Interesting article but I always get suspicious of articles that get their first facts rong, like the date They Were Expendable was made.
I find it curious that an arch-conservative would be quoting McBride as an authority, because his books are very biased, one of the more left wing writers who sees Ford as the documenter of American social history and has a great deal of trouble reconciling the fact that he used John Wayne in his films.
I found McBride pretty damn nasty about John Wayne, he seemed to take a quite vindictive pride in telling Navahos that Wayne was racist and making sure they threatened to shoot him if he returned to Monument Valley, (which Wayne did and the Navahos didn't).
And McBride was the writer who lied his way into an interview with Ford and Ford had great fun boasting to Henry Fonda he not revealing anything. McBride claims he was on the set of the Shootist but it sounds a bit like he got short shift from Wayne too. Maybe one of the reasons he is so nasty.
I get a bit annoyed at 70's liberals who have discovered Ford now trying to write their politics into their books about him and John Wayne ( and for the record I'm not a conservative) but some of those writers seem to be running vendettas. McBride amongst them.