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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.
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.