Monday, September 20, 2004

I guess Joe can't say it isn't so

Spinning Joe
Joe Lockhart
recovering Clinton spinner

(Via Drudge) Kerry Aide Talked to Retired Guard Officer:
At the behest of CBS, an adviser to John Kerry said he talked to a central figure in the controversy over President Bush's National Guard service shortly before disputed documents were released.

Joe Lockhart denied any connection between the presidential campaign and the papers. Lockhart, the second Kerry ally to confirm contact with retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, said he made the call at the suggestion of CBS producer Mary Mapes.
Kerry ally Max Cleland, a former Georgia senator, also said he had a brief conversation last month with Burkett, who told him he had information about Bush to counter charges against Kerry's Vietnam War service. Cleland said he gave Burkett's name and phone number to the campaign's research department.
Lockhart said Mapes asked him the weekend before the story broke to call Burkett. "She basically said there's a guy who is being helpful on the story who wants to talk to you," Lockhart said, adding that it was common knowledge that CBS was working on a story raising questions about Bush's Guard service. Mapes told him there were some records "that might move the story forward. She didn't tell me what they said."
Gosh! CBS, a purported journalistic organization, sure seems real chummy with the Kerry campaign. I'm so surprised!

Wait, (via Ace) there's more: (Update: it turns out Coehlo was talking about the 2000 campaign)
Tony Coehlo stated on MSNBC's Hardball that the DNC had the Burkett documents before the CBS broadcast. But that the DNC said they looked fake to the DNC. That was his reason for why the DNC wasn't involved. (This after speculation on the same show that Karl Rove might be behind this fakery.)

This of course begs the question why did Operation Fortunate Son, a campaign to discredit Bush's TANG service produced by the DNC, start the day after the 60 Minutes II ran the bogus documents. Hhmmmm.
And use 60 Minutes footage in their commercial.

Ace also has USA Today weighing in:
Burkett told USA TODAY that he had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS if the network would help arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign.

The network's effort to place Burkett in contact with a top Democratic official raises ethical questions about CBS' handling of material potentially damaging to the Republican president in the midst of an election. This "poses a real danger to the potential credibility of a news organization," said Aly Colón, a news ethicist at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
Ahem. Give Ms. Colon credit for dry understatement.
It's kind of like incestuous, you know? And based on the results, their family trees don't fork.