Monday, January 10, 2005

CBS Should Have Fired Rather in '88

The report of CBS's "independent panel" investigating the infamous 60 Minutes Wednesday story that used faked documents to question President Bush's National Guard service has resulted in the axing of four CBS employees (including three executives - but not Dan Rather, who is "retiring").

But this isn't the first time that Dan Rather's penchant for propaganda has gotten him into trouble. In 1988 he was the driving force behind a fraudulent, hour-long story called, CBS Reports: The Wall Within. Six alleged Vietnam combat veterans told of hideous American atrocities. It was heart-wrenching and compelling viewing. One problem, five of the six "vets" were not really combat vets, and the sixth was not telling the truth about his Vietnam experiences. The truth was exposed by B.G. Burkett in his book, Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History, using information easily obtainable through the Freedom of Information Act.

In 1988, Dan Rather was less competent than your average high school newspaper editor. CBS should have cashiered him then, and saved themselves a load of trouble.

Update: Just for fun. I think my good friend snugglepuppy has the Dan Rather spirit of integrity in this "interview".

Update: Sadly, CBS in particular, and the mainstream media in general have learned nothing from the latest Rather incident. CBS has selected some sacrificial lambs and CBS president Moonves vehemently denies any suggestion that the Bush National Guard story fiasco was motivated by ideology or bias. Such willful blindness.

Rather is not retiring, simply stepping down from the anchor position.