MSNBC Host Chris Hayes’ PHONY Reporting Still Stands

All In With Chris Hayes, Facebook

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

MSNBC host Chris Hayes still has false, discredited, phony reporting up on his website. (RELATED: Should White People Apologize for Chris Hayes?).

“Following a series of discredited attacks on John Kerry’s war record by a group with extensive connections to the Bush campaign, the president’s own service, or lack thereof, in the Texas and Alabama National Guard is poised again to become a campaign issue,” Hayes wrote in September 2004 for left-wing “In These Times” magazine.

Hayes’ article is based on Lt. Col. Bill Burkett’s documents, which purported to blow the lid off President George W. Bush’s draft dodging but were later found to have been forged. “60 Minutes II” ran a segment on the documents without checking their authenticity, leading to the downfall of Dan Rather at CBS.

Hayes’ not-altogether-insightful article on the documents can still be found on chrishayes.org with no retraction. The “In These Times” article has also not been corrected or retracted.


“On September 5, the Associated Press reported that Freedom of Information Act requests reveal that at least five types of documents which should be included in Bush’s Texas National Guard records have not been located,” Hayes wrote. “Among them are documents that would explain why Bush refused to take a physical in 1972, which led him to lose his flight status. Days after the AP story, CBS’ ’60 Minutes II’ revealed that it acquired previously unreported documents showing the Bush family pulled strings to get him into the Guard and a memo written by one of Bush’s superiors that said he was pressured to give the young pilot glowing recommendations despite lackluster performance.”

Hayes continued with his falsehoods.

“In 1968, with Americans dying at an alarming rate in Vietnam, Bush was intent on avoiding the draft despite supporting the war. To that end, Bush’s father reached out through a mutual friend to Ben Barnes, a Democrat who was then Speaker of the Texas House, to request that his son be put first in line for a slot in the Texas National Guard. Both the president and his father maintain that he never received special treatment, but in the September 8 ’60 Minutes II’ interview, Barnes insisted that Bush was given ‘preferential treatment’ and admitted that he called the head of the Texas Air National Guard to secure his place.”

Hayes then came to a predictable pro-Democrat conclusion from his perusal of the fake documents.

“But unlike the Swift Boat veterans ‘controversy,’ in which every official record contradicted charges that Kerry didn’t earn his medals, in this case mounting documentary evidence proves that Bush avoided his service obligations. In an election that has focused to a startling degree on Bush and Kerry’s respective behavior as young men during Vietnam, the renewed questions could push Bush off-message during the most crucial period of the campaign. If that happens, he may rue the day the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth reared its ugly head.”

Hayes was a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

Follow Howley on Twitter