Skip to comments.Brent Bozell DISSECTS Rather's "Apology
Posted on 09/20/2004 8:11:10 PM PDT by Tribemike
***Media Research Center CyberAlert Flash Alert*** 10:25pm EDT, Monday September 20, 2004
Rather Refuses to Describe Memos as Forgeries, Offers No Apology for Impugning Accurate Critics as "Partisan Operatives," Concedes CBS Approached Burkett Despite Burkett's Bush-Hating Record, Devotes Much Less Time to Clarification Than to Two CBS Evening News Stories Which Insisted Upon Authenticity of Memos
Text of Press Release Quoting the MRC's President on ather/CBS
Dan Rather remained in denial Monday night about the transgressions committed by himself and CBS News as he refused to state outright on the CBS Evening News that the memos were forgeries, going only so far as "we can no longer vouch for their authenticity," and though he said he was "sorry" for the "mistake"> of not adequately scrutinizing "the documents and their source," he offered no apology for repeatedly impugning the motives of those who questioned CBS's reporting and he neglected to retract the premise of his original story now that its underpinnings have been discredited by the forged memos and retired Colonel Walter Staudt's contention that he applied no pressure on Bush's behalf and felt none himself to let Bush into the Guard.
(See the September 20 CyberAlert for the views of Staudt, whose pressure was cited in one of CBS's made-up memos. The item includes a still shot of him from Saturday's Good Morning America:
In short, Rather did not address the political agenda CBS had in pursuing the anti-Bush story while showing no such aggressiveness about John Kerry's record. If someone in Massachusetts handed CBS an old memo which purported to illustrate how a Navy commander fretted about pressure to award medals to Kerry which he had not earned, do you think CBS would have raced to get it on the air to validate the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth?
Rather also revealed that not only did CBS get the documents from a left-wing, anti-Bush political activist with a questionable record for accuracy, CBS approached him, namely Bill Burkett. Rather admitted: "He did not come to us. We went to him and asked him for the documents." Rather conceded foreknowledge of Burkett's political agenda, what should have been a red flag from the start: "Burkett is well known in National Guard circles for a long battle> over his medical benefits and for trying for several years now to discredit President Bush's military service record."
That's putting it mildly. See more below on Burkett's agenda, including how he pedaled his claims to the Kerry campaign, another red flag, and compared Bush to Hitler. Plus, Burkett told AP that CBS News producer Mary Mapes advised him to provide his information to the Kerry campaign.
Burkett informed Rather that he had insisted to CBS's producer, presumably Mary Mapes, that the documents "be authenticated." If you can believe him, then CBS ignored a warning from a man with a self-interest in having them be real.
Rather allocated just 3:35 to his Monday night correction, much less time than the nearly six minutes he consumed of the Friday, September 10 CBS Evening News defending his story and impugning those who doubted it as "partisan political operatives" who were avoiding the real questions, such as, "Did Lieutenant Bush refuse a direct order from his commanding officer?"; or the little more than four minutes on the Monday, September 13 CBS Evening News Rather devoted to his then-new defense, that the memos "could have" been created in the 1970s, a line of reasoning he fortified with two "experts" who a few days later denied to the Washington Post that they were "experts."
For his September 13 lame rationalizations: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040914.asp#1
Now, more on how over the last ten days Rather has impugned those who questioned his use of forged documents to advance a dirty trick hit on a presidential candidate, followed by an overview of Burkett's agenda of revenge against George W. Bush:
# Rather over the past ten days or so impugning those who dared doubt his reporting:
-- Rather, Friday, September 10 CBS Evening News: "Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story."
For a full rundown of Rather's September 10 dissembling: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040911.asp#1
- Rather on a Manhattan street, caught by CNN's cameras, September 10: "I do want to underscore with you that the White House, which took their shots at us today, the Bush/Cheney campaign took their shots at us, they have not answered the question of, did or did not the President obey a direct order from his military superior while he was a Lieutenant? Did he or did he -- was he or was he not suspended for failure to meet performance standards of the Air Force and Texas Air National Guard? If he didn't take the physical, why didn't he take the physical?"
And, on whether he might apologize or offer a retraction: "Not even discussed, and nor should it be. I want to make clear to you. I want to make clear to you, if I have not made clear to you, that this story is true and that more important questions than how we got the story, which is where those who don't like the story would like to put the emphasis. The more important question is, what are the answers to the questions raised in this story which I just gave you earlier?"
-- Rather insisted to Joe Hagan of the New York Observer, for a story posted on September 15, that "powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents because they can't deny the fundamental truth of the story." He added: "If you can't deny the information, then attack and seek to destroy the credibility of the messenger, the bearer of the information. And in this case, it's change the subject from the truth of the information to the truth of the documents....This is your basic fogging machine, which is set up to cloud the issue, to obscure the truth."
Rather also equated the attacks on CBS to the "heat" CBS News took "during the McCarthy time."
--Rather to the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz for a September 16 article: "I don't back up. I don't back down. I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces."
For excerpts from the Hagan and Kurtz stories, see the September 16 CyberAlert: http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040916.asp#3
-- From Peter Johnson's September 16 USA Today story, an excerpt: "People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, 'Because he won't report it our way, we're going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain.' They know that I'm fiercely independent and that's what drives them up a wall."
He said he expected to take heat on the story from Bush supporters and the right wing, which has long accused him of being liberal and pro-Democrat. Those camps "can't deny the message so they have to discredit and destroy the messenger," he said. "Anybody who has been around for a while understands that's going to happen. It goes with the territory."
Since the buildup to the war in Iraq, Rather said, the nation's news media have turned timid. "An awful lot of people in journalism have laid down and said: 'I'm not going to ask the tough questions. I'm not going to tell any tough truths' because when you do that, you're going to pay too heavy a price, and so a lot of people just walk away."
END of Excerpt
Saint Dan, the Memo Martyr.
Just one more victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
Too little. Too late. (and doesn't Dan look like he's trying to have a s*** in the photo above?)
And I thought we screwed up Bob!
Its obvious there was total coordination between CBS and the DNC, regardless of the source of the documents. From the amateur nature of these forgeries, it could have been Mrs. Maples sixth grade social studies class. The source is insignificant compared to the collusion between CBS and the DNC to deceive and defraud the American public.
Delusional Indicator #463.
"I do my best thinking when I'm sitting here on the can. I bring my little memo tablet with me so that I can transfer the product right here onto my paper. This is how an old guy like me multi-tasks..."
"In short, Rather did not address the political agenda CBS had in pursuing the anti-Bush story while showing no such aggressiveness about John Kerry's record."
Mr. Bozell obviously knows better (I hope!)
It would sure be nice to have an unbiased media, but we can file that under "ain't gonna happen". It would have been great to have Kerry's feet be put to the fire by other than Internet bloggers and the conservative columnists.
WHO TOLD THEM HE HAD THEM??????????
One "Apology" that is still due is from that scumbag, Tom Harkin who said the memos "proved" Bush lied about his service record.
That guy needs to be shipped to North Korea
Definition of insane journalism: Dan Rather looks in the mirror and sees God looking back at him. Dan asks God, Who are you, and God answers, Dont you know who Dan Rather is?
Anyone else noticed that the "contact us" link at the foot of the www.cbsnews.com page has been disabled?.......
IF that can be proved in a solid way and then gotten out so the general public fully realizes what that means-- the DEMONcrat party will be gravely wounded.
And it's starting to look Rather possible.
The Pajama-hadeen has taken down one of the three big warlords.
Yes, TOM HARKIN....APOLOGIZE!
I've not watched the old fart in ages. Was he choking on his apology for getting caught, or does he normally speak that way? He looked as if he was trying to keep from passing gas.
Isn't anyone interested in who actually "fashioned" the memos? That news is going to be shocking!
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