Fast Food Publisher Accuses Industry of ‘Swift Boat-Style Campaign’ Against Author

chew_on_this.gifHoughton Mifflin, the New York-based publisher of Fast Food Nation and Chew On This, says the fast food insustry’s efforts to discredit its author, Eric Schlosser, is beginning to resemble the Swift Boat-style campaign waged against John Kerry during the 2004 presidential race.

Houghton Mifflin vice president and editor-in-chief Eamon Dolan‘s statement:

“In the five years since we published Fast Food Nation, the facts in the book have never been effectively refuted by the fast food industry,” said Dolan. “It has become required reading at universities throughout the United States, routinely assigned by professors in a wide variety of disciplines. Yet now, with the publication of Chew on This, which Eric co-authored with Charles Wilson, the industry has launched a Swift Boat-style campaign against Eric rather than focusing on ways to improve adolescent health. Clearly the industry believes that when you cannot refute the message, it is better to go after the messenger.”

The response is due in part to a pair of recent Wall Street Journal reports alluding to attacks by McDonald’s and various groups with ties to conservative Washington lobbying firm DCI Group against Schlosser.