The Slime Before the "Apology"
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Before Dan Rather admitted his own errors in pushing a fraudulent anti-Bush story based on partisan sources and forged documents, he and his network chose to point fingers at others, falsely suggesting that CBS was promoting "truth" in the face of "partisan political ideological forces."
Blame a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. "Powerful and extremely well- financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents because they can't deny the fundamental truth of the story," Rather told the
New York Observer's Joe Hagan, adding, "This is your basic fogging machine, which is set up to cloud the issue, to obscure the truth." And in an interview with the
Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, Rather boasted about standing up to right-wing meanies: "I don't back down. I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces."
Even as he continued to impugn Bush's National Guard service, the CBS anchor portrayed himself as the victim: "People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, ‘Because he won't report it our way, we're going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain.' They know that I'm fiercely independent and that's what drives them up a wall," Rather told
USA Today's Peter Johnson and Jim Drinkard.
• For more, see the
September 16 and September
» It's Bush's Fault We Unfairly Smeared Him.
It was up to Bush's staff to figure out if the memos were frauds,
60 Minutes Executive Producer Josh Howard suggested to the Los Angeles
Times: "If we had gotten back from the White House any kind of red flag, raised eyebrow, anything... we would have gone back to square one." But, Howard told the
Times, "the White House said they were authentic, and that carried a lot of weight with us." Actually, the White House, which only saw the memos a few hours before
60 Minutes went on the air, did not confirm the authenticity of CBS's fraud memos. That job was botched by CBS itself.
• For more, see the
September 20 CyberAlert.
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