Monday, September 13, 2004

"Being Dan Rather means never having to say your sources"

My apologies to Love Story, but that's just what Captain Dan is having with himself. Cut to the aging megalomaniac:
"Until someone shows me definitive proof that they are not, I don't see any reason to carry on a conversation with the professional rumor mill," the CBS anchor said.
Sheesh! Someone explain the burden of proof to ole Dan. Cox and Forkum got it exactly right:

Meanwhile back at CBS HQ, the Washington Prowler tells us that things aren't going so well:
While CBS news anchor Dan Rather can say there is no internal investigation under way over the alleged forged documents used as the foundation for an investigation into President George W. Bush's National Guard service, you wouldn't have been able to tell from the 15 or so 60 Minutes and CBS News" staffers working away feverishly on Friday and Saturday to try to nail down their story.

On Friday, according to CBS News sources, Rather spent the day on the phone and dealing with CBS suits who were nervous about the fall out from the story. "All Dan could say was that this was an attack from the right-wing nuts, and that we should have expected this, given the stakes," says a CBS News producer. "He was terribly defensive and nervous. You could tell."
MEANWHILE, OVER THE WEEKEND journalists from around the country were attempting to track down the original source of the documents. "We're having a hard time tracking how we got the documents," says the CBS News producer. "There are at least two people in this building who have insisted we got copies of these memos from the Kerry campaign by way of an additional source. We do not have the originals, and our sources have indicated to us that we will not be getting the originals. How that is possible I don't know."
Nice tight ship they run over there. Hey, just ask Lurch's team to send over another set! If there's a problem, they can always just type up some more. Preferably matching the ones CBS already has, of course. Hey, they seem to have been forged to order anyhow:
But we know that a lot of people here interviewed a lot of people in Texas and elsewhere and asked very explicit questions about the existence of these memos. Then all of a sudden they show up? In one nice, neat package?"

This CBS New producer went on to explain that the questions 60 Minutes folk were asking were specific enough that people would have been able to fabricate the memorandums to meet the exact specifications the investigative journalists were looking for. "People were asking questions of sources like, 'Have you ever seen or heard of a memo that suspended Bush for failing to appear for a physical?' and 'Have you heard about or know of someone who has any documentation from back in the 1970s that shows there was pressure to get Bush into the National Guard?' It was like they were placing an order for a ready-made product.
Much more by following the link including another appearance by "air combat ace", Tom Harkin.