The PJ Tatler

Newspaper Slanders American War Hero

American war hero Nick “The Cigar Marine” Popaditch is a 15 year Marine who served as a tank commander at the Battle of Baghdad. He achieved notoriety when his photograph appeared on front pages of newspapers around the world as an AP photographer captured him smoking a victory cigar atop his tank’s cupola with the statue looming in the background. One year later Popaditch was critically wounded in Fallujah when he took shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade to the head. He is a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient.

Today Nick Popaditch is a grassroots republican candidate for congress running against Democratic Congresswoman Susan Davis. California operates an open-primary system, meaning the top 2 vote getters advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation. After the June 5th primary when both he and Davis qualified to advance to the general election, the editor and publisher of an Ocean Beach, CA newspaper, the OB Rag, published this baseless report ,

In the 53rd (district) — Susan Davis — a Democrat of course, over-powered extremist and white-supremacist Nick Popaditch with her 57%.

“Extremist and white-supremacist” are pretty strong words to say the least. In fact, some might say more like malicious and slanderous. Those of us who know Nick Popaditch personally (I have known him for two years and coincidentally. happen to live in the 53rd district ) know this to be without merit and were stunned by the brazenness of the mis-characterization. But perhaps no one was more surprised than his wife of 21 years, April Popaditch, who is of Native American and Hispanic descent.

“Wow, I think the tribe of 100+ in-laws he belongs to would love to know this about him”, she told me. “I grew up on a reservation. Our sons are mixed race as are every relative of mine. My family members are Indian, Black, Hawaiian, Samoan, Mexican and Asian who all call Nick their cousin (tradition) through our marriage.

When Frank Gromlie (the editor and publisher of the OB Rag) stated this as fact, I could not just sit back and let this happen. There is absolutely nothing more despicable to a minority like myself than a hateful white liberal man who surrounds himself with other hateful white liberals and attempts to play the race card. Nick has served this country and would have given his life for it. He has served alongside of every race, color and creed and fought for every American regardless of their political affiliation. In the military there are no colors, only the colors of our flag.

The editor and publisher in question is Mr. Frank Gromlie, an active “Occupy” protestor who has often times been quoted in the Huffington Post. I contacted his newspaper directly to request an interview and ask upon which facts did he base his report. Not surprisingly, I have yet to hear back. What will be interesting to watch is whether or not Popaditch’s opponent, Rep. Susan Davis, condemns what has been written. Rep. Davis sits on the House Armed Services Committee.

Meanwhile you have the opportunity to judge the man for yourself. On April 4th, several weeks before the June 5th primary, I interviewed Nick Popaditch on my recently launched online TV show. Since he is running for congress in one of San Diego’s most diverse districts, we covered such topics as gay voters, Hispanic and Asian voters, union workers, and the values of Republican and Democratic voters in the context of today’s economic environment. The prevailing theme of Popaditch’s message was simple, “We are one America.”

You have the opportunity to judge for yourself.