Monday, September 20, 2004
On this day:

Dan Rather: "In Good Faith"

Dan Rather has issued the following statement regarding the Bush National Guard record scandal:
Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of
documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's
time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents
in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the
American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome. Now,
after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these
documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I
find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents
came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions
that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I
knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was
aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question. But we did
use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It
was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying
to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or
favoritism. Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust
in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

So Dan Rather says that his error was made "in good faith" and consistent with "a tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism." This is hogwash. Dan Rather pursued this story for no other reason than to portray the President as a liar and to imply that the White House has been deliberately trying to cover up the President's military service record. It was anything but journalism in good faith.

Any idiot could look at the documents in question and determine that there are serious questions about their authenticity. But Dan Rather isn't just any idiot. He is a man blinded by the same sneering, look-down-their-noses attitude that has afflicted so many in the mainstream media for years. But, this time, Dan Rather was caught unaware that the rules of the game had changed so drastically. He is a relic of a bygone era when the mainstream media could report the news in a way conforming to their own biases without challenge or competition. It is undoubtable that there have been similar "misjudgments" in the past by the likes of Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and the Canadian Peter Jennings. The difference is that this time, a whole blogosphere's worth of people were watching. This new "alternative media" wasn't willing to sit back with glazed-over eyes as he said, "Trust me...I'm a professional...I've been doing this for years...don't you know who I am?". Dan Rather's incompetence was on display for all all to see. And it has become so glaringly obvious that not even his comrades in the liberal press can ignore it any longer.