Sunday, October 03, 2004

Ghazi of the Political Jihad

The Big Three Mouths circled the wagons this week in defense of Dan Rather.

Brokaw blasted what he called an attempt to "demonize" CBS and Rather on the Internet, where complaints about the report first surfaced. He said the criticism "goes well beyond any factual information."

Hmm, why does that sound familiar?

"I don't think you ever judge a man by only one event in his career," said Jennings, anchor on ABC.

Too bad Nixon didn’t live to hear that one.

"What I think is highly inappropriate is what going on across the Internet, a kind of political jihad ... that is quite outrageous," the NBC anchor said at a panel on which all three men spoke.

Why? Because we present a story with a clear villain, quote him selectively, bring in third parties to contradict those quotes, and publish without offering a rebuttal? 60 Minutes has been doing that every week for a quarter-century!

It’s really simple, guys. Rather tried to label a man as a wartime deserter and cheat. He did so with lousy reporting. His assistant called on the man’s competitor’s to pass on some information from the story.

On top of that, when the first complaints came in, Rather went on air and ‘bet his brown eyes’. He told us the story was great, that it came from an “unimpeachable source” which he himself would impeach with a single interview, and offered anonymous expert testimony that dirt was gold dust.

Now, if the target of this biased botch in bad faith had been a used car salesman or a school principal, the outrage would be limited to friends and family. But Rather tried to smear a sitting President in an election year, which outrages roughly half of America.

Don’t like it, then get it right next time.

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