The presidential race moved into overdrive this week, and Salon was in the middle of all the hottest stories.
On Friday the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story exploded, when the Kerry campaign asked the FEC to banish the vet group's ads because of the organizers' ties to longtime Bush backers. Salon readers knew many of the details first, thanks to Joe Conasons great reporting. Back in April Conason revealed the long-standing Republican ties of Swift Boat Vets leader John E. O'Neill and his law firm, and he went on to trace the Republican pedigree of Merrie Spaeth, the group's public relations advisor. In July, Conason was the first to report on the funding the Swift Vets received from Bush family friend and Texas GOP donor Bob J. Perry, and earlier this month he revealed the group had received funding from another Bush/GOP donor who is also a trustee of George H.W. Bush's presidential library. On Friday Conason broke a story about the new anti-Kerry "documentary" being produced by GOP hit man David Bossie and conservative director Lionel Chetwynd, a collaboration that may run afoul of campaign finance laws because of Chetwynds work on official campaign projects.
Also on Friday, the Kerry campaign called on conservative Regnery Publishing to recall "Unfit for Command," the Swift Boat Vets' published attack on Kerry, because of questions about the credibility of key member Larry Thurlow. Salons Eric Boehlert broke that story on Thursday.
Meanwhile Salon's beyond-brave Phillip Robertson was the only reporter holed up in the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, Iraq. Phillip got out safely thanks to the help of other reporters, and Mark Follman got him on the phone to talk about the ordeal, and what the U.S. media isnt reporting. Look for Robertsons exclusive dispatch next week.
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