Monday, August 18, 2008

The Cross in the Dirt (John McCain)

[Left-wing bloggers note a similarity between Sen. John McCain's account of one of his Vietnamese guards drawing a cross in the dirt and a story said to have been told by Solzhenitsyn.]
The Daily Dish
18 August 2008
Andrew Sullivan
The Dirt In The Cross Story, Ctd
The Carpetbagger Report
18 August 2008
McCain tells a tall tale?
Steve Benen

TPM Election Central [Blog]

Solzhenitsyn Biographer: Cross-In-Dirt Gulag Story Never Happened

By Greg Sargent - August 19, 2008, 2:05PM

There's been a ton of buzz on the web for the last day or so -- beginning with this Daily Kos diary -- suggesting that John McCain patterned his story about a Vietamese captor drawing a cross in the dirt before him on a similar episode from Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn's time in the Soviet gulags.

But it turns out that this episode probably never happened to Solzhenitsyn at all, and according to a Solzhenitsyn biographer it appears nowhere in his published writing. Columbia University professor Michael Scammell, the author of Solzhenitsyn: A Biography, says the episode "never happened," and didn't appear in Solzhenitsyn's book, Gulag Archipelago, either. [...]
Boston Globe
20 August 2008
McCain, Vietnam, and a cross in the dirt
Posted by Michael Paulson

The Daily Dish [Blog]
22 August 2008

By Andrew Sullivan

Cross In The Dirt Update

Some loose ends. Chuck Colson's office say they simply don't know where the original source for the Solzhenitsyn story was, and have reviewed notes and manuscript of the book and come up empty. They're still looking into it. But have uncovered two Billy Graham broadcasts that put the story out there in 1975 and 1976. [...]