Rathergate Report Released

The CBS Report on Rathergate is released. The greatest irony of the whole story, as CBS News reports it, is that the network and its investigators, still cling to the false hope that the documents might have been real. “While the panel said it was not prepared to brand the Killian documents as an outright forgery, it raised serious questions about their authenticity and the way CBS News handled them.” While heads will roll because the public demands it, CBS will most likely learn nothing from this.

According to CBS’s article on the report:

Four CBS News employees, including three executives, have been ousted for their role in preparing and reporting a disputed story about President Bush’s National Guard service.

The action was prompted by the report of an independent panel that concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece. The panel also said CBS News had compounded that failure with “rigid and blind” defense of the 60 Minutes Wednesday report.

Asked to resign were Senior Vice President Betsy West, who supervised CBS News primetime programs; 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; and Howard’s deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy. The producer of the piece, Mary Mapes, was terminated.

The correspondent on the story, CBS News anchor Dan Rather, is stepping down as anchor of CBS Evening News.

Despite clear evidence found in the blogosphere, the report found no evidence of a political agenda at work and apparently laid most of the blame at Mary Mapes feet. The report appears to let Rather mostly slide. Note, however, how CBS’s article quoted above alludes to Rather stepping down over this scam, but does not directly say so. Note further that CBS denies the connection between Rather’s resignation and the report when asked publically about Rather’s resignation.

In short, the report fails to articulate what was obvious to everyone: Dan Rather and CBS tried to defeat Bush with this report and their faith in their world view of Bush — that he was a draft dodging cokehead not fit for public office — along with Rather’s built up grudge against the Bush family, sent them blindly over the edge to their own destruction.

Until CBS recognizes that its new division operates as a mouthpiece for liberal interests, it will continue to make the same mistakes regardless of what new procedures it implements. When you think something is the truth, you tend to act on it, even when it is a lie built on a lie preying on your sense of the truth.

Cross posted and extended at RedState.

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Erick Erickson

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