Dan Rather’s just-released statement just begs to be fisked:
Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of
documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about
President Bush’s time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed
to re-examine the documents in question—and their
source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American
public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.
Where was your skepticism about the four documents you ran with
when your own experts told you two of the original six were bogus, Dan?
Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the
confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching
for them journalistically.
And why did you ever “have confidence” in those four when you withheld them
from your own experts, Dan?
I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for
the documents came into possession of these papers.
So, you’re still not admitting that your “source” passed you crude
forgeries that anyone with the nerve to call himself an investigative
journalist should have spotted in thirty seconds flat?
That, combined with some of the questions that have been
raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew
then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it
was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in
Do you know that the memos were forged? Are you prepared to state for
the record that your source was not a Kerry partisan engaged in a fraudulent
attempt to manipulate a presidential election?
But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for
that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith
and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of
investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.
Ah, the nebulous “we” — favorite weasel-word of
responsibility-evaders. Will you take responsibility for that
decision, Dan? If you won’t, whose decision was it? If you will,
where is your resignation?
Please know that nothing is more important to us than people’s trust
in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.
Oh, we believe that all right. After all, if you don’t
have peoples’ trust, how can you manipulate them?
No admission that the documents are forgeries. No disclosure of
the source. Dan, given your history of appearing at Democratic
fund-raisers and donating to left-wing causes, can you give us any
reason at all to believe you are not shielding John Kerry’s oppo
UPDATE: CBS claims
that disgruntled ex-Guardsman Bill Burkett was the source of the
documents, and misled CBS about them to protect the actual source.
Who is the “actual source” of this fraud against the American
electorate? Why didn’t CBS validate the documents before broadcasting
an unfounded attack on the President of the United States during a
time of war? Inquiring minds want to know!
AND MORE: This just keeps getting better! Burkett has not only
admitted that the forged memos passed through him to CBS, he says
he gave them
to Max Cleland, John Kerry’s triple-amputee token Vietvet. Burkett
has already changed his story at least once about who his source was.
I can’t be the only person thinking Burkett has been set up as the
fall guy in order to make politically-motivated collusion between CBS
and the Kerry campaign deniable.