Day by Day

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Rathergate

So by now, everybody and their brother knows that the memos used by Dan Rather in his wildly partisan attempt to smear President Bush are bogus. Here's what my father and I discussed over a beer -

How in the name of all that is holy did SOMEONE in CBS not pull in a former military member, and have them look the memos over? If you sat my father down and handed him that memo, he would have taken one look at it and tossed it in the trash. Memo For File? Never never NEVER used. CYA? If you were covering your ass in the military, you NEVER announced that fact. And you would NEVER put "CYA" on any piece of paper that you were going to put in someone's record.

Two glaring mistakes that someone with a military background would key on right away. And yet we're supposed to believe that CBS vetted those memos? Yeah, right.

CBS put those memos out in an attempt to hurt President Bush. And they didn't care if the memos were real or not. They also didn't expect people to out them in 12 hours.

Just look at the way Dan Rather reacted to the blogosphere's charge. "How dare you question me! I'm Dan Rather!" 'Ol Danny Boy was so used to people just accepting what he said as the truth that he can't handle any criticism. More to the point, he didn't expect any. Nobody in the old media does, even though people around the country have been waking up to the fact that the old media, by and large, is full of shit. When I read a news story, and then I'm force to look for other reports of it to find out what actually happened, I no longer trust the people putting that news story out. I can see a story on the nightly news, but when I read the accounts of people who were actually there and find out that the news story only contained 25%-50% of the information needed, I no longer trust the media. A perfect example? The anti-war protests before the invasion of Iraq.

Anybody remember those? All the major media markets zoomed in on the protesters shaking their signs, shouting their slogans, and waving their red flags around. But what did they NOT show? If they had zoomed their cameras out, the viewer would have seen the anti-protesters, the people in support of the President, who were literally RIGHT ACROSS THE LAWN from the protest.

But you never EVER saw the whole picture. The mass media would never show the whole picture. They only put out what they wanted you to see. And then they claim that they're objective? Right. And monkeys might fly out of my butt.

So this meltdown that Rather is having is, in my mind, the result of a shift by people finding other methods of getting news. I can't imagine CBS getting this level of scrutiny four years ago. And it's obvious that CBS can't imagine or handle this level of scrutiny now.

If CBS wants to regain any level of journalistic integrity, heads need to roll, and they need to start rolling right now. Start with Dan Rather, and start chopping. Whoever got the memos to begin with, fired. Whoever allowed those memos on the air, fired. Whoever was associated with those memos seeing the light of day, fired. We need to see a huge portion of CBS staff holding pink slips. Otherwise, why should we ever trust CBS again?

Well, those of us that trusted them in the first place, that is.

No comments: