In Pickens Profile on CBS, Rose Slams 'Dirty...Smear' Swift Boat Ads

In an otherwise pretty friendly 60 Minutes profile of T. Boone Pickens and his “Pickens Plan” to reduce dependence on foreign oil, Charlie Rose, on loan from PBS, couldn't resist repeating the usual derogatory media descriptions and canards about the 2004 “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ads against John Kerry, which Pickens helped fund, as “infamous,” “widely criticized” and “representative of dirty politics, smear politics, character assassination.” After video of Pickens taking his case to Democrats at their convention in Denver, Rose highlighted:
It didn't take long for the new non-partisan Boone Pickens to have a visibly uncomfortable encounter with his partisan past: Senator John Kerry, whose presidential campaign Pickens helped destroy four years ago when he gave money for the infamous and widely criticized “Swift Boat” ads that attacked the Senator's service in Vietnam and his later testimony before Congress.
Rose pressed Pickens about any regrets: “You spent $3 million funding an advertising campaign that, in some people’s mind, was representative of dirty politics, smear politics, character assassination, all of that. At this stage, do you have any reservations, do you have any-?” Pickens jumped in with an emphatic “none” and told Rose he'd do it over again.

This part of the 13-minute segment just happens to be the portion highlighted in a minute and-a-half preview clip on CBSNews.com (check the video titled “Cold Encounters” on the 60 Minutes home page and on the page with a text version of the story, though the preview video may be replaced at some point with video of the full segment. Direct link to the preview video.)

From the Sunday, October 26 edition of 60 Minutes:
CHARLIE ROSE: A life-long Republican, Pickens' candidate this election is his Pickens Plan. And in August, we found him venturing into unfamiliar territory.

ROSE TO PICKENS, ON THE CONVENTION FLOOR: Here we are, the Democratic -- Democratic -- National Convention. Boone Pickens, long-time Republican. What are you doing here?

PICKENS: I'm here, honestly, what I'm here for, is I'm here for America. My cause is a bipartisan, non-partisan cause.

ROSE, OVER VIDEO OF BRIEF GREETING BETWEEN PICKENS AND JOHN KERRY: But it didn't take long for the new non-partisan Boone Pickens to have a visibly uncomfortable encounter with his partisan past: Senator John Kerry, whose presidential campaign Pickens helped destroy four years ago when he gave money for the infamous and widely criticized “Swift Boat” ads that attacked the Senator's service in Vietnam and his later testimony before Congress.

ROSE TO PICKENS: You spent $3 million funding an advertising campaign that, in some people’s mind, was representative of dirty politics, smear politics, character assassination, all of that. At this stage, do you have any reservations, do you have any-?

PICKENS: None.

ROSE: None?

Pickens: None

ROSE: You'd do it over tomorrow?

PICKENS: What I knew then, I know that same thing now. And nothing has changed my mind.

ROSE: Surprisingly, that hasn't stopped some of the country's leading Democrats, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, from embracing him and his ideas...
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center