Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.

Dan Rather's Jedi Mind Trick  | e-mail post

I just finished watching the 60 Minutes segment this evening. Basicaly, the tack CBS is taking is that "CBS experts" still believe the documents are authentic, while "others" do not, but the "thrust of the story" is in dispute by no one. It seemed about 90% of the interview with Killian's secretary was focused on whether or not Bush was or was not a good Guardsman.

The thing is: that's not a story anymore. It really hasn't been for years. Did anybody think that Bush was in the Guard for any reason other than being from a family of influence? Is anybody saying Bush was an exceptional Guardsman? Has Bush used any aspect of his military service as part of his pedigree or qualifications for the Presidency? No. No. No.

Rather's report this evening simply ignores the fact that Rather and CBS have become the story. Rasmussen is reporting that only 27% of Americans think the documents are authentic, and that 38% think Rather is trying to help John Kerry. Rather's credibility is sinking fast. At this rate, CBS will soon be faced with a decision of whether or not (or how to) throw Rather under the bus to preserve any shred of integrity in their broader news operation. If any remains, that is, given the fact that CBS has shown an unwillingness to even investigate the authenticity of the documents, not just the veracity of the claims in the documents.

I'll be curious to see what happens if USA Today further investigation leads them to renounce the memos, leaving CBS standing alone, twisting in the wind.

And Anne Morse has an article about another time Dan Rather played fast and loose with the facts, back in 1988.

e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink]  |  | Wednesday, September 15, 2004
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