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Media Watch, 1
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
If Bill Burkett is to be believed, and that's a big ask, he told the CBS 60 Minutes producer the name of the source of his fake memos on Bush's service record, but it was the wrong name.
He also told CBS, he claims now, that they should check the authenticity of the documents, although he still claims they are genuine.
Dan Rather, it seems, walked away from his weekend meeting with Burkett without discovering the name of the actual source, as Burkett might now identify it. So much for "intensive reporting".
If Burkett is really a dupe, as he is, in effect, claiming, who were the fabricators of the memos?
Has CBS given up the quest? Will they sue Burkett for the destruction of their reputation, or would that lead to even more damaging revelations?
Don't expect an answer from CBS. One or two of CBS's competitors may be more persistent.
Dan Rather could be speaking for the entire left-liberal establishment when he exculpates himself on the basis that he's on the higher moral ground:
"I think over the long haul, this will be consistent with our history and our traditions and reputation…We took heat during the McCarthy time, during civil rights, during Watergate. We haven't always been right, but our record is damn good."
For now CBS's reputation hangs swinging from Dan Rather who is suspended from Bill Burkett's credibility. And standing on Rather's shoulders, we must suppose, are the Democrats.
This unstable equilibrium just can't last.
Later: more on Democrat-CBS collusion here.