Jack Kelly

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Jack Kelly is "national security writer" for Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Ohio's The Toledo Blade owned by Block Communications, Inc., and a nationally syndicated columnist. Kelly served in the Reserve in both the U.S. Marine Corps and with the U.S. Army Special Forces, with whom he served as a public affairs officer in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq. During his career, Kelly was a news correspondent in Vietnam in 1970 and a deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee in 1977. Kelly was also "a deputy assistant secretary" of the U.S. Air Force during the Ronald Reagan administration. [1]

Kelly "was even embedded" with the 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment [2] "to cover the conflict with Iraq in 2003." [3]


Douglas Anders wrote February 14, 2004, in the seeingToledo Blog:

"Every Saturday morning I look forward to the Jack Kelly column on the Op-Ed page of the Blade. As surely as things fall down, Kelly can be counted on to recycle half-informed (not to mention half-formed) arguments from the right side of the blogosphere, and dutifully march forth to make the GOP sanctioned argument of the week. His modus operandi is simple and unvarying: report the facts that support his thesis, ignore everything that undermines it and end with an overblown claim that Democrats (or the 'nay-sayers' or peacenicks or Bush-critics) are nothing more than unrepentant liars. He rarely lies outright (though I have caught a few), but his one-sided presentation of the facts always produces a deeply deceptive column. I warn you, if you try to make pro-Republican arguments based on what you read in a Jack Kelly column, you will quickly establish that you are an easily hoodwinked fool. There are good honest conservatives out there, but Jack Kelly isn't one of them, he exists to regurgitate the GOP line of the day."

Hurricane Katrina

For example, on September 11, 2005, Kelly responded to Bob Herbert's New York Times' report that "Bush's performance" following Hurricane Katrina "will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency." Kelly wrote in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article "No shame. The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed" that "conventional wisdom" was "the opposite of the truth."

Within days, Media Matters for America reported "Kelly put forth numerous falsehoods and dubious statements in defense of the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. Kelly's column was quickly embraced by the conservative media: On September 12, it was posted on the Drudge Report and read aloud by Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program." In its article, Media Matters dissected five separate claims made by Kelly. [4]

Earlier, Kelly wrote the following August 30, 2005, entry on his personal blog Irish Pennants:

"A national tragedy like this should bring people together in support of the afflicted. But jerks on the Left are using the tragedy to attack bush [sic] for causing the storm, and for not having enough National Guardsmen on hand (since some from the area are deployed in Iraq) to conduct relief efforts. ... Both assertions are preposterous. But worse, they are so mean-spirited. Sometimes I wonder if these people are fully human."

Kelly's blog archives for the month of September contains no postings prior to this September 26, 2005, entry in which he ironically wrote:

"This story" from the September 26, 2005, New Orleans' The Times-Picayune is a "reminder of how terrible the news coverage of Katrina has been. Any investigation of Katrina should include an investigation of how hysterical, biased and false reporting contributed to an atmosphere of crisis." (emphasis added)

Mission Accomplished: Battle of Fallujah

On June 12, 2005, in similar fashion, the Hairy Fish Nuts Blog dissected Iraq war-related stories by Kelly:


According to his Irish Pennants Blog profile, Kelly was born September 9, 1947, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and "reared in rural Wisconsin, Mr. Kelly was graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in 1970. Upon graduation, Mr. Kelly went to Vietnam as a correspondent for the Lavine Newspapers (Portage Daily Register and Chippewa Falls Herald-Telegram). His reporting won first prize in UPI's feature competition for that year. Mr. Kelly entered the Marine Corps in November, 1970. He received an honorable discharge as a corporal in February, 1972, in order to run for Congress in the Second Congressional District of Wisconsin. Had he been elected, Mr. Kelly would have been the youngest Representative in history, but there was never any danger of that. The only portion of his district he carried was a community in which he had never campaigned.

"With a fresh perspective on his suitability for elective politics, Mr. Kelly returned to journalism. He became a (very junior) member of the Washington bureau of the Dallas Times-Herald. Kelly was with the Times-Herald until the summer of 1975, when he became press secretary to Sen. John Tower (R-Tex). Kelly left Sen. Tower's staff in September, 1976, to become deputy press secretary for the Vice Presidential Campaign Unit of the President Ford Committee. That made him eminently eligible for other employment after the election in November.

"After a brief stint as deputy press secretary for the Republican National Committee, Mr. Kelly, in April, 1977, joined the staff of Rep. Bill Armstrong (R, Colo), who was planning to run for the senate. While working for Sen. Tower, Mr. Kelly had joined A Co., 2d Bn., 11th Special Forces Group, U.S. Army Reserve, so that he could jump out of airplanes. While working for Armstrong, he received a direct commission as a captain in the Marine Corps Reserve. He joined the 4th Civil Affairs Group, based at the Anacostia Naval Station in Washington, D.C. Bill Armstrong was elected to the senate in November, 1978. Mr. Kelly became his legislative assistant for defense and foreign relations. He remained in that position until becoming a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in December, 1983.

"Mr. Kelly's wife, Holly, died of a rare form of brain cancer in February, 1986. Feeling the need to do something more dangerous than he could in the Marine Corps Reserve, Mr. Kelly transferred back to Special Forces, and wound up commanding an A Team in the company in which he had served as an enlisted man. Mr. Kelly was called to active duty as a public affairs officer during DESERT STORM, and ended his military reserve career as a major assigned to Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C. After several distressing child care experiences—Mr. Kelly's daughters, Courtney Lynne and Kendra Leigh, were aged seven and seven months when their mother died—he moved to Colorado in February, 1989, where he could be the nanny. In Colorado, Mr. Kelly worked in two election campaigns and ran his own business (into the ground) before becoming director of communications for the Center for the New West, a think tank based in Denver. Mr. Kelly was working for the Center when, in September, 1995, he was hired as national affairs writer by the Toledo (Ohio) Blade. He began his column in May, 1998, and moved to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Blade's sister paper, in November, 1998. His column began to be syndicated nationally in 1999." Kelly married Pamela R. Winnick, "a former attorney who was then a reporter for The Blade and later was a reporter for the Post-Gazette" in January 2000.


  • Contributor to Jewish World Review
  • Staff member of Dr. Jack Wheeler's To The Point News [5]

Contact Information

Phone: 412 263-1476
Email: jkelly AT post-gazette.com
Weblog: http://www.irishpennants.com/

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links


Articles by Kelly

Articles & Commentary