Friday, September 17, 2004

The White House makes a stand

The White House has finally said something on the documents shown by CBS. I say finally, only because it's been more than a week, I did not and still do not feel that the President should defend himself against false documents.

Ending a weeklong reluctance to wade into the debate over whether Mr. Rather used forged documents to criticize Mr. Bush's service in the National Guard, White House press secretary Scott McClellan adopted a more aggressive stance yesterday.
"CBS has now acknowledged that the crux of their story may have been based of forged documents," he told reporters aboard Air Force One.
The spokesman also fired back at Mr. Rather for challenging the president to "answer the questions" raised in his widely discredited report, which aired Sept. 8 on "60 Minutes II." The anchorman told an interviewer on Tuesday that such presidential candor would help Bush win re-election.
"It's always best for journalists to stick to reporting the facts and not try to dispense campaign advice," Mr. McClellan said.

Facts, we don't need no stinking facts. We tell you what you should talk about and you damn well better like it.

I find it interesting that CBS or Dan Rather won't ask John Kerry these questions, but want Bush to answer questions based on false documents. Bias? Hmmmmmmmm.
He also commented on Mr. Rather's attempt to salvage the story by interviewing an 86-year-old Bush critic on Wednesday's edition of "60 Minutes II." The anchorman asked Marian Knox, a secretary for a National Guard unit more than 30 years ago, whether Mr. Bush received preferential treatment.
"I feel that he did," she replied.
To which Mr. McClellan answered, "So now some are looking at feelings and not the facts. We don't have to rely on the feelings of a nice woman who has firmly stated her opposition to the president."

Mclellan would be speaking of Mrs. knox's statements that Bush was "unfit for office" and that he was "selected, not elected". Do those sound familiar? They should, they've been Democratic talking points since the 2000 election. Hey, do you think that Mrs. Knox was coached by the DNC before the interviews? Just a thought.
Mr. McClellan said CBS has been slow to investigate its own story and did so only after other news outlets launched their own probes.
"They have determined that they will follow other news organizations and look into the serious questions that have been raised," he said. "A number of media organizations have been doing that. And now CBS has decided to do so, as well."

But of course, they want to "break" the story.

On this, le's get into the blogosphere's role in this. The blogosphere did what we did because we are a bunch of anal folks. We look to detail in everything and in a lot of cases, we seek the whole truth of a given topic. In most cases, only one side is given and we look, and this goes for blogs on both sides of the aisle, for, to quote a famous guy, "the rest of the story". It isn't, in most cases, to take the MSM down, it is to keep them honest. We are not the "new media", we are a bunch of folks who hate one sidedness and we have big ego's, let's be honest now, blogs are ego driven, and want to say, hey, you're full of it, this is the REAL story.

This is a pretty good discription of the blogosphere.
I think everyone misses the point of Blogs entirely.

The blogsphere is a giant B.S. filter of what is fed to us from the MSM. Instead of one reporter getting some information, then disseminating it to us through his biased mind, and then feeding it to us as he sees it, we have Blogs which consist of millions (?) of people that have more combined knowledge on the subjects the reporter is giving us and thoroughly disecting it to find out what the -REAL- truth is.

Hat tip to McQ on that quote.

For a far better discription of the blogospheres role in today's world, go here.

Back to the topic at hand. CBS is in some trouble. We, the consumer want answers, and ae getting a run around instead. I think Bernard Goldberg put it best.
He doesn't have to give us the guy's name and address, just tell us what motivated him to leak the documents to CBS News. It's a common journalistic practice, after all, to shed as much light on an unnamed source as possible. That's why we often read "a source close to the administration" or "a police source involved in the investigation" said such and such. No name. But enough info so the news consumer understands, as they say, where the source is coming from. In the case of the leaked memos, does the source have any connection to the Democrats? How about the Kerry campaign? If Dan told us that, he'd still be faithful to his source, but at least as importantly, he'd be showing good faith to his viewers by giving them a clue as to the source's motives, whatever they might be.

Instead, Dan and CBS News do what they'd never tolerate in a crooked politician: They circle the wagons. First we get a statement about how there's no internal investigation going on at CBS; then we get a bunch of stories by CBS News backing up the original "60 Minutes" piece that are so one-sided they'd get a junior-high journalism student an "F" for lack of balance; then on "60 Minutes" we did get a former secretary, "a credible voice" as Dan Rather put it, who told him that "she believes the documents we obtained are not authentic. But . . . she told us she believes what the documents actually say is exactly as we reported." Put plainly: The memos may be fake, but "We stand by our story."

We're the ones who have a right to be angry with CBS News, but it turns out that Dan Rather is the one who's really fuming. Not at the source who got him into all of this, but at those "partisans" who are fanning the flames. The Washington Post quotes him as saying: "I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political forces." He's absolutely right that some of his critics are partisans. But how about Dan's source? Is he also a partisan?

Very telling.