Friday, September 21, 2007

Rathergate - Dan's Waterloo

Byron York writes about the surprise move on Dan Rather's part to sue CBS News. Return to Rathergate exposes several interesting claims by Dan.
First, he claims that, after the report stirred controversy, top CBS management conducted a sham investigation of the story for the purpose of making sure that damaging information about George W. Bush be kept secret.

“CBS announced that it was conducting a thorough independent investigation into the underlying story of the broadcast and its production,” the lawsuit says, “when in fact its intention was to conduct a biased investigation with controlled timing and predetermined conclusions in order to prevent further information concerning Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service from being uncovered.”

This fake investigation, Rather charges, was done so that CBS could “pacify the White House” by making Rather the “scapegoat” of what would become known as Rathergate.
Mr. York is as surprised as I was to learn that CBS was interested in pacifying the Bush White House. It will certainly be entertaining to see Dan Accuse CBS of being a friend of George Bush, while CBS makes the case for being non-biased.
Meanwhile at the Huffington Post, Mary Mapes Congratulates Dan because Rather still has more reportorial testosterone than the entire employee roster at FOX News in her post Courage for Dan Rather

Mary was Dan's associate who, as I recall, obtained the documents for the Story. She makes a big deal about the Right Wing Bloggers who attacked the authenticity of the documents concerning George Bush's National Guard Service.

Whether President Bush was ducking Vietnam Service or not was not any more of a story than President Clinton's Draft Dodging. Unlike John Kerry, George Bush did not try to use his Military Service as a stepping stone to the Presidency. Actually Senator Kerry's Senate Testimony which criminalized the US Military was his downfall.

But Mary's most revealing statement is this paragraph.
We reported that since these documents were copies, not originals, they could not be fully authenticated, at least not in the legal sense. They could not be subjected to tests to determine the age of the paper or the ink. We did get corroboration on the content and support from a couple of longtime document analysts saying they saw nothing indicating that the memos were not real.
On the one hand she says the originals could not be produced, therefore, they could not be authenticated. On the other hand Mary claims a couple of document analysts saw nothing indicating the memos were not real, but neither did or could they say they were real. She fails to mention that many more document analysts strongly felt they could not be authentic.

One expert was able to reproduce the document letter for letter with Microsoft Word default settings. Strange coincidence since Microsoft Word was not available when the memos were claimed to have been written.

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