Wednesday, September 15, 2004


CBS News announced today that it would make a statement concerning the Bush-AWOL [hoax] memo story. First, the announcement was to be made at 12:00 pm EDT; then, the announcement was pushed back to 3:30 pm; then, 5;00 pm. Finally, just before six, we get the following "statement" (via Drudge)
Statement by the President of CBS News, Andrew Heyward:

"We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing."
If that is all CBS News is going to say, why on earth was the announcement not made at noon? This certainly does not bolster the confidence of anyone expecting CBS News to pull a magic authenticating rabbit out of Dan Rather's hat.

UPDATE: Just watched the CBS Evening News segment on the story. Pitched it as a battle between "the Republicans" and CBS. Still claimed that experts have verified the authenticity of the documents (names? anyone? Bueller ...? Bueller ....?) Promised continued investigation but won't reveal the source. Clearly relying heavily on the "I didn't type these memos but they are true descriptions of what happened nonetheless" argument of Killian's secretary. Promised more on 60 Minutes II. Lame, lame, lame.

I agree that the essential charges against Bush--that his family's influence eased his entry into the TANG and eased his exit, despite his failure to complete all required duties--are likely to be valid at one level or another (whether Bush's case was all that atypical is another matter entirely, a matter that I'm sure Dan Rather is working on as we speak). But at this point, the truth of the underlying story is not all that is at issue here. At issue is the fact that Dan Rather and CBS News ran a story months before the election based on clearly fradulent documents, CBS News and Dan Rather were warned by their own experts that the documents may not be authentic, and they ran the story anyway. Lame, lame, lame.

UPDATE II: 60 Minutes II will have the full interview with Killian's secretary. And, it will run a story on . . . . Ferris Bueller. I did not know this when I made the Bueller reference above. Creepy. I may or may not blog more.

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