Rewriting rather

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

The Washington Post’s Tom Shales attempts some Rathergate revisionism:

The major flaw of the original story was that documents used to support its allegations were not thoroughly verified. Rather likes to think of himself as a “reporter-anchor,” but he hardly has the time to go rummaging through files and halls of records to check on the authenticity of documents that are decades old.

Shales misses the point; those documents weren’t decades old. And it took Buckhead just a few hours to realise this. (Incidentally, “rummaging through files and halls of records” is what reporters do. Especially when researching a story that could derail the Presidency. Was nobody else available at CBS to help busy Dan? Or is CBS a one-man operation, kind of like … a blog?)

All this has been argued to death and could be argued until doomsday. One of the sad things about it is that it gave the right wing, which has had its sights on Rather for years now, something to cheer and dance in the streets about.

You want dancing, Shales? You want cheering? The left, which has had its sights on George W. Bush for years now, was cheering and dancing in anticipation of Rather’s bogus report. Here’s Michael Moore, dancing up a storm:

Later today (Wed.), the Boston Globe, the A.P. and Dan Rather all present new and damning information about how George W. Bush got moved to the front of the line to get in the Texas Air National Guard, and how he then went AWOL. I am putting every ounce of trust I have in my fellow Americans that a majority of them get this, get the injustice of it all, and get the sad, sick twisted irony of how it relates very, very much to our precious Election 2004.

That hopeful post has since been deleted from Moore’s archives. In fact, his entire blog has been scrubbed. Mike Moore is vanishing!

UPDATE. Tim Graham:

Shales should never again be allowed to claim someone has squandered their chance to ask a newsmaker the tough questions, because he clearly asked Rather nothing more than how sad he feels that his anchoring career was tragically cut short by the haters.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/09/2005 at 09:26 AM
    1. Mikey Moore Vanishing! What a welcoming thought. I hope the democrats are proud of their little boy.

      Posted by Abu Qa’Qa on 03/09 at 09:40 AM • #


    1. I always suspected that good scrubbing with soap and water would diminish Michael Moore’s mass by at least 30%.

      Posted by Vasco on 03/09 at 09:50 AM • #


    1. Not a moment too soon.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 03/09 at 09:57 AM • #


    1. All this has been argued to death and could be argued until doomsday

      No, Tom, it’ll just be argued until the people who are trying to get you to admit that the the documents are obvious forgeries get tired of arguing with you.

      Which I’m surprised hasn’t happened already. Are you sure you’re not just imagining some contemporaneous argumentation going on?

      Shales is using his column to troll the blogs, that has to be it.

      Posted by bovious on 03/09 at 10:00 AM • #


    1. IT’s Michael Moore’s last act of malice… the removal of that much shade from the surface of the earth could contribute significantly to climate change!

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/09 at 10:14 AM • #


    1. Tom Shales is a stupid sack of poop.  He’s just another reason why I refuse to waste my money to subscribe to that rag of a newspaper.  He’s been spouting this line about Dan Rather and “Rathergate” for quite some time:

      Heading For Trouble

      The report was attacked virtually the moment it aired on “60 Minutes”; documents used to bolster the allegations were condemned by conservative critics as phony and forged, though no forging has yet been proved.

      Posted by Bucky Katt on 03/09 at 10:58 AM • #


    1. Mike Moore is vanishing!

      No, he’s collapsing into a singularity. If you want to know where he is, look for where light bends around him.

      Posted by Dave S. on 03/09 at 12:30 PM • #


    1. Berkeley, Calif (Reuters)—Today, environmental activists announced alarming new news – Global Mooring.

      “It’s obvious, and it gets worse every day,” said Parker Gadsby, twelfth-year student at the Community College of the Humanities.  “Michael Moore is slowly receding.”

      According to records leaked from a Jenny Craig office in Modesto, California, Moore has shed 26 pounds since Election Day 2004, much of it in sincere tears of anguish.  “We also thought he was sweating blood,” said a spokesman on condition of anonymity, “but it turned out that it was just A-1 sauce.”

      “We are naturally alarmed,” Gadsby continued, taking time out from stencilling a protest sign to sniff at the fumes from the spray paint.  “We have to act now to prevent the guy from completely disappearing.”

      Some observers say that this is not nearly a crisis, as at the current rate of reduction, there are still enough reserves of Moore to last until 2026.  But Gadsby disagreed, saying, “The science is beyond dispute, and waiting will only make it worse.”

      “BEYOND DISPUTE, I SAY,” he repeated, jabbing at reporters with the pole of his sign.

      The sign, which read “Down With Big Macs,” was intended for a rally and viewing of the film “Super-Size Me.”

      Posted by Nightfly on 03/09 at 12:56 PM • #


    1. Ah, yes, the sound of “Event Horizon” Moore receding into the trash can of history.  It’s wonderful.

      Imperial Keeper

      Posted by Elizabeth Imperial Keeper on 03/09 at 02:01 PM • #


    1. Shales fisked

      Posted by rhhardin on 03/09 at 02:28 PM • #


    1. The worst was when Shales backed up Rather on that whole “water isn’t wet” thing. That’s loyalty!

      Posted by Jim Treacher on 03/09 at 03:01 PM • #


    1. “The major flaw of the original story was that documents used to support its allegations were not thoroughly verified”

      No. The “major flaw” was that the documents were FAKE.

      Posted by matt on 03/09 at 06:00 PM • #


    1. These people are in pure denial.

      If Rather thought he had any wiggle room he would have just ridden the storm out.

      The bottomline was that not even Rather could justify the actions of not only CBS but also himself. So he fell on his own sword and good riddance.

      Posted by Nuffy on 03/09 at 06:24 PM • #


    1. “We concoct, You dedide.” No problem.

      But don’t be surprised if Moore becomes a Republican.

      Posted by J. Peden on 03/09 at 06:58 PM • #


    1. They were dancing in the comments of bill hobbs months earlier.  Some anonymous comments seem to allude to the false docs.

      Posted by aaron_ on 03/10 at 11:56 AM • #


  1. Michael Moore disappearing?  I still think he’s moonlighting defacing billboards in California.  The handwriting’s the same.  The man needs repeat readers post election .. Prove me wrong…

    Posted by Barrie on 03/10 at 06:51 PM • #