CBS News and anchorman Dan Rather have entered the journalistic equivalent of one of Dante?s circles of Hell, forced to live forever with a scandal they created. With their Texas Air National Guard forgeries, they now live in a neighborhood of national media embarrassments. Faked Food Lion resumes. Staged GM pickup truck explosions. Janet Cooke?s profile of Jimmy the eight-year-old coke addict. Jayson Blair?s phony travelogues from "West Virginia."
Watergate was a scandal Mr. Rather thoroughly enjoyed, since he built his career on ripping into Richard Nixon. Now Rather is Nixon, a bitter, vengeful man who allowed his friends to use dirty tricks against his political opponents and when caught, can only deny, deny, deny and bluster about the evil intentions of his enemies.
To borrow lingo from John Kerry, Dan Rather has been reckless, arrogant, and ideologically blind in his pursuit of Moby Bush. When it became obvious that Rather and "60 Minutes" had passed off bad forgeries ? and let?s assume Rather was an irresponsible dupe, not an active participant ? in an attempt to fill in the blanks of President Bush?s 1972-73 Air National Guard service, the smart move would have been to come clean, apologize, and clear up the mess. Sure, it would have been humiliating for Rather and CBS ? but only for a day. Thereafter CBS would have reaped the rewards. "At CBS, our focus is the truth," could have been their new rallying (and marketing) cry.
But no. Rather continues to stand by a disaster. As CNSNews.com first reported, and others have repeated, nearly every independent expert says CBS?s "memos," supposedly from Bush?s commander Jerry Killian, most assuredly were produced by a modern word processor, not a 1970s typewriter. Killian?s widow and son testified that the idea he?d written these memos was preposterous. The widow said he didn?t type and didn?t keep files.
The son, also a National Guard officer, said no Guard officer in his "right mind" would write such a memo. The son was interviewed by CBS. CBS chose not in include him in the piece. The son recommended CBS talk directly to Lt. Bush?s roommate. The CBS producer dismissed this witness as a Bush supporter.