Skip to content

Thomas Lipscomb Pulitzer Bio Update

July 3, 2006

Thanks to alert reader Tim C., The Count has now opened a Christmas club account and the Liberal Credit Union!

My all-too swift Swift Boat post was summarily de-bunked (at least in part), causing me to email RealClearPolitics, and to submit to their reader articles my elagantly titled post "Thomas Lipscomb Wasn’t Nominated for a Pulitzer". I still think that Kerry’s "Christmas in Cambodia" story is bogus and the reporting on it soft and credulous; but for Libscomb to put in his bio "pulitzer nominated" was sufficiently deceptive to throw the substance of those articles out.

The email was returned to me a few days later with an "unable to deliver" failure, which must be a bug at the RCP end, as I just clicked on the link to send it to their editorial address. Having plenty of actual things to do around the house, I decided to not pursue the matter further.

Turns out commenter Matchpoint has pursued the matter further at the DailyKos, linking back to me as evidence of others who have noticed Lipscomb’s resumé padding. He notes that the resumé has been updated at RCP and elsewhere to say his work was "entered for the Pulitzer". As matchpoint notes: "
But no public apology or explanation has been forthcoming. Not from Lipscomb, not from the sites that publish his pieces." A commenter also points to evidence that Libscomb is fudging about his role in Times Books.

I’d really like to see Libscomb or RCP adress these issues. My world isn’t exactly crumbling over this, but it is disappointing, and it deserves explanation.

First Hugh Hewitt links to me, now DailyKos. The Count is a centrist!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rufus T. Flinger permalink
    July 3, 2006 3:59 pm


    Appreciate you following up with the Real Clear Politics guys. Too bad they didn’t see fit to issue a formal correction. Or a response. I agree, it hurts thier crediblity.

    I would add that Lipscomb’s use of highly selective partial quotes from the Kerry biography that I pointed out (and other issues) were about as misleading as the pulitzer nomination claim.

    About Cambodia, everything I’ve seen backs up this official stance given by the Kerry campaign when the 1986 Cambodia reference became a campaign issue:

    “John Kerry has said on the record that he had a mistaken recollection earlier. He talked about a combat situation on Christmas Eve 1968 which at one point he said occurred in Cambodia. He has since corrected the recorded to say it was some place on a river near Cambodia and he is certain that at some point subsequent to that he was in Cambodia. My understanding is that he is not certain about that date.”

    In a 1994 interview with the Providence Journal-Bulletin Kerry described it this way: “Christmas Eve I was up getting shot at somewhere near Cambodia.” So by 94 he had corrected himself.

    Everything credible that I’ve seen since backs up that story.

    (Sorry that some of these sources are indirect, but the news sites in some cases have closed off their archives from 2004 to paid customers only)


    “But two of Kerry’s crewmates — Wasser and Zaladonis — both told The Times the boat was in the vicinity of the Cambodian border and even fought an engagement with a Viet Cong sampan on Christmas Eve day.”

    “We patrolled a river on the border,” Zaladonis said last week. “Unless I’m out of my mind or mistaken, that river was part of the border… An entry in a monthly summary of engagements for December 1968 reports that on Christmas Eve, “PCF-44 fired on junk on beach. Results: 1 sampan destroyed.”

    “On Christmas in 1968, we were close [to Cambodia],” Wasser said. “I don’t know exactly where we were. I didn’t have the chart. It was easy to get turned around with all the rivers around there. But I’ll say this: We were the farthest inland that night. I know that for sure.”


    One of them, Jim Wasser, told USA TODAY they were “within 50 yards of Cambodia” on a river where “the left bank was Cambodia and the right bank was Vietnam.” He said the crew didn’t take mortar fire on the border but did so two or three hours later in Vietnam. “He got his operations mixed up,” Wasser said, referring to the Cambodian operations that Kerry’s second boat, PCF-94, undertook. “I really don’t think that he did it on purpose.

    From the NY Times story last month:

    “Mr. Kerry says co-ordinates for his boat in archived reports show it closer to Cambodia than to Sa Dec around the area of Cao Lanh 35 miles from the border on Christmas eve. Co-ordinates from Feb 1969 show the boat running missions along the Cambodian border north of Ha Ten and a report indicates that Mr. Kerry “inserted seals.

    His own log: 1969: “Feb 12: 0800 run to Cambodia.”

    On the subject of the lucky Hat and CIA drop offs:

    “On Christmas Eve he was near Cambodia; he was around 50 miles from the Cambodian border. There’s no indictment of Kerry to be made, but he was mistaken about Christmas in Cambodia,” said Douglas Brinkley, who has unique access to the candidate’s wartime journals.

    But Mr Brinkley rejected accusations that the senator had never been to Cambodia, insisting he was telling the truth about running undisclosed “black” missions there at the height of the war.

    He said: “Kerry went into Cambodian waters three or four times in January and February 1969 on clandestine missions. He had a run dropping off US Navy Seals, Green Berets and CIA guys.” The missions were not armed attacks on Cambodia, said Mr Brinkley, who did not include the clandestine missions in his wartime biography of Mr Kerry, Tour of Duty.

    “He was a ferry master, a drop-off guy, but it was dangerous as hell. Kerry carries a hat he was given by one CIA operative. In a part of his journals which I didn’t use he writes about discussions with CIA guys he was dropping off.”

    So his biographer confirms that Kerry was near Cambodia on Christmas eve, and very shortly afterwards did go to Cambodia, that it was “dangerous as hell,” and that he did get a hat from CIA guy he dropped off, and that the CIA conversations at the drop offs are all in the journal he had access to.


  2. Matchpoint permalink
    July 17, 2006 12:32 am

    Hey Count, hope it was okay that I linked to your site. I don’t know if I was supposed to trackback or even what that is, to tell you the truth. But just wanted to give credit where it was due.

    Best regards,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: