If CNN doesn't hire them, Dan Rather and his producers can always get a job teaching at the Columbia School of Journalism. The Columbia Journalism Review recently defended the CBS report on George Bush using forged National Guard documents with the Tawana Brawley excuse: The documents might be "fake but accurate."
Dan Rather and his crack investigative producer Mary Mapes are still not admitting the documents were fakes. Of course, Dan Rather is still not admitting Kerry lost the election or that a woman named Juanita Broaddrick credibly accused Bill Clinton of rape.
Responding to Bill O'Reilly's question in a May 15, 2001, interview on "The O'Reilly Factor" about why CBS News had mentioned crackpot rumors of George Bush's drug use on air seven times, but the name "Juanita Broaddrick" had never crossed Dan Rather's lips (and was only mentioned twice on all of CBS News), Rather replied: "Juanita Broaddrick, to be perfectly honest, I don't remember all the details of Juanita Broaddrick. But I will say that ? and you can castigate me if you like. When the charge has something to do with somebody's private sex life, I would prefer not to run any of it."
If only the press had extended that same courtesy to Mike Tyson! Rape has as much to do with "somebody's private sex life" as Bush's National Guard service does.
Admittedly, Juanita Broaddrick's charge against Clinton ? that Bill Clinton raped her so brutally that her clothing was torn and her lip was swollen and bleeding, hence his parting words of "you'd better put some ice on that" ? was not a story on the order of Augusta National Golf Course's exclusion of women members. But, unlike the Bush drug-use charge, which remains unsupported to this day, Broaddrick's allegations had been fully corroborated by NBC News ? which then refused to air Lisa Myers' report until after Clinton's acquittal in the Senate.
Fortunately for Ms. Mapes, Rather also described Bill Clinton as "honest," explaining to O'Reilly, "I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things." This must have come as great comfort to Mapes, as she based an entire story about Bush's outrageous behavior in the National Guard on one Lt. Col. Bill Burkett.
Among the issues that might have raised questions about relying on Burkett as your source before accusing a sitting president of having disobeyed direct military orders are: