Thomas Sowell

 CBS newscaster Dan Rather apparently thinks that the best defense is a good offense. After an ever-growing number of document experts have turned up an ever-growing number of discrepancies to indicate that the document he relied on to smear President Bush's National Guard service are forgeries, Rather now demands that the President "answer the questions" raised by his 60 Minutes broadcast.
 
Think about it. If this or any other President of the United States spent his time answering all charges made in the media, including charges based on forged documents, there would be no time left to do anything else.

To say that Dan Rather has often shown poor judgment would be an understatement comparable to saying that hurricanes are windy. This is the same man who flew to Baghdad to interview Saddam Hussein on the eve of the 2003 invasion, providing the Iraqi dictator with a worldwide propaganda outlet in which to promote his murderous regime.

 This is the same Dan Rather who once broadcast a pronouncement that a "startling number of American children are in danger of starving" because "one out of eight American children is going hungry tonight." This was based on another unreliable source -- and Rather's own hasty conclusions.

 Some left-wing advocacy group had asked parents whether they had, at any time during the previous year, fed their children less, or less of a variety of foods, because they were short of money. In other words, did you ever feed the kids hot dogs, when you would like to have given them steak and potatoes and a salad and dessert?

 Apparently one out of eight parents said that this had happened at some time or other during the previous year. From this Dan Rather concluded that one out of eight children was going to bed hungry each night -- and was in danger of starving!

 It is amazing how little evidence is necessary for media liberals to believe things that fit their vision. Had Rather checked other sources, he might have discovered that there was no significant difference in the intake of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from one income level to another, except that obesity -- not starvation -- was more common at low income levels.

 In today's memorandum forgery controversy, Dan Rather says that he is not the issue, Bush is. This may be a clever tactic to deflect the growing criticism, but half of his statement is right. It is not just Rather or CBS News whose credibility has been damaged. This exposes media bias in general.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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