Anti-Kerry book defaced at online store

The cover of "Unfit for Command" is altered on Barnesandnoble.com, as the battle heats up over the presidential candidate's war record.

In an apparent case of Internet graffiti at an online retailer, the cover of a book critical of John Kerry's war record was altered to appear as if the tract supports the Democratic presidential candidate.

The book cover for the anti-Kerry book "Unfit for Command" was somehow changed Monday on Web bookseller Barnesandnoble.com to read "Fit for Command."

The rest of the information on the page appeared genuine, offering ordering information and a description of the book, which is subtitled "Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out against John Kerry." By late Monday afternoon, the book cover .

A Barnes & Noble representative did not immediately have a comment on the issue when contacted by CNET News.com.

Opinions on Kerry's war record have become a flash point in the days following the Democratic National Convention , where Kerry, now a senator from Massachusetts, appeared onstage with members of the swift boat crew he commanded in Vietnam and declared that he was "reporting for duty."

An anti-Kerry group, Swift Veterans for Truth, has created a TV ad with Vietnam veterans criticizing Kerry's war record. Republican Sen. John McCain, who is campaigning for President Bush, criticized that ad and called on Bush to denounce it, noting that none of those in the ad were actually on the same boat as Kerry.

Pro-Kerry groups have also taken to the Web, including America Coming Together, which has a George W. Bush parody done by Will Ferrell of "Saturday Night Live" fame.

The Internet offers a low-cost avenue for such partisan spots, whose backers may or may not have much in the way of funds for an expensive TV ad push.

Representatives of the Bush and Kerry campaigns were not immediately available for comment.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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