A Distorted Symphony in B Major

Media Matters attacks Major Garrett, and Brock's sleazy tortuosities are more transparent than ever.

We have documented in the past how Media Matters, the site operated by self-admitted liar David Brock, uses rhetorical trickery and legerdemain to mislead readers. Their latest attempt, focusing on FNC's Major Garrett, is so unoriginal that it just recycles the same techniques of distortion and misrepresentation that we have seen time and again from this unreliable source.

Brock's Brigade takes issue with one sentence uttered by Major Garrett:

GARRETT: But the authors also correctly point out that of those Navy personnel who served alongside Kerry or performed similar duties, more now question his war record than defend it.

Media Matters goes apoplectic and posts this breathless headline:
FOX's Garrett distorted support for Kerry among veterans who served with him

The alert reader will of course notice immediately that Brock's accuracy patrol has already reworded what Garrett said. They had to, otherwise they wouldn't have had an article. Their incisive critique follows:
While the group's members are veterans of the Vietnam War and may have served at the same time as Kerry or even near Kerry, Steve Gardner is the only one of the men attacking Kerry to have actually served on the swift boats that Kerry commanded.

Notice how the M&Ms have further ratcheted up the standard--now they are talking about veterans who served on Kerry's boat. That's a far cry from Garrett's original statement, no?
During his August 12 appearances on Crossfire and on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, O'Neill claimed that another anti-Kerry veteran, William Schachte, served on a boat (a small whaler) with Kerry the night Kerry received the injury that resulted in his first Purple Heart...

Wait a minute, what does this have to do with Garrett's statement? Obviously, nothing. Brock's boys are going off on another of their patented tangents, filling an article with lots of text in the hope that people will just read the headline. After all, if anyone were actually to scrutinize these pieces, Brock's game would be exposed. After a long digression on this point, there's still another paragraph:
Roy F. Hoffmann, chairman and co-founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, has even "acknowledged he had no first-hand knowledge to discredit Kerry's claims to valor"...

Did Major Garrett say otherwise? How exactly does this impeach Garrett's report? It matters not; by this point Mr Garrett, who at least got a cameo appearance in paragraph one, is completely forgotten, as the Brock Brigade happily sails off on its tangent of obfuscation.

When all is said and done, what has Media Matters proved about Major Garrett's "distortions"? Less than nothing. The square root of zero. They had to re-write what he said, create their own straw man, and then ramble off on irrelevant complexities to deflect from the fact that they never laid a glove on him. They did not identify one Major error--the distortions are all from Mr. B.

posted: Sat - August 14, 2004 at 12:42 PM       j$p  send