Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cue the Violins and Pull Out the Snot Rags

Propagandist Dan Rather to Step Down Tonight

Marvin Kalb thinks it's "mean-spirited" to focus only on the Bush National Guard story scandal in evaluating Dan Rather's career. Kalb was quoted this morning on NBC's Today show during a Rather retrospective/ass-kissing.

I agree with Kalb, at least in part. We should also focus on Rather's 1988 documentary The Wall Within. That was the investigative report in which six Vietnam vets admitted committing unthinkable atrocities against Vietnamese civilians. Rather's report was hard hitting and unflinching in exposing the sins of these vets, and implied that their stories were not uncommmon.

It was also complete fiction, as a simple Freedom of Information Act inquiry by one B. G. Burkett proved. Five of the six vets featured never served in combat. The sixth lied about his experiences. Rather never apologized or retracted the report - there weren't any blogs around then.

Of course this shameful incident was within the American journalistic norms established during the Vietnam War, when Rather and the other mainstreamers disgracefully misreported the war, assuring a victory for the tyrannical North Vietnamese in the halls of Congress.

Never again.