Dan Rather: Fairly unbalanced

Ann Coulter

9/23/2004 12:00:00 AM - Ann Coulter

I believe we now have conclusive proof that:

(1) Dan Rather is not an honest newsman who was simply duped by extremely clever forgeries; and

(2) We could have won the Vietnam War.

A basic canon of journalism is not to place all your faith in a lunatic stuck on something that happened years ago who hates the target of your story and has been babbling nonsense about him for years. And that's true even if you yourself are a lunatic stuck on something that happened years ago (an on-air paddling from Bush 41) who hates the target of your own story and has been babbling nonsense about him for years, Dan.

CBS' sole source authenticating the forged National Guard documents is Bill Burkett, who's about as sane as Margot Kidder was when they dragged her filthy, toothless butt out of somebody's shrubs a few years back. Burkett has compared Bush to Hitler and Napoleon, and rambles on about Bush's "demonic personality shortcomings." (This would put Burkett on roughly the same page as Al Gore.)

According to USA Today, an interview with Burkett ended when he "suffered a violent seizure and collapsed in his chair" ? an exit strategy Dan Rather has been eyeing hungrily all week, I'm sure. Burkett admits to having nervous breakdowns and having been hospitalized for depression.

At a minimum, the viewing public should have been informed that CBS' sole "unimpeachable" source of the forged anti-Bush records was textbook crank Bill Burkett in order to evaluate the information. ("Oh no, not that guy again!") The public would know to use the same skeptical eye it uses to watch the "CBS Evening News With Dan Rather" itself.

Whoever forged these documents should not only be criminally prosecuted, but should also have his driver's license taken away for the stupidity of using Microsoft Word to forge 1971 documents.

And yet this was the evidence CBS relied on to accuse a sitting president of a court martial-level offense 50 days before a presidential election.

As of Sept. 20, Dan Rather says he still believes the documents are genuine and says he wants to be the one to break the story if the documents are fake. (Dan might want to attend to that story after his exclusive report on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.) Rather is also eagerly awaiting some other documents Burkett says he has that prove Bush is a brainwashed North Korean spy.

By now, the only possibilities are: (1) Dan Rather knew he was foisting forgeries on the nation to try to change a presidential election or (2) "Kenneth" inflicted some real brain damage when he hit Rather in the head back in 1986.

Liberals keep telling us to "move on" from the CBS scandal ? which means we're really onto something. They act surprised and insist this incident was a freak occurrence ? an unfortunate mistake in the twilight of a great newsman's career.

To the contrary, such an outrageous fraud was inevitable given the mendacity and outright partisanship of the press.

Burkett didn't come to CBS; CBS found Burkett. Rather's producer, Mary Mapes, called Joe Lockhart at the Kerry campaign and told him he needed to talk to Burkett. Lockhart himself is the apotheosis of the media-DNC complex, moving in and out of Democratic campaigns and jobs with the mainstream media, including at ABC, NBC and CNN.

CBS was attempting to manipulate a presidential election in wartime. What if CBS had used better forgeries? What if ? like Bush's 30-year-old DUI charge ? the media had waited 72 hours before the election to air this character assassination?

There is one reason CBS couldn't wait until just before the election to put these forgeries on the air: It would be too late. Kerry was crashing and burning ? because of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. (Funny that the Swift Boat veterans haven't been able to get on Kerry PR agency CBS News.)

Despite a total blackout on the Swift Boat Veterans in the mainstream media, the Swifties had driven Kerry's poll numbers into the dirt long before the Republican National Convention ? proving once again that it's almost impossible for liberals to brainwash people who can read.

Even the New York Times had to stop ignoring the No. 1 book on its own best-seller list, "Unfit for Command," in order to run front-page articles attacking the Swift Boat Veterans.

The "Today" show has given Kitty Kelley a chair next to Katie Couric until Election Day. (It's now Day Seven of Kelley's refusal to produce records concerning charges that she is in the final stages of syphilitic dementia.) At least they're more likely to get the truth in Kitty Kelley's book than in Doug Brinkley's "Tour of Duty." But Katie hasn't had time to interview the Swift Boat veterans.

CBS showcased laughable forgeries obtained from a man literally foaming at the mouth in order to accuse the president of malfeasance. But CBS would never put a single one of the 264 Vietnam veterans on the air to say what they knew about Kerry.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth show the role of the individual in history. It wasn't Republican strategists who finished Kerry off two months before the election; it was the American people. The Swift Boat veterans came along and kicked Kerry in the shins and no matter how much heat they took, they were brave and wouldn't give up. The veterans who served with Kerry told the truth and the American people listened (as soon as they managed to locate a copy of "Unfit for Command" hidden on one of the back shelves at their local bookstores).

CBS was forced to run a fake story so early in the campaign that it was exposed as a fraud ? only because of the Swift Boat vets. These brave men, many of them decorated war heroes, have now not only won the election for Bush, they have ended Dan Rather's career.

It's often said that we never lost a battle in Vietnam, but that the war was lost at home by a seditious media demoralizing the American people. Ironically, the leader of that effort was Rather's predecessor at CBS News, Walter Cronkite, president of the Ho Chi Minh Admiration Society.

It was Cronkite who went on air and lied about the Tet offensive, claiming it was a defeat for the Americans. He told the American people the war was over and we had lost. Ronald Reagan said CBS News officials should have been tried for treason for those broadcasts.

CBS has already lost one war for America. The Swift Boat Vets weren't going to let CBS lose another one.