Yesterday I heard on Morning Edition that Unfit for Command’s (i.e,. the “Swift Boat” book from 2004) co-author, Jerome R. Corsi, has an anti-Obama book out that is getting a great deal of media attention.
Let’s put this is no uncertain terms: Corsi is a clearly unreliable source who has a history of outrageous and inaccurate statements even if one ignores the entire Unfit for Command hack job.
For example, I noted back in August of 2004 that Corsi had made a number of offensive comments on a Free Republic message board (several of which are detailed here). At a minimum this is the kind of thing that should seriously bring into question the judgment, motivations and intellectual honesty of an author.
I again noted Corsi’s brand of commentary in May of 2006 when he ranted in Human Events column that Bush was secretly plotting to hand US sovereignty over to the North American Union of Mexico, the US and Canada. Apparently Corsi wrote a book along these lines as well. As I noted in the post, Corsi’s command of basic knowledge of the subject is quiet suspect (not to mention paranoid) as his original version of the column stated that Canada wasn’t a part of NAFTA (the column was mysteriously amended without comment after some attention had been brought to the issue).
Those are just my personal writings on the man, which are enough to convince me that he lacks any credibility whatsoever, and therefore feel his book is worthy of being utterly ignored. Beyond that, Jon Henke detailed a longer list of Corsi’s problematic behavior yesterday over at The Next Right yesterday.
Henke rightly states:
I mean, c’mon. Have some standards. This guy does not deserve the platform, he does not deserve the publicity, and he does not deserve to be treated as member-in-good-standing on the Right.
James Joyner seconds that motion this morning and notes that his standing rule is to ignore Corsi.
Of course, sadly, some in the mainstream conservative commentariat don’t see it that way. Mark Levin at NRO’s the Corner thinks that the media is ignoring the contents of the book to focus solely on Corsi (the title of the post is “Criticizing the Author and Not the Candidate”):
It’s too bad the same media that are so concerned about Corsi’s background have been so reticent to do their own homework on Obama.
It is certainly true even a cretin can speak the truth on occasion, but the fact of the mater is when it comes to assessing a research work (whether it is a media work or something more “serious”), the previous quality of a given author’s work is a key determinant in determining whether a new work should be accepted at face value or not. There is more than enough in Corsi’ background to suggest that anything he writes is highly suspect, and therefore not worth the effort needed to evaluate it. If one has to research all the claims in a given book, then one might as well write one’s own book and be done with it.
Nevertheless, the sad truth is that the odds are quite good that the claims within his tome will filter their way into the mainstream discussion (likely through talk radio, and without attribution to Corsi).
It is worth noting, however, that such political tactics are hardly new in American political life, as all one has to do is look up the name James T. Callender (amongst others) to confirm that fact. I say that not as a defense of Corsi (not at all) but to point out that some of the shadier types of politicking that we see are less new than we think. Indeed, despite all the cries of bias (partisan and otherwise) that constantly fly about in the world of American politics, the current era doesn’t even hold a candle to that of the early days of the Republic.
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