Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Broken Man 

In a C-SPAN interview with Marvin Kalb, Dan Rather reveals that he is unlikely to revisit the story of the President's spotty service in the Texas Air National Guard:
RATHER: I believed in the story. The facts of the story were correct. One supporting pillar of the story, albeit an important one, one supporting pillar was brought into question. To this day, no one has proven whether it was what it purported to be or not . . . .

KALB: Dan, thank you. You said, I believe you just said that you think the story is accurate.

RATHER: The story is accurate. [...]

KALB: You have an opportunity now, you're a reporter for "60 Minutes," that's a very important program. Would you go now and go back to that story and do it again? And find the documentation that would, in fact, prove what you believe to be the accuracy of the story?

RATHER: Straight-up, no chaser, no. One, CBS News doesn't want me to do that story. They wouldn't let me do that story.

KALB: Why?

RATHER: That's a question you'd have to ask them. But I've moved on from it. And I've done my best to put it behind me. I've taken my licks, taken my shot.
Other topics of discussion: the "amazingly swift" response of right-wing blogs to Rather's broadcast (Kalb: "You watch something on air, four hours later, you are prepared to run pages and pages of detailed criticism of the document. How does somebody do that that quickly?"); the instantaneous shift in the focus of the press, from the mysterious gaps in Bush's guard records to the presumed shoddiness of Rather's reportage; the findings of the independent investigative panel headed by Bush family friend Richard Thornburg; the "hidden hand pressure" that politicians of both parties exert on journalists. (We would recommend that you read the entire transcript, but we must warn you that it appears on Newsbusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias, a website "published" by L. Brent Bozell and frequented by turds.)

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