September 20, 2007

Ironically attacking his own reputation, Dan Rather sues CBS for ruining his reputation.

What a mind-boggling legal theory! Dan Rather's reputation had to do with the appearance that he was vouching for the stories he read on the air, that he was taking personal responsibility for their truth. He's suing CBS for allowing him to report a phony story:
By his own rendering, Mr. Rather was little more than a narrator of the disputed broadcast, which was shown on Sept. 8, 2004, on the midweek edition of “60 Minutes” and which purported to offer new evidence of preferential treatment given to Mr. Bush when he was a lieutenant in the Air National Guard.

Instead of directly vetting the script he would read for the Guard segment, Mr. Rather says, he acceded to pressure from Mr. Heyward to focus instead on his reporting from Florida on Hurricane Frances, and on Bill Clinton’s heart surgery.

Mr. Rather says in the filing that he allowed himself to be reduced to little more than a patsy in the furor that followed, after CBS concluded that the report had been based on documents that could not be authenticated.
So, his own actions, as he describes them, warrant the diminishment of his reputation. In which case, in asserting the basis for his lawsuit, he's diminishing his own reputation. Why then is he filing the lawsuit? You may say: for $70 million. But he has to win the lawsuit to get the money. And he has to pay his lawyers out of that recovery. Very expensive lawyers, too. Sullivan & Cromwell. (I used to work there.) And he's already dumped a lot of his own money into investigating the matter.

So, if it's not about getting money, what's it about? Well, there's this:
“I’d like to know what really happened,” he said, his eyes red and watering. “Let’s get under oath. Let’s get e-mails. Let’s get who said what to whom, when and for what purpose.”
Who, what, when, and why... I get it. It's like reporting. Except you use the judicial process to force people to talk to you and produce documents.

(Hilarious photograph at the link.)

ADDED: A lawyer from Sullivan & Cromwell is quoted in the linked article, but that firm doesn't represent Rather. His lawyers are Sonnenshein Nath & Rosenthal, and here's the complaint -- courtesy of Beldar, who's writing about that case. On one point, he says:
.... I'm sorry, but that's so badly wrong as a matter of law that every one of the Sonnenschien lawyers whose name appears on this complaint ought to be sanctioned for making it...
Also:
[I]fCBS has the guts to fight it — and that is an open question — CBS will win it. You can bet the ranch on it.

80 comments:

Ron said...

That photo! "Rather prepares to join Senior Revival of '42nd Street', Jazz hands in top form."

EnigmatiCore said...

“Let’s get under oath. Let’s get e-mails. Let’s get who said what to whom, when and for what purpose.”

I do not believe for a second that Rather does not already know the answer to these questions.

And I believe he knows very well that such things will merely validate what everyone except a handful of loonies (akin to Troofers) already knows.

I think this is nothing more than a shakedown. He knows the truth makes him look really, really bad but that it also makes CBS look really, really bad. He knows that CBS News is already teetering under Couric. He knows that CBS will likely cough up a lot of money to prevent people from knowing the rot extended well beyond Dan Rather.

AllenS said...

This lawsuit certainly won't make Katie Couric look good, nor any of the other network nightly news people. Exposing the MSM for what it is, will probably be a good thing.

Pogo said...

Much like OJ searching for the real murderer, Rather wants to know "what really happened."

But in trying to play himself off as the patsy, he risks exposing his record of obfuscation and politically-motivated reporting by lawyers that won't take care to shield him from his ugly past.

Moreover, if he was really only a talking head all along, he has no claim on a reputation which was largely that of an investigative reporter.

And the "patsy" explanation deos nothing to explain why he refused to back down from the story until it was a fait accompli. He'll certainly have an explanation for it, but it will be a bizarre one, and a lie. Few people will believe that a company that gave him a base salary of $6 million a year did not involve him in news discussions.

And his claim concerning “CBS’ intentional mishandling” of the Texas Air National Guard story is chutzpah at its finest. Of course it was intentional; that's how Rather reported stories all along.

This will be much more fun than the OJ mistrial. At a minimum, the propagandization of CBS news will be shown to the world.

Meade said...

*ahem*

courage

*cough*

Bob said...

Ah! We finally found Kenneth! He's the guy in the mirror, from the Star Trek "mirror universe" where the good is evil and the evil is good. It was Kenneth that tried to fix the election with the Killian documents, not Dan. If we can somehow get Kenneth out of the mirror, we can pummel him into giving us the Frequency, and thus learn the answer to the whole horrible mess!

John Foster said...

Actually, he's being represented by Sonnenschein Nath. Not that they're so cheap, either.

rcocean said...

Rather destroyed his own Reputation.

Not because he trusted his producer and narrated a hit piece on Bush - which was bad enough. But because ever since the report aired he's been lying, stonewalling, and attacking the his critics. Y'know those partisan "right-wing" critics who pointed out the truth.

He's been passing the buck ever since. A month after the original report he was still reading off a a list of Mapes prepared talking points. You'd think Big Dan the Reporter Man would've wanted the TRUTH from day one, but not in this case.

BTW, he still defends the story as "essentially true"; because no one has PROVED the documents were forgeries.

knoxwhirled said...

I seem to remember reading that Rather was almost universally disliked at CBS. Once he was no longer Mr. Fancy-Pants everyone was probably eager to shun him. This may account for his lack of work more than anything else. Didn't Mike Wallace (a tool in his own right) say Rather should have quit? He's got to have a pretty big say in what happens on 60 Minutes. *yawn* can't even type "60 Minutes" without getting sleepy....

knoxwhirled said...

BTW, he still defends the story as "essentially true"; because no one has PROVED the documents were forgeries.

Yes... and this is supposedly a skilled, expert, objective investigative reporter. And his standard of verifying a critically important story is: "It's true if it sounds right to me; go out and prove me wrong!

Roger said...

enigmaticore is all over it. Well said! That said, I DO wish it would go to court--discovery would be fantastic. And as an aside, please note that he destroys Mary Mapes--didnt he and MM used to do the FEA thing? She just got F'ed. What a collective bunch of slimeballs.

David said...

Tom Wolfe once remarked that a newscaster is simply the modern equivalent of a Linotype machine--a device that formats thoughts created by others. Perhaps Rather could use this quote in his case.

rcocean said...

"He's got to have a pretty big say in what happens on 60 Minutes. *yawn* can't even type "60 Minutes" without getting sleepy...."

LoL. I stopped watching 60 minutes 15 years ago. Being slow, it took me years to understand they were just running the same pieces under different names year after year.

Rather would have been a perfect fit and at 74 he would have met the minimum age requirement of 65.

Tim said...

Shakin' the Man down for money and burnishing his credentials as a victim of the Man; yup, he's a Democrat, with an agenda.

CBS will settle for obvious reasons; Rather will accept a settlement that pays 30 or more cents on the dollar as long as there's a statement from CBS that might possibly be construed, depending upon parsing, by the clowns at the Columbia School of Journalism as something akin to disavowal of the Thornburg/Boccardi Report and exoneration for Rather.

50-50 odds on the settlement; the over/under is about $23 million.

jane said...

I think Dan and the rest of us would profit were he to come up with a class action suit against CBS for making him put on that forced stiff smile at the end of newscasts. We were all real victims of that.

Zeb Quinn said...

I do not believe for a second that Rather does not already know the answer to these questions.

Me, I'm thinking that he's a sufficiently deluded nutter that he really doesn't.

The Drill SGT said...

three comments:

1. Ann got Beldar's best quote already, but I think the second best is: The law firm that Rather has retained, Chicago-based Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, is indeed a good firm. The complaint that Sonnenschein's New York office has filed on Dan Rather's behalf, however, is a nicely buffed and polished piece of garbage.

2. It seems that ultimately the actual cost/benefit calculation on Rathert's part is actually the reverse of the one postulated by the suit. In the suit, he argues that his reputation was damaged and that caused him losses. In reality what he is doing is the reverse. He knows that the lawsuit will damage his reputation quite a bit, but that it has little value and it will damage CBS's reputation somewhat, AT GREAT COST. So he is essentially blackmailing over discovery.

3. "essentially true"; because no one has PROVED the documents were forgeries. isn't the burden as much on him as a reporter to prove that the documents are true? clearly he can't because of the technical font issues AND a complete lack of "chain of custody" to anyone who could possibly have had true documents.

MadisonMan said...

He looks a little unstable in that picture. He's 75 now; I wonder is he's a healthy 75.

I'm happy the paper resisted the temptation to use the verb 'reflect' in the caption.

hdhouse said...

I'll certainly remember all the points raised in this discussion next time I watch Faux Noise....speaking of lying...

http://www.2dca.org/opinion/February%2014,%202003/2D01-529.pdf

rdkraus said...

Can CBS counterclaim for that haircut Rather got? I mean, that was damage !

SteveR said...

He's just trying to embarrass Moonves, he doesn't need the money. They embarrased him, he wants revenge. Its hardly possible he can be futher diminished in the public eye, he is a hero to those who believe (and always will believe) the story to be true and a bad journalist to the rest.

Saul said...

I think this is partly because of the Imus shakedown. He thinks CBS will roll over and kick him 10 million and he can claim victory. I like Rather a bit, but he's been on the decline since "What's the frequency Kenneth?" I happened to watch the exchange live with Bush I over the Iran-Contra affair, and thought that was overblown.

Hope I don't go nuts in my old age.

Palladian said...

He can cross-examine himself.

Perhaps this will refresh my memory!

knoxwhirled said...

The most mind-numbing thing about 60 Minutes (hard to come up with the MOST mind-numbing thing) is the leading questions. The interviewer invariably sits there and methodically prompts the interviewee to tell the prescribed story:

"and were you... frightened?" dragging out the predictable response: "very frightened."

...and on and on. Thrilling television!

I happened to notice in EW last week that 60 minutes was in the top 10 in the Nielsen ratings. Go figure.

MadisonMan said...

I happened to notice in EW

EW is a great magazine. I'm glad someone else here reads it!

Pogo said...

Given their ratings, asking "So when did you stop watching 60 minutes?" seems to be a useful question, likely to reveal one's political leanings without being explicit, if the need should arise.

Tully said...

50-50 odds on the settlement; the over/under is about $23 million.

CBS is Weenieville.

I'll take YES on the settlement and the under. They'll probably pop him a quick $5-10 mil to go away, along with a public statement that can be weasel-parsed as absolving Rather of journalistic whoredom because the Killian check didn't clear.

Trooper York said...

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
I was brain-dead, locked out, numb, not up to speed
I thought I'd pegged you an idiot's dream
Tunnel vision from the outsider's screen
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh
You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh

I'd studied your cartoons, radio, music, TV, movies, magazines
Richard said, "Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy"
A smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth
You said that irony was the shackles of youth
You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh

"What's the frequency, Kenneth?" is your Benzedrine, uh-huh
Butterfly decal, rear-view mirror, dogging the scene
You smile like the cartoon, tooth for a tooth
You said that irony was the shackles of youth
You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I never understood the frequency, uh-huh
You wore our expectations like an armored suit, uh-huh
I couldn't understand
You said that irony was the shackles of youth, uh-huh
I couldn't understand
You wore a shirt of violent green, uh-huh
I couldn't understand
I never understood, don't fuck with me, uh-huh

(REM)

Revenant said...

I'll certainly remember all the points raised in this discussion next time I watch Faux Noise....speaking of lying...

http://www.2dca.org/opinion/February%2014,%202003/2D01-529.pdf

I'm not sure why you think the linked document makes Fox look *bad*, HD. Fox fired two reporters who were trying to produce a hit piece that lacked substantiating evidence. The courts agreed that Fox had not acted improperly. In other words, Fox did what CBS *should* have done to Dan Rather.

rcocean said...

"Given their ratings, asking "So when did you stop watching 60 minutes?" seems to be a useful question, likely to reveal one's political leanings without being explicit, if the need should arise."

In 1990, 60 minutes had a 20 rating, meaning 20% US households watched, today its down to less than a 10 rating.

Unless you think only conservatives have stopped watching, your comment is meaningless.

Original Mike said...

Rev observed: I'm not sure why you think the linked document makes Fox look *bad*, HD. Fox fired two reporters who were trying to produce a hit piece that lacked substantiating evidence. The courts agreed that Fox had not acted improperly. In other words, Fox did what CBS *should* have done to Dan Rather.

Careful, HD. Making a charge via posting a link which, when READ (sorry, couldn't resist) doesn't support the charge is LOS's MO.

Paul Snively said...

rocean: BTW, he still defends the story as "essentially true"; because no one has PROVED the documents were forgeries.

I guess that depends upon what your proof standard is. Honestly, I think this is as good as it gets without video of the forgeries being made. Incidentally, while I'm in no position to write a book on TrueType, I do know a fair amount about how it works, having participated in a code review of the first TrueType renderer ever written, and it's patently obvious to anyone familiar with the typographic technology in question that the TANG memos are forgeries.

Pogo said...

Re; "Unless you think only conservatives have stopped watching"

Someone still watches:

("I happened to notice in EW last week that 60 minutes was in the top 10 in the Nielsen ratings.")

Those remaining believers might just be liberals. I was making a jest, though, noticing only that it fits with the NYTimes-NPR-Volvo axis of weevils.

David said...

The "story" was that Bush got special treatment to get in to the TANG, and then blew off even that service committment. It remains not only essentially true, but actually true, even though some of the evidence was false. Does that mean rather should win his suit? No, but it also means Bush probably shouldn't be president, and might not have been if Rather hadn't messed it up.

"Kenneth, what's the frequency?" has to be an interrogatory if the case ever gets to discovery.

B said...

Dan Rather's "presence" in the anchor chair over the years was actually a reassuring national influence. The big 3 anchors of the last generation - Brokaw, Jennings, Rather - despite their obviously barely controlled liberal tendencies, provided an actual service to this country. When a major disaster struck, your TV was turned to one of their grandfatherly "This is serious, but we'll get through this" anchor desks. They facilitated the national conversation, and yes, the sometimes national "healing". The country would definitely have benefited from having them anchor the news during Katrina instead of the crying, diaper-wearing Anderson Cooper types. The national dialog would have been far more civil and accomplished much more. The amount of ridiculous and erroneous "reporting" during Katrina led to an unprecedented amount of national finger pointing and hatred that festers today. If at least one of the big 3 had been on the job, for example, Jefferson County Parrish President Alvin Broussard would have been questioned more aggressively and exposed up front as the fraud we later found he turned out to be. In the meantime, his lies were widely quoted, paticularly by out-of-control congresspersons (Pelosi among them) , and shrill partisans as fact. But sadly, there were no grown-ups around America's newsrooms when Katrina hit.

Our current media world doesn't provide the same today - with the exception being Charlie Gibson on ABC - which is the only real explanation for his being at the top of the news ratings in America 5 nights a week. The reassuring "Uncle Walter" model is still a viable way for millions of American's to get their news. Take note CBS - for all her talents, Katie Couric will never - nor will any woman - ever take first place in a national news cast.

Our "news - getting" style has changed to more internet, 24 hour cable and even topical comedy shows. But at the same time America has become far more passionately politically divided.

Dan Rather - to this conservative - truly believed he played it down the middle. Deluded, maybe - but he was a true newsman for the most part. I am sorry he wants to end his career this way, for certainly a trial - if it goes to trial - will expose his reputation to far nastier tarnishing. He should consult with former fellow CBSer Mike Wallace about the Westmoreland trial - Wallace almost committed suicide during it.


All this to remove the small asterisk next to his storied name in the history books. How sad.

Roger said...

B: I certainly agree the the rise of numerous around the clock news outlets, info-babes, and activitists of all stripes purporting to give us news is carnival-like and engenders all the erroneous stories you cite. But I have to tell you: I have been watching news since the days of Douglas Edwards on CBS' 15 minute news cast and have never liked the avuncular "news anchor" model and their little snarky asides. The BBC model (certainly NOT the BBC substance) of a news reader would best suit me. That the American public needs a media "uncle" to reassure it when times are tough, seems a bit overstated. I give them credit for much more--how did they get through the depression and WWII without a news anchor?

B said...

Roger,

Obviously the point is not that the salvation of America rests on the shoulders of the Uncle Walter model. But again, at their particular moment in history, they provided a valuable cohesiveness to the national dialog.

Your point about WWII actually bolsters mine. The majority of America's "news-getting" during the war was actually in newsreels, with some 70+ million Americans going to the movies weekly. The common narration provided by Harry Von Zell (Pathe Newsreels) and Lowell Thomas (Fox Newsreels) - as 2 examples - accomplished much the same for that generation as the Big 3 did in the 70's - 90's. It was even said that Lowell Thomas was the most trusted man in America (gee, where else have we heard that phrase . . .?). That worked for that generation. The next generational "news-getting" transition brought Douglas Edwards, the first News Anchor on that new medium of television. That led to the demise of the trusted newsreel. With TV, you could get news, why, twice a day!



Just as we have arrived at another generational news-getting change, it's obvious that the days of the Big 3 are realistically gone. But this last transition process - Katrina at the turning point of the Big 3 leaving - was so badly bungled by all of the major news organizations that serious speculation arose as to whether a quickly findable form of generally accurate news reporting would ever be available again. As I said in my post above, the effects of the extremely amateurish reporting on Katrina are still festering today.

And that is bad for the national social fabric of America.

knoxwhirled said...

B:

You are relating "generally accurate news reporting" to the existence of Dan Rather types at the helm. But haven't we pretty much concluded that the reassuring "Uncle Walter" model is a myth? For a time, perhaps, these guys were trusted as true newsman ...we now know it's not quite so straight-forward, that these "authorities" had their weaknesses and biases too, and that their word was far from gospel. Heck, we now know that even Uncle Walter wasn't "Uncle Walter."

I don't know what to make of your assertion that the Big 3 network news operations provide reassurance, healing, or comfort to the populace--much less reliable news or a more civil, unified country. I don't agree.

And it's not like your choices are limited to the extremes of InfoBabe or Inside Edition. You can go on the internet anytime you want and find many, many sources of news. Isn't that a good thing for the country?

Original Mike said...

I, for one, like InfoBabes.

Der Hahn said...

Had to figure somebody would go to the 'fake but accurate' defense, even though the Bush/TANG "story" isn't even accurate.

jeff said...

"I'll certainly remember all the points raised in this discussion next time I watch Faux Noise....speaking of lying...

http://www.2dca.org/opinion/February%2014,%202003/2D01-529.pdf"

I agree with revenant. What is it you think your link proves? It appears either you didn't read your own link, didn't understand your own link, or provided a link to go with your snarky comment under the impression no one would actually follow it and read the document. Any of which server to further weaken any argument you provide in the future.

jeff said...

"The "story" was that Bush got special treatment to get in to the TANG, and then blew off even that service committment. It remains not only essentially true, but actually true, even though some of the evidence was false."

No David, it was not essentially true. Or actually true. This has been documented so many times in the past. In that era, the national guard required its members to accrue a certain number of points. They didn't care WHEN those points were accrued, just that they were. Bush fulfilled his obligation. A case could be made that he JUST fulfilled it, and didn't over achieve, but that wasn't the charge. It takes a special kind of ignorance to again charge Bush with not fulfilling his service commitment. Why don't you do a little independent research, find out what the requirements where back then and educate yourself on the facts.

PatCA said...

Rather's story sounds like a classic good news/bad news: I'm too stupid to have done this myself.

garage mahal said...

Someone needs to tell Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs, FreeRepublic.com, and Byron York from NRO that there are 2 rewards yet uncollected for approx $60,000 in booty for proof of Bush fulfilling his service.

B said...

knoxwhirled,

Again, please read what I said in my post and do not extrapolate from what I didn't say. My point is not that news delivery was perfect under the Big 3, and it certainly was not delivered without bias. And it was of course not 100% accurate.


The service that was provided in having 3 steady, experienced older hands on the anchor desk till during 9/11 was undeniable. CNN frankly - you can watch the tapes readily at You Tube - was a bastion of irresponsible rumor and excitability compared to the presence of Rather, Brokaw and Jennings.


Myself, I began using the internet as my primary news source in 1998. I have always felt that the Major media outlets news was presented with a bit too much bias, and I suspected that more facts - not other or opposing views - could be had online.

However, that does not deny the historical value of the Big 3 in their time.

Roger said...

garage mahal: with respect to proof of finished service, there is one document that would suffice: a DD-214. Unclaimed prizes are proof of absolutely nothing.

B said...

I don't know what to make of your assertion that the Big 3 network news operations provide reassurance, healing, or comfort to the populace--much less reliable news or a more civil, unified country. I don't agree.

Katrina.

The level of inaccurate and hysterical "reporting" stands above any misreported story of the last 50 years. The many lies are still quoted today - an incident of 2 years ago is already becoming a Conspiracy theory of JFK proportions - has engendered so much hate and mistrust that parts of this country will never heal until that generation dies off.

If any of the Big 3 had been on the job - I believe that it would have been far less than it is today. Why? Because so much of the ridiculous rumors and irrational death numbers and crime figures would have not been given if the crybaby Shepard Smith and pants wetting Anderson Cooper had not been so emotionally involved while so pathetically journalistically malfeasant.

So, yes - the Big 3 provided an imperfect but still valuable service.

David said...

jeff, thanks for the sarcastic attacks! You don't deny that special treatment was invovled in getting Bush (and the Dallas Cowboys) into the air national guard, as the former Lt. Governor Barnes indicated, which was the focus of Rather's piece. Nor do you present any evidence that Bush took his required physicals. And it takes a special kind of ignorance to confuse the point system for accruing retirement benefits with meeting attendance requriements.

None of this is to defend Rather, or even to condemn Bush (I care a lot more about his misconduct in this war, not Vietnam). The lesson is, you cannot trust a Texan.

knoxwhirled said...

B

For all those years, when all we had was the Big 3, we had nothing to compare them to. What we got may have been more comforting in its comparitive lack of sensationalism. But in retrospect, don't we see that it was a false sense of security the big networks offered?

Perhaps we're really not in total disagreement. You believe that the Big 3 were "imperfect," while I actually believe they were probably quite often "journalistically malfeasant." There were no fact-checking or on-the-scene independent bloggers during Viet Nam, for example; so it's hard to tell how responsible or accurate the reporting was. I suspect we were told a lot of things with authority by the Cronkite types that weren't necessarily true.

I do know that stuff like the negative reporting from Viet Nam contributed to making Rather and Cronkite the bastions of credibility we were *told* they were for all these years. That makes me even more skeptical. Give me a spaz like Shepard Smith any day. At least I know where he's coming from and he doesn't act like he's God.

Joe said...

Anyone else remember when Rather threw a fit over the US Open (I think) going too long? And then Bush (Sr.) razzing him about it later?

On a purely speculative point, what if CBS decided to use this as an excuse to shut down their news organization? Would there be any harm from a corporate profit standpoint? (Okay, they may need to maintain some organization [i.e. reporter pool] to feed prepackaged news items to local affiliates, especially for non-domestic news.)

jeff said...

I wasn't being sarcastic at all. Based on your last comment I can see you don't plan on educating yourself as to the requirements of the Texas national guard.

"And it takes a special kind of ignorance to confuse the point system for accruing retirement benefits with meeting attendance requriements."

The points were accrued FROM the attendance requirements. Seems pretty simple to me.
Moving the goalposts on Rather's piece, while a nifty trick, doesn't change the facts.

As the accuser, it is up to you to verify your accusations, not to me or Bush or anyone else to provide evidence satisfactory to you (assuming you were looking with an open mind). The default position is that he fulfilled his obligations. The military says he did, his records say he did. Those requirements were that he earn 50points a year. He did so. Everything else you have is just smoke.

Tully said...

The lesson is, you cannot trust a Texan.

I'd almost forgotten Dan Rather was a native Texan! Bush, of course, was born in Connecticut.

Bush has "Honorable" on his DD-214, and unlike some folks didn't need to get it re-issued by the Carter admin for it to read that way.

But, whatever. Arguing with a True Believer about dogma is pointless.

Tully said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tully said...

As the accuser, it is up to you to verify your accusations, not to me or Bush or anyone else to provide evidence satisfactory to you

Amen, Jeff. The burden is on the claimant, and "Prove it isn't so!" is the most basic of logical fallacies, the negative proof.

SteveR said...

The lesson is, you cannot trust a Texan.

Wow just wow! My wife would kick your little ass.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It appears either you didn't read your own link, didn't understand your own link, or provided a link to go with your snarky comment under the impression no one would actually follow it and read the document. Any of which server to further weaken any argument you provide in the future.

All hdhouse was doing was demonstrating that even FOX news was capable to trying to mold the truth to fit their agenda. The fact that FOX took responsibility by firing the perps makes is irrelevant, at least to him.

I don't think any conservative will disagree that FOX slants to the right. In terms of commentary and editorial they certainly do. The problem is that many liberals truly believe that only FOX is biased yet insist CNN, CBS MSNBC et al are bastions of truth and impartiality.

It reminds me of the line in Patton where Patton is complaining about Monty.

"Dammit Brad I know I'm a prima donna, I admit it. The problem I have with Monty is that he won't admit it."

Tully said...

SteveR--I grew up in Texas. But I couldn't let the opportunity pass... ;-)

paul a'barge said...

Rather is often seen around Austin, TX where his daughter is an activist Democrat party functionary.

B said...

knoxwhirled,

Good points well said

B said...

The problem is that many liberals truly believe that only FOX is biased yet insist CNN, CBS MSNBC et al are bastions of truth and impartiality.

Amen.

Original Mike said...

Hoosier said: I don't think any conservative will disagree that FOX slants to the right. In terms of commentary and editorial they certainly do. The problem is that many liberals truly believe that only FOX is biased yet insist CNN, CBS MSNBC et al are bastions of truth and impartiality.

Yep.

rcocean said...

Without Fox News, C-span, Talk Radio, and the internet Gore would have been elected in 2000 and Kerry in 2004.

The MSM would have buried the Swift boat Vets, and the nation would've spent all of September 2004 on why Bush ducked/lied about his national guard service, while everyone patted Rather on the back for "speaking truth to Power".

And lets not forget "Tailwind".

Yes, the Big 3 unified the country during a big crisis like the challenger disaster or Reagan's shooting. But losing that is a small price to pay for the balanced news.

David said...

The Texan comment was a refernce to both being from there, but nice to see how thin-skinned the Texans are! It's why the state is so much fun to mess with. And, for what it's worth, I've never watched the CBS evening news in my life.

Nobody has refuted the factual allegationa relating the special treatment to get into TANG, and I would think Ben Barnes' statements would be sufficient evidence. And Lawrnece Korb (former Reagan ass't SecDef) thinks based on the evidence that Bush didn't fulfill his obligations, whether or not the military bureaucracy picked up on it at the time.

I'd like to see this much hand-wringing over the bald-faced lie that John Kerry somehow made up being shot, on the general topic of dogmas, by the way. Bush and Rove were able to deflect valid criticisms by attacking Rather, who stupidly gave them an opening. Kerry was a victim of distortions about his military service, and Bush continues to let other people fight his wars.

Revenant said...

Kerry was a victim of distortions about his military service

He was a "victim" of different points of view about his military service.

He could have solved everything by making his military service records freely available to the public. He chose not to do so. You're welcome to come up with a reason why he would have wanted to hide the proof of his "heroism" while continuing to build a campaign based on bragging about that heroism. Personally, I think the most likely explanation is that his military record wasn't one that supported the "hero" story.

And certainly his behavior after returning from the war -- which is what almost all of the Swift Boat attacks focused on -- was reprehensible and borderline treasonous.

Seven Machos said...

David -- You are simply wrong. No one has shown that Bush didn't do everything he was supposed to do in his military service. Someone made up some fraudulent documents and CBS tried to pass them off as legitimate, with hilarious results.

Face it: you are wrong. Your theory is utterly baseless and on a par with men on grassy knolls and Area 54. If President Bush were a private individual, he could sue you for libel and he would win in a romp.

Bruce Hayden said...

As to Bush getting special treatment - at that time, there was a waiting list for enlisted slots in the TANG because it kept people out of going to Vietnam, etc. But there were openings in the flying slots because the active duty committment was longer than that for draftees, and then the pilots would have to do their reserve committments too.

You are welcome to prove the contrary, but I suspect won't be able to. If you try to, just make sure that you are talking about officer/pilots and not the enlisted ranks.

And ditto for his reserve committment. The problem was that he was flying a plane that was being decommissioned, and a lot of USAF pilots were coming back from Vietnam with much better flying credentials. So, Bush was not going to be recertified in a newer plane.

Oh, and for those who question whether Bush finished his reserve committment (he demonstrably did, gaining the requisite points), what about Kerry's almost identical reserve committment? I am still waiting to see any evidence that Kerry did even one day of Reserve duty.

What you have to remember is that while Bush was in the National Guard, Kerry was in the Naval reserves. Both had very similar active duty committments before their very similar reserve committments. The difference is that we know that Bush completed his. Because Kerry never publically released his military records, we don't know how much of his reserve committment he completed - but we can probably assume that he didn't complete it because the pictures of him during the time that he should have been doing his reserve duty invariably show him with unmilitary length hair. (And, yes, the pictures of Bush during the time of his reserve committment show him with military length hair).

SteveR said...

David: You can't make a bunch of negative comments, end it with an insult and say, well that was just a joke and you are thin skinned for taking offense.

Learn how to have a discussion without resorting to baseless insults and you won't have that problem.

Bruce Hayden said...

The following was by William Campenni Ret. published in the Washington Times:

There was one big exception to this abusive use of the Guard to avoid the draft, and that was for those who wanted to fly, as pilots or crew members. Because of the training required, signing up for this duty meant up to 2½ years of active duty for training alone, plus a high probability of mobilization. A fighter-pilot candidate selected by the Guard (such as Lt. Bush and me) would be spending the next two years on active duty going through basic training (six weeks), flight training (one year), survival training (two weeks) and combat crew training for his aircraft (six to nine months), followed by local checkout (up to three more months) before he was even deemed combat-ready. Because the draft was just two years, you sure weren't getting out of duty being an Air Guard pilot. If the unit to which you were going back was an F-100, you were mobilized for Vietnam. Avoiding service? Yeah, tell that to those guys. The Bush critics do not comprehend the dangers of fighter aviation at any time or place, in Vietnam or at home, when they say other such pilots were risking their lives or even dying while Lt. Bush was in Texas. Our Texas ANG unit lost several planes right there in Houston during Lt. Bush's tenure, with fatalities. Just strapping on one of those obsolescing F-102s was risking one's life.

David said...

If Bush were a private individual, it would make my day. Sue away! I'll waive service and pay the filing fee, if only he'd resign tomorrow (and take Five-deferments Cheney with him).

Weren't the people on the grassy knoll the alleged assassins, not the conspiracy theorists? Believe me, I have no trouble believing that JFK was killed by yet another loser Texan.

dick said...

And JFK was succeeded in office by another loser Texan who was married to yet another loser Texan and had a social secretary who was another loser Texan and had a PR guy you might have heard of named Bill Moyers who was also a loser Texan (I agree with that one - the man is despicable). Shame you have such a fixation on Texans. Since they are succeeding and you are not I guess you must be the loser. Here's a thought. Maybe you can get a job as a Maytag repairman.

Seven Machos said...

David -- Bush, like Clinton, never can be a private figure. He gave that up, probably when he ran for his first office, but definitely by the time he was governor. The laws of libel that apply for you and me don't apply for him.

Your lack of knowledge on this issue betrays the potential for ignorance in other areas.

David said...

You see, the real shame is that Bush with his hypocricy, cynicism, and stupidity, and Rather with his faux-ksy colloquialisms, frivilous lawsuit, and general uselessness should embarass Texas more than the puerile comments of an avowedly liberal Philadelphia Eagles fan. By embarassing Texas, Bush and Rather insult the memory of the late Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson. And I remember when Texans only tolerated insults to Lady Bird when they came from Lyndon.

As far as the Texas stuff goes, the collective inability to pick up on sarcasm even after being told it's sarcasm suggests not so much ignorance as idiocy. If I could think of a more pertinent attribute Bush and Rather had in common, I would have used that, but going on television and citing phony evidence just tells half of the story.

I know perfectly well Bush cannot become a private figure. And the only thing I'd like more than Bush no longer being President is Bush never having become President, but those costs have been sunk (six feet under, in some cases). Perhaps, however, someone could tell me that if Bush never became a public figure, what his damages would be in a putative libel action? Of course, in that counterfactual, requiring either lack of a famous family or lack of Daddy Issues, he probably wouldn't have made it into the Guard.

B said...

Obviously David misses the Big 3 . . .

Roger said...

Methinks David would catch the vapors were someone to say all leftists are traitors--yet David has no problem categorizing the residents of an entire state as....well..whatever. Get a grip David.

David said...

As it happens, I get my news from Texan Jim Lehrer. But, for a state that voted Dubya over Ann Richards, some collective atonement is proper, on this day of all days.

SteveR said...

David, How clear can I be, calling it "sarcasm" doesn't make it inoffensive, much less funny. The fact that you persist tells me you aren't trying to be funny or sarcastic. Just be honest, you're embarrased to be from Texas, a state that would vote for GWB over Ann Richards. Fine. If you don't already live there, move to Austin, and avert your eyes from the horror.

Methadras said...

I think Mark Cubans mentality is rubbing off on poor old Dan. It's simple really. Hit them for 70 million and then hope they settle for a few just to get you out of their hair once and for all. Nice try Dan, but you will fail. Again.

AlphaLiberal said...

To this day, no-one has stepped forward to claim the $10,000 reward from Garry Trudeau. All they have to do is prove that George Bush actually showed up for service in Alabama when he was stationed there in the Air Guard.

But Bush didn't show up for his service, protected by his Daddy's big name, and so the money has gone unclaimed these many years.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's a post where the writer went to the actual filing and read what was stated. That includes:
"Specifically, buried in the lawsuit is the allegation that top CBS execs, under intense pressure from government officials, refused for weeks to air the torture story, despite mounting evidence that the story was solid. The execs fingered are CBS News president Andrew Heyward and senior vice president Betsy West."

Here's the link.

Republicans get coddled again.

Seven Machos said...

It takes an amazing combination of brazen silliness to allege that CBS is a tool of conservatives.