O'Neill did not make any definite statements but did note that the media displayed a notable lack of curiosity why President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, granted Kerry an honorable discharge, seven years after Kerry left the military. Similarily, Kerry's media citations were all written and signed long after he left the military.
God Bless John O'Neill and the honorable Swift-Vets!
Talk about grassroots this is it.
Thank you, Swift Vets. Your actions help save America from a traitor.
Whoa.. I did not know that. I bet if CBS aired it now, their one-day ratings would spike.
GOD BLESS YOU SWIFTEES!!
Was there any discussion about more efforts to get at Kerry's military record via signing the form 180 or via lawsuit as was done against Bush?
If CBS had really wanted to explode its ratings during the campaign, it could have totally scooped all the other MSM by running a truthful (HORRORS!!) special on the Swiftvets showing how accurate their charges against Kerry were.
Agreed, but it'll never happen. CBS is permanently discredited. There's more objectivity on the SNL News!
exactly because there is also another angle here on Kerry that I thought would have been classic 60 Minutes, back in the day when 60 Minutes did real hard hitting exposes
now I think the Swift Boat vets only touched on this, but many veterans who were POWS and/or the families of POWs and MIAs also hate Kerry because they believe he helped shut the POW/MIA issue down for his own gain and generally let down his fellow soldiers yet again.........
let me summarize and I may not get it all correct, feel free to correct me but this is my understanding
first of all Kerry in his exploits as negotiating with the enemy whilst still an officer of the US army, you know his trips to Paris and all, had been a proponent of the deal that was made with Vietnam to end the war
now Nixon et al wanted the Viet Cong to hand over all the POWS first, Kerry and lefties lovers of the VC said that was unreasonable, first peace then turn over the POWS, well true to form the VC returned some POWS but not all
and there were various reports of sightings and informations about POWS and MIAS in Vietnam
now in 1990, 1991? Kerry was made Chairman of the Senate Select Committee of MIA/POW Affairs and they were supposed to decide if there was any evidence of POWS and MIAS in Vietnam and decide whether to normalize relations with Vietnam
well Sidney Schanberg, a noted war correspondent, liberal and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (The movie the Killing Fields was based on his experiences in Cambodia)
in the Village Voice (no conservative rag there) writes that John Kerry, in his one and only leadership role in his whole Senate career,
either Kerry was very incompetent and/or he deliberately rushed the investigation in order to establish normal relations with Vietnam because, the angry families of the missing POWS allege, Kerry's cousin, a Forbes, clearly on good recommendation from Madame whats her head, Kerry's Paris friend, was sitting on $900 million dollars worth of reconstruction contracts in Vietnam once he got the go ahead
now I think Schanberg alludes to the fact it has never been proven or no one was able to prove that Kerry got a cut or referral fee for those reconstruction contracts, but come one, she looks suspicious enough for some primo digging and come on, that's a conflict of interest for the Chairman of the committee to decide whether to normalize relations with Vietnam.....
Schanberg has written more than one article on this subject matter, because he was so disillusioned, he thought Kerry was the best man for the job and he can't believe that Kerry sold out his band of brothers......he wrote on it again in the Village Voice when Kerry got the nomination and yet nary a ripple anywhere
Schanberg however goes further, he accuses Kerry of either suppressing evidence that would support the possibility
of POWS alive in Vietnam, because Schanberg found out the evidence that was never presented, or alluded to, by the Committee, and he says he has CIA sources that claim they caught Kerry's committee staffers shredding classified material and when the CIA agents demanded they stop, they smugly continued on.....what is it with Democrats and classified documents huh.....
now we know if this had been a Republican....
now there is one reason perhaps why this has not been pursued, there were Republicans on that Committee, John McCain for one and John Ashcroft I believe for another and they all seemed to be happy to close the file on the POWS.....McCain and Kerry became good friends at this time
however if Schanberg is right, and the Chairman clearly controls the flow of information at Committee, if Kerry was suppressing evidence it is possible that guys like McCain and Ashcroft weren't getting the whole story
I mean this is the sort of thing 60 Minutes would have torn their teeth into if it hadn't been their golden boy, for all we know they did tear into Kerry at the time of this committee, because I seem to remember 60 Minutes doing stories on the poor abandoned POWS etc......
and esp since Schanberg is no Bush lover, the lefties certainly couldn't discount Schanberg for a number of reasons, unless Schanberg has been "exiled" for some reason....he still contributes to the Village Voice periodically as best I know.....and it was a Bush bashing article as I recall......
Flashback: The MIA Cover-Up (Kerry actually verbally THREATENS AS reporter John Corry)
Thanks Jesse, I'll go take a look....
like I said, there is a book's worth of material on this issue alone, of the MIA coverup, I'll post the link to Schanberg's articles
I don't know if anyone has written a book on this specifically, I don't know how much Unfit for Command touches on it
but it's got all the ingredients of a Woodward/Bernstein type expose and most people don't care
Schanberg himself said at the time of the committee's report, which he and the families of the MIAs were quite angry about, he said that at that time, there was Vietnam exhaustion, no one wanted to pursue it, despite the fact he was speaking up even then......
I don't know how it is that Kerry seems to be able to get himself out of jams time and time again, he must have a lucky horseshoe or Heinz ketchup bottle up his ass or he's made sure he keeps the right asses kissed and make sure he gets pardons and reissued citations and the like...
the good news is his luck ran out in 2004
but only because the blogosphere existed.......praise the Lord