Thursday, July 13, 2006

Larry King's lovefest with the delusional Dan Rather

I know, I know..."It was two years ago!" Hey, I'd let it go if these schmucks didn't keep bringing it up. Anywho, Gunga Dan was on Larry King's show on CNN (transcript here). I'll cut past the flowers and champagne that King heaped onto Rather, and get to the delusional part:
KING: He would hold that chair for 24 years, three more than Walter Cronkite. And he never stopped chasing scoops. But in 2004 he was correspondent for a 60 minutes II story questioning president George W. Bush's national guard service. Internet bloggers challenged key documents in that report, and CBS finally acknowledged it couldn't authenticate them.

RATHER: It was a mistake. CBS news deeply regrets it. Also I want to say personally and directly I'm sorry.

KING: Before an independent panel released its findings on memogate Rather announced he'd step down as CBS news anchor in March of 2005, a year before what would have been his 25th anniversary.

RATHER: After nearly a quarter of a century as the anchor of this broadcast I've decided it's time to move on.

KING: And then three weeks ago a sudden, unceremonious exit from the network where he'd worked for four decades.


RATHER: The failure of CBS News to do just that, to properly fully scrutinize the documents and their source, led to our airing the documents when we should not have done so. It was a mistake. CBS News deeply regrets it. Also I want to say personally and directly, I'm sorry.


KING: You think that was it, that's the reason you're gone? Even though you stayed a while.

RATHER: I don't know. It's certainly possible.
RATHER: ... And Larry, as I talk about this, and I want to answer your questions as truthfully as I can, as candidly as I can, but compared to what news ought to be doing, concentrating on whatever happened to Dan Rather at CBS News, how he left, under what circumstances, and even the story in which I didn't -- we didn't do as good a job as I thought we should have done -- and I do want to make clear, you've played several times the clip of what I said on the air.

That was -- first of all, I was playing team. I meant every word of it. In that the -- we had a lot, a lot of corroboration, of what we broadcast about President Bush's military record. It wasn't just the documents.

But it's a very old technique used that when those who don't like what you're reporting believe it can be hurtful, then they look for the weakest spot and attack it, which is fair enough. It's a diversionary technique.

KING: You're saying that was a fair report, I mean that was -- you believe that report to this day?

RATHER: Do I believe the truth of the story, absolutely.

KING: Have you ever thought of entertaining a lawsuit?

RATHER: Notice that I pause.
A few of observations here:

1. "When those who don't like what you're reporting believe it can be hurtful, then they look for the weakest spot and attack it"? Yeah, we news consumers can be a funny bunch, actually expecting the news not to use fake and forged documents on which they base the bulk of their story! I know, I know...such expectations of accuracy are mere "diversionary techniques", aren't they? Un-freakin'-believable.

2. Some of you may have seen this analogy, but for my more recent visitors, here it is:

Dan Rather arguing that "Well, the documents may be fake, but the fake documents do NOT disprove the story!" is akin to a tabloid with a photoshopped image of Elvis standing on a UFO next to a big green alien asserting that "OK, the image is a fake, but that doesn't prove that Elvis really isn't on a UFO!"

3. Dan Rather keeps forgetting, perhaps intentionally, that he kept hammering home the source of his forged documents as an "unimpeachable" source. For those of you on the left, "unimpeachable" means "beyond doubt, unquestionable." So who was this "unimpeachable" source? Bill Burkett, a partisan anti-Bush liberal Democrat who has a history of mental illness. This passes for "unimpeachable" sources at CBS News?

4. Rather...a lawsuit? Against whom and for what? Against CBS News for keeping his discredited posterior propped up in front of a camera for months after his sorry excuse for journalism tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election for his boy Kerry? The man continued to collect a paycheck despite having ruined what scintilla of credibility remained for CBS News, and HE wants to sue? That's rich!

5. In short, the news "story" back in 2004 was simply too good to fact-check. After all, they wanted to believe it was true and therefore did not want to run the risk of getting information that called their "story" into question. CBS was going to try and ruin the election for Bush, and then apologize later (after the election) for maybe getting it wrong or being "less than thorough" in their research. Unfortunately for them, the blogosphere wouldn't let them pull off their attempt at larceny.

Sorry to beat a horse that's been dead for two years, people. But that jerk Rather just won't let sleeping dogs lie...or, more appropriately, dead horses rot!