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The act of making exaggerated or unsubstantiated allegations to damage the credibility of a political candidate or other public figure.

[After the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of Swift Boat crew members who opposed the 2004 presidential candidacy of American politician John Kerry (born 1943) and alleged that Kerry's decorations for service in the Vietnam War were undeserved.]

swift′boat′ v.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hearing all the rationales against health care reform coming from so many who seem certain we'd be doomed by it reminds me of nothing less than the swiftboating that prevented a change of course back in 2004.
This election's top Swiftboating trick (the Jews for Obama Newsletter calls it "schvitz-boating") is to make you believe Senator Obama is both a secret Muslim and in the thrall of loudmouthed Christian minister Rev.
The stepped-up effort by the press came after, and was in large measure a response to, the not-so-sterling media handling of the Swiftboating of Sen.
No, Swiftboaters -- the only ones who are dishonored by political swiftboating are those that would stoop to belittle the wounds of others in the call of their country.
This fall, on the other hand, "Eeeeeeverybody expects the Swiftboating.
The 2004 presidential campaign left the term Swiftboating to describe a highly evolved communications strategy involving enormous expenditures--by insulated front groups--on television ads containing audacious attacks sure to be covered by the news media.
This fall, Johnson also is supporting something called "The Patriot Project," which is dedicated to outing swiftboating front groups and revealing their connections to allegedly uninvolved political candidates.
Johnson refers to a Wikipedia definition of swiftboating as "an ad hominem attack against a public figure, coordinated by an independent or pseudo-independent group, usually resulting in a benefit to an established political force.
Boyce said swiftboating plays on the "he said/she said" dynamic of news coverage and the information overload that overwhelms many citizens.
In another blog post, he wrote, "So why does swiftboating work?
And when they are caught in the headlights of an actual interview by a real reporter with background knowledge, they have learned to employ stupid pet tricks such as swiftboating, smearing, impugning and so forth.
How long, for example, should the swiftboating of presidential candidate John Kerry have continued after the facts underlying it had been found false?