Wednesday, January 12, 2005


There's an angle to the Rathergate report that has been entirely missed by both the mainstream media and the web logs.

Since both Ms. Mapes and Mr. Rather contend the documents in question may still be authentic, how did the panel conclude that the problem was "haste", "a rush to air" or "competitive pressures"? It has been several months and these two still have not acknowledged the documents are forgeries. How can the investigators assert that a couple more days back in September would have made a difference?

Either Mapes and Rather are lying about their true beliefs about the docs or the "haste" claim is bogus.

I don't believe that Dan Rather knowingly broadcast fake documents. Mapes, may be a different story.

A second key point made in the report is that Mary Mapes learned, in the course of her five years of research for the story, that its essentials were untrue. Her file reflects that she was told that influence was not used to get President Bush into the Air National Guard; that there was no waiting list for pilots at the time that he joined, but that the TANG was actively seeking pilots; and that, far from trying to avoid service in Vietnam, Lt. Bush had actually volunteered to go to Vietnam but was turned down. Mapes never got any information to contradict any of these three facts.

So she knew that the story she broadcast was false not only in its details but in its essentials, and she broadcast it anyway; and there is strong circumstantial evidence suggesting that she did so in close coordination with the Democratic National Committee and the Kerry campaign.

The zeal with which this non-story was pursued and its airing can only be explained by an institutional bias at CBS. Had there been one person who did not ache for this inconsequential story to be true, then it probably would not have aired. Had there been any semblance of (dare I say) balance in our nation's newsrooms, the story would have been dropped a decade ago.

From my perspective, here's a scale of one to 10 the interest in George Bush's National Guard service among differing groups:

Academia - 7
Major Media - 9
CBS 10
Mapes - 15
General Public - 2

As I've stated before - they are talking to themselves.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Bumper Stickers

I used to be annoyed when I would see Kerry bumper stickers. Now they serve as a happy reminder at the relief I felt that Kerry and these people lost. Still, I wonder why sooo many people insist on keeping them on their cars. At what point will they finally look at it and admit to themselves "its over".

I fantasize that moment being similar to the ice scraper scene in "Fargo". In the movie, the main character is leaving a meeting he'd hoped would turn his life around only to be humiliated. Only after closing the car door does he realize that he needs to scrape off the ice that had accumulated on his windshield. Methodically working the ice initially, he begins slashing his windshield uncontrollably then throws the scraper onto the snow covered ground in disgust. After a few moments he picks up the scraper and begins dutifully scrapping again.

When they see another car sporting a "Kerry/Edwards" or "Re-Defeat Bush" sticker it must give them some sort of reassurance that they are not alone. I wonder if they realize that it gives people like me great pleasure as well.

Even though I love reading bumper stickers, I've never adorned my car with one. Admittedly, I was thinking bigger.

My little sister showed up Christmas morning with a Kerry button still prominently displayed on her nap sack. If she only knew how much pleasure that gave me...

You'd think that if it makes everyone happy there's no harm. The problem is they're still not over 2000. I suspect I'll be seeing these things for quite some time

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Quick Thought

Earlier this week, I read an article in the New York Times about the parents of fallen soldiers who don't support the war. Did our media run such stories in WWII? Undoubtedly they could have found grieving parents wondering why their child was killed liberating the French.

I'd like to commission a poll from one of the national agencies.

1. Do you think the American media's coverage of the War in Iraq emboldens our enemies in Iraq, thereby making our task more difficult and putting our soldiers in even more danger?

2. Do you think the American media is intentionally undermining the American war effort in Iraq?

3. Do you think the American media is intentionally trying to undermine this administration with biased Iraq War coverage?

Then I'd love to see how the media covered it. I'd like to hear Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw announce "An ABC/CBS/NBC national poll reveals that most Americans think we are responsible for the deaths of numerous American soldiers".