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CBS and Rather Admit Mistakes in Bush Documents

pudge posted more than 10 years ago | from the oops dept.

Republicans 335

Vexler writes "The word this afternoon from CBS regarding the authenticity of the national guard memos of President Bush is that they cannot be trusted, confirming what several document experts had already suggested. In Dan Rather apologized for a 'mistake in judgment.' I have to wonder though: What would be the price CBS (or CNN, during the 2000 presidential election in which the final tally from Florida was changed several times before they realized that a recount may be needed) would pay for 'mistakes' of this type? What are some of your thoughts regarding 'moderating' (think /.) a news agency when it admits that more than just an honest mistake has been committed in its reporting?" There is still one big question remaining unanswered, too: who forged the memos? Where did they come from? Burkett, the man who provided them to CBS, won't say where he got them.

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Who did this damage more? (5, Interesting)

tao_of_biology (666898) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300228)

Whilre sincerely trying to stay neutral here...

So, who did this damage more? CBS aired their very-hyped 60 minutes episode that now seems to have totally and unfairly libeled Bush. The damage was done in peoples' minds immediately... and after the fact, 60 minutes and CBS and Dan Rather can come and say, "Whoops." Regardless of what you think about Bush, this isn't totally fair and I think he'd have a good case for libel, if he wasn't president. Shouldn't there be some other ramification other than loss of public trust?

But, since the documents were so quickly shown to be BS (only the documents, the story might actually be true)... it seems to have really, really hurt the democrats and apparently back fired on the apparently-not-so-impartial Dan Rather. It makes the Democrats look like conspirators and more than a little slimy. That they're so worried that they'd need to plant false evidence smearing Bush. I'm not saying this is true, but it definitely could have that appearance to people.

So, given the short attention spans of the public--who did this help or hurt the most? I think the argument could definitely be made both ways. And, I can definitely see motivation for both parties to manufacture these documents and hand them over to CBS... I mean, weren't they exposed a little TOO fast?

Re:Who did this damage more? (2, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300272)

Please, stop. These forgeries were *so bad*, why would any Republicans have believed that CBS would not have caught them? Plus, CBS said their source (now revealed to be Burkett, a man who hates Bush and has advocated using dirty tricks against the Republicans) was very reluctant to turn these documents over to CBS, for a long time (apparently years). Saying this may have come from the GOP doesn't pass the smell test.

Re:Who did this damage more? (3, Funny)

joranbelar (567325) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300460)

Please, stop. These forgeries were *so bad*, why would any Republicans have believed that CBS would not have caught them?

Uh, yeah...that's the idea. The Republicans manufacture some patently obvious forgeries and let them "slip" into CBS's hands. Once they're proven to be fake, the Democrats get smeared. Nice tactic, eh?

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300973)

I gotta agree with you. It's like saying in American football, "Let them score so we can get the ball back."

Re:Who did this damage more? (2, Informative)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301485)

It's like saying in American football, "Let them score so we can get the ball back."

Which happens, while not every game, more than once in a blue moon.

Situations calling for giving the other team a quick score include, time is running out and a score seems imminent. Coaches decide to maximize time left when they get they get ball back rather than letting the other team run out the game clock. A more common example is giving the other team an intentional touchback. Giving the other team 2 points when you're up by 3 is sometimes the best move.

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

xeaxes (554292) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301521)

So, have you not seen the Kansas City Chiefs at all this year or last year?

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301056)

Nice tactic, eh?

If by "nice" you mean entirely implausible, then yes. Very nice.

entirely implausible (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301187)

entirely implausible
Remember that Karl Rove is widely suspected of bugging his own office so that he could blame it on the opponent of the guy he was working for at the time. Setting up CBS sounds like the sort of scheme he might pull.

Re:entirely implausible (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301623)

"It's a widely believed fact!"

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

sanctimonius hypocrt (235536) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301193)

Once they're proven to be fake, the Democrats get smeared. Nice tactic, eh?

That's what they want you to think...

Re:Who did this damage more? (1, Troll)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300498)

60 Minutes didn't even think that telling us that Indian programmers are getting our jobs because they are *better* with their IIT degrees than we are with 10-20 years of experience was insulting. I think CBS can readily be dismissed as an actual news source- and was a long time ago by anybody watching these things. So no- I don't think whoever gave the documents to Burkett would have thought that their forgery would have been caught so quickly.

If it was the Republicans, then not only does it not pass the smell test- it means that Rove & Crew are so smart, so underhanded, that Kerry might as well concede the election today.

Re:Who did this damage more? (2, Insightful)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300299)

In defense of the people who exposed them, I heard about the memos wednesday and saw them first thing thursday morning...the first thing *I* thought was "These don't look real", and went off to find what other people were saying. I'm no forensic/typographic/handwriting expert, but there's been such a flurry of military documentation released in the past year due to the Kerry/Bush "Where Were You When..." drama, I've seen enough of them to think these looked strange.

Unfortunately, now that the monkey is off CBS' back, we may never find out who forged them...unless criminal charges are pressed on Burkett, he has no reason to talk. He's also a bit of a looney, this isn't the first time he's attacked Bush.

--trb

Re:Who did this damage more? (0, Offtopic)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300501)

keep in mind this is 60 minutes.. remember their huge, explosive, damaging piece of work about side straddle gas tanks on pickups? Cause mountains of damage when they showed a video of a car ramming the rear side of the pickup, and the pickup exploded. Of course, later, people found out that the pickup had incendiary's to make sure to set the gas on fire!!!.. so then CBS was laughed at. Of course it was a real issue, they did sometimes go boom, but adding electronic sparklers to the car to make sure it did sure ruined any journalistic integrity they have in my view..

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300661)

Jeez man, that was NBC's Dateline, not CBS or 60 minutes.

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300664)

remember their huge, explosive, damaging piece of work about side straddle gas tanks on pickups?

Sigh. That was Dateline NBC. I'm as annoyed by this story as anybody, but can we please at least make a token effort to get the most basic facts right?

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

Blue Neon Head (45388) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300702)

"Regardless of what you think about Bush, this isn't totally fair and I think he'd have a good case for libel, if he wasn't president."

Not really. IANAL, but I believe that to claim libel, they'd have to show that CBS knew the documents were forged, and did it specifically to harm Bush. Unless some internal memos or whistle-blowers show otherwise, there's plenty of reason to believe CBS was merely sloppy in their work, not dishonest.

Re:Who did this damage more? (3, Insightful)

PatHMV (701344) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301324)

IAAL, and I can tell you that, in a libel suit, President Bush would not have to prove that CBS "knew" that the documents were forged, but could simply prove that CBS published them "with reckless disregard" for the truth.

We now find out that CBS, who previously had the utmost confidence in their source, did not even trouble to learn who actually provided them. They allowed Bill Burkett, who is not a reporter, to withhold the identity of his purported source for the documents. In other words, CBS published very damning documents without even knowing who had obtained the originals. A simple Google search on Bill Burkett would have revealed numerous detailed reports of his attacks on Governor and President Bush, and the subsequent undermining of his claims when subjected to scrutiny such as done by the Boston Globe.

CBS knew or easily should have known that Burkett had a long-standing axe to grind with President Bush. They knew he was not the original source of the documents. They knew that he was not the original source for the documents, and had only his word, with no confirming details, that the documents came from a legitimate source. They knew that THEIR OWN DOCUMENT EXAMINERS warned them of problems with the documents, and the one expert they finally relied on vouched only for the signature, not the rest of the document, and specifically stated that it is impossible to fully authenticate a photocopy. To report on documents obtained by Burkett, trusting only his clearly biased word that the documents are authentic, showed, in my opinion, reckless disregard for the truth.

Rather's and CBS's recklessness is further shown in their initial response to the immediate and substantive criticism of the documents. Instead of admitting that they really didn't know where the documents came from, or that the source was a known and persistent critic of the President, they accused their own critics of being partisan. They slapped up a typwritten document with a small "TH" on it as proof positive that typewriters back then could do superscripted "TH", despite very clear differences between that typewritten example and the forged documents.

Did Dan Rather actually know that these documents were forged when he reported them? I doubt it. Did he show reckless disregard for that truth? I believe so, yes.

To prevail in a libel lawsuit, President Bush would also have to show actual malice on the part of Dan Rather and CBS. Personally, I believe that the whole course of conduct showing Rather's and CBS's reckless disregard for the truth is itself evidence of malice. There is no other conceivable motive for their actions. I would be willing to bet quite a bit of money that they have rejected similar stories which portrayed Democrats negatively.

Truly, if one of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had brought Dan Rather or his producer a set of documents looking exactly like this but supposedly from the "personal files" of one of Kerry's Vietnam commanders, claiming that Kerry did not deserve one of his medals, does anybody truly believe CBS would have run that story without a great deal more fact checking and certainty than they required here?

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301670)

That's not at all what "reckless disregard" means. It means that you'd have to demonstrate that CBS News entertained serious doubts about the truthfulness of their story and that they went ahead with it anyway. Times v. Sullivan.

In New York in particular, where any civil claim against CBS News would have to be heard, it's essentially impossible to demonstrate reckless disregard. You have to have some kind of documentary evidence that the possibility of falsehood was seriously entertained before putting the story on the air, and that kind of thing just doesn't grow on trees.

(You may be a lawyer, but I question whether you're a very good one.)

There's no libel here (-1, Troll)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300743)

The charges themselves have been all but corroborated by the White House and certainly nobody is denying the content is true. The only (campaign) issue is whether these actual embodiments are from the time period they claim to be. That appears to be false, but notice how this relatively minor point has come to dominate the debate.

Who really cares if someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document? The point is that Bush dropped the ball when he was supposed to be defending the country in the 1970's, a job he got by virtue of being his father's son in the first place.

(The forgery/whatever question is interesting from a 'trust in media' standpoint, but from a "is Bush reliable or a security flip-flopper" viewpoint it is irrelevant.)

Re:There's no libel here (1)

HMA2000 (728266) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300820)

Who really cares if someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document?
WTF? Did you really type this?

Re:There's no libel here (4, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300860)

The charges themselves have been all but corroborated by the White House

That's not correct.

and certainly nobody is denying the content is true.

Also not correct.

The only (campaign) issue is whether these actual embodiments are from the time period they claim to be.

Actually, the campaign issue is whether a major news organization used memos which it either (1) knew or (2) reasonably should have known were falsified as the basis for a story which was released with the intent of influencing the outcome of the election.

Who really cares if someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document?

How can you not?

The point is that Bush dropped the ball when he was supposed to be defending the country in the 1970's, a job he got by virtue of being his father's son in the first place.

See, those are the two allegations that these memos were alleged to support, but that in the absence of these memos turn out to be completely unfounded. Ben Barnes has been alleging that somebody pulled strings to get Bush into the Guard since the 1994 Texas gubernatorial race. There's absolutely no evidence to support that allegation. In fact, in 1999, Barnes himself recanted his own story through his attorney. And the "he disobeyed an order" thing was concocted out of whole cloth, apparently either by Bill Burkett or by somebody who then passed the story on to Burkett.

These are two allegations which simply are not true. And yet you're repeating them like they're revealed gospel. Could it be that you're suffering from Dan Rather Syndrome?

Re:There's no libel here (1, Insightful)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301039)

Who really cares if someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document?

We need to keep in mind:
The document was, in fact a forgery.
The non-experts who looked at it suspected it was a forgery.
There's ample evidence that the people it was provided to knew it was a forgery.
The experts who were paid to know these things confirmed it was a forgery.
Having a formerly well-respected individual get onto television and state emphatically to the entire world that they were genuine does not alter the fact that the document was a forgery.

and yet, we're still trudging around Iraq, looking for the Nukes that don't exist.

It's almost like nobody really cares that someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document?

Oh, I'm sorry, were we talking about something trivial here?

Re:There's no libel here (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301705)

and yet, we're still trudging around Iraq, looking for the Nukes that don't exist.

Oh? [usatoday.com]

Suggestion: extract head from ass, open eyes, look around.

Re:There's no libel here (4, Insightful)

Watcher (15643) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301507)

Who really cares if someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document?
Oh boy. I'm no fan of Bush (I voted for him in 2000, and I'm not voting for him this time around), but just because you don't like the guy doesn't mean you can conveniently ignore the fact that these documents were forged. Even if they are talking about something that really did happen in the early seventies, they are forgeries, and therefore nothing more than mean spirited fiction. They are not evidence, and no amount of good intentions on anyone's part can change that, no more than some of the more fanciful stories about Clinton that have been proven false are somehow correct because they were "morally justified".

You can't apply one standard to the group you agree with, and then apply another standard to those you don't. That's just hypocrisy.

Re:There's no libel here (2, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301603)

Who really cares if someone forged, misrepresented or just misunderstood the nature of this document? The point is that Bush dropped the ball when he was supposed to be defending the country in the 1970's, a job he got by virtue of being his father's son in the first place.

Are you serious? Are you really suggesting that it's OK to forge documents to prove a point that you think is true? Would you also advocate planting falsified evidence on somebody you're certain is guilty of another crime?

Heavens to Betsy, there is something seriously defective in the ethical centre of your brain.

Re:Who did this damage more? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302091)

Good grief this is like saying who does the SCO lawsuit damage more Linux or SCO since they end up looking like raving loons?
The press has said time and time again that they are the protectors of our freedom and that the problem with the Internet is that the press checks it's facts while on the Internet anyone can post anything.
Who does this damage the most? The press. It is now clear that Dan Rather if not CBS is not the impartial defenders of the democratic process that they claim to be. They have there own bias and it does show in there reporting. How many other stories have been slanted by them? Who did the damage? The press. CBS has now sunk to the level of FOX news and the Midnight Star.

Vote Tabulation (4, Insightful)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300278)

...during the 2000 presidential election in which the final tally from Florida was changed several times before they realized that a recount may be needed.
Does anyone else think that no counting of votes or reporting of results should occur until all polls in the nation have closed? Situations like the one in 2000 could be avoided, and voters in western states would not feel that their vote doesn't matter, since the results of the eastern states would not be public.

Re:Vote Tabulation (2, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300411)

Does anyone else think that no counting of votes or reporting of results should occur until all polls in the nation have closed?

I don't think people understood before the impact that preceding states have on states in later time zones. Hopefully recent electoral experiences will prompt states to delay election information.

In fact, I'm not terribly happy with how news organizations treat election-day broadcasts. They seem to treat it the same as they would treat the final game in a Stanley Cup Series. As opposed to celebrating the freedom of voting, and perhaps a look back on 4 years.

For example, I would have thought that in the years I've spent watching election coverage, I would have heard about what Badnarik said about pre-1890s ballots not being printed by the government.

Re:Vote Tabulation (1)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301158)

While that is a more palatable solution, I'd prefer it if my State did not put the Names of the Candidates for President on the Ballot. We don't vote for them, we don't need the extra names cluttering up the ballot.

Re:Vote Tabulation (1)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301472)

What state do you live in that you don't vote for in the Presidential election?

Re:Vote Tabulation (1)

PedanticSpellingTrol (746300) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301682)

It's called the Electoral College.

Re:Vote Tabulation (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301689)

What state do you live in that you don't vote for in the Presidential election?

Well, if the OP is in the US of A, it doesn't matter which state. None of the states have you voting for the President. You are voting for electors that represent your state and vote on the Monday following the second Wednesday of December.

Hindsight is 20/20 (4, Insightful)

etymxris (121288) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300283)

Remember, the question to ask here is not, "Are the documents authentic?" but rather, "Was CBS justified in believing the documents to be authentic?" Of course, if they did not believe the documents to be authentic, but ran the story anyway, that would be even worse.

The point is that there are always going to be mistakes made. Demanding 100% accuracy is unrealistic and does more harm than good. Mistakes are only blameworthy if they are caused by carelessness. Not to say that CBS is not blameworthy, but we should be sure to ask the right questions here.

Re:Hindsight is 20/20 (1)

pudge (3605) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300448)

"Was CBS justified in believing the documents to be authentic?"

They were not. Note that CBS and Rather talk about mistakes in judgment. They know they got it wrong, and that they were to blame for getting it wrong.

Re:Hindsight is 20/20 (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300473)

Before airing the story, they checked with (in the last version of the story, AFAIK) four forensic experts -- three of whom now claim to have warned them that the documents were fake.

In any case, the real issue isn't the mistake, it's the cover-up. If they had retracted the story immediately, it would have been much more forgivable but there is simply no excuse for the way they stonewalled until it was clear that the problem wasn't going away. And the "apology" here doesn't address that issue at all.

Welcome to "even worse" (3, Interesting)

switcha (551514) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301255)

Of course, if they did not believe the documents to be authentic, but ran the story anyway, that would be even worse.

From ABCNEWS.com [go.com] ,

Two of
the document experts hired by CBS News now say the network ignored concerns they raised prior to the broadcast of 60 Minutes II about the disputed National Guard records attributed to Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.

Emily Will, a veteran document examiner from North Carolina, told ABC News she saw problems right away with the one document CBS hired her to check the weekend before the broadcast.

"I found five significant differences in the questioned handwriting, and I found problems with the printing itself as to whether it could have been produced by a typewriter," she said.

Will says she sent the CBS producer an e-mail message about her concerns and strongly urged the network the night before the broadcast not to use the documents.

"I told them that all the questions I was asking them on Tuesday night, they were going to be asked by hundreds of other document examiners on Thursday if they ran that story," Will said.
...

emphasis mine

And keep reading the link for more who called 'shenanigans' before the piece went to air.

Criminal complaint? (2, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300294)

Is it illegal to falsify government documents?

If so, would Bill Burkett have to tell investigators where he obtained the documents?

Re:Criminal complaint? (1)

christopherfinke (608750) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300359)

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure it is illegal to falsify a government document. However, if Burkett himself made the documents, he would not be forced to admit it, as the fifth amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right against self-incrimination.

Re:Criminal complaint? (1)

joranbelar (567325) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300494)

However, if Burkett himself made the documents, he would not be forced to admit it, as the fifth amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right against self-incrimination.

But...doesn't the PATRIOT Act overrule that? ;)

Re:Criminal complaint? (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300593)

pleading the fifth doesn't necessarily mean burkett faked the documents himself though. he could have stolen them, illegally copied them or committed some other crime in the attainment.

in fact, the fifth ammendment does not outline anything about what constitutes "incrimination". and, obviously, he can't be called upon to prove that he would self-incriminate by revealing his source. that defeats the purpose.

of course the feds can always call for a grand jury [wikipedia.org] to look into it. then the fifth ammendment doesn't apply... and neither does the fourth.

Re:Criminal complaint? (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300461)

That one's been asked and answered. These documents are not in any way official, whether they're real or not. Since there was no intent to defraud, even signing a dead man's name is not illegal. At the very, very worst, CBS News might have committed libel, but the standard for libel is very strict, and such a claim probably would not hold up in court.

Re:Criminal complaint? (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300581)

Since there was no intent to defraud[...].

Actually, I would argue that fraud was the only intent. I mean, we're not talking about some stuff written on a napkin. We're talking about a document written to appear to be on official stationary, by a government official.

Illegal or not, I don't see why a person should be allowed to make fake government documents, pass them as real ones, and not go to prison.

Re:Criminal complaint? (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300736)

Actually, I would argue that fraud was the only intent.

To defraud means to deprive somebody of money by lying.

I don't see why a person should be allowed to make fake government documents

These are not government documents. Even if they were real, they would not be official anything.

It's often illegal to destroy them (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10302127)

As the Bush people are alleged to have done. The fact is unlike Kerry's case, they can't find documents (which should exist) to contradict the claims made in the papers put forth by Burkett.

It is undisputable, Bush hid in the national guard, with the aid of his father's influence, because some poorer less pedigried American son was thought more deserving to kill and possibly die in his place. A Yale economics professor, members of the Texas air national guard, prominent Texas politicians, and a pile of missing paperwork from an organization that's brilliant at producing and maintianing paperwork, can't all be wrong. Even Killien's secretary said the content of the CBS memos reflected his views at the time.

Bush is a coward who would hide behind the sacrifice of better men, and then later impune their character, a character he's sorely lacking. He skiped an alert in Air Guard, and he took a vacation and didn't read his briefing about Bin Laden in August 2001. These facts might not be unrelated. Lazy cowards and national security just don't go together.

How Soon Does The News Have to Be Out? (3, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300329)

In libel and slander suits, law recognizes a difference between a daily newspaper and a magazine, which should have much more time to check facts. A newspaper, which has to be printed quickly and is literally keeping up with today's news does not always have time for in depth checking as a magazine.

CNN, and other networks, on Election Night in 2000 were reporting live, real time events. It is very understandable why all the networks had trouble calling Florida's vote count.

Dan Rather, on the other hand, had time to check, and didn't do his job. In one case, a source had been read the documents over the phone, but never told they were typewritten. There were also problems with the dates -- the memos involved people who were no longer in the Texas ANG. While there is a rush to get that kind of info out, Rather (who, I admit, I have never trusted or liked as a newscaster) seemed to live up to the image I developed of him in Journalism class when I read his autobiography (The Camera Never Blinks) -- he was more concerned with being the first, the most noticable, and the one with the biggest ego, instead of making sure he was reporting news.

I don't think there's reason to penalize CNN and other networks for the gaffs in 2000, but Rather -- I hope this helps people finally see he operates on the same level Geraldo operated on when he did stunts like opening Al Capone's vault.

I also think Rather owes a public apology to BOTH Bush and Kerry, since the memos slandered Bush, but also would have looked to many like Kerry was trying to slander Bush.

BTW, even though I can forgive CNN for the mistakes in 2000, I still can't bring myself to call any station a news channel when they spend 8 hours a day for a year on the O.J. Simpson trial.

Re:How Soon Does The News Have to Be Out? (1, Offtopic)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300698)

Rather, on the other hand, had time to check, and didn't do his job.

I find the whole thing very amusing. Dan Rather did check, but he didnt test the papers for fraud. I expected Bush or the White house to come out with a better response than "They seem fake..." Like providing the real documents, nope....

It's amusing, they tried to get Clinton on anything, finally after nothing worked, they investigated his sex life.

But on the other hand.

Bush's service records show gaps, people know he was an avid partier and drug user, he admitted it. Every business he started Failed. He was funded by the Bin ladens. His daughter sold drugs in re-hab, was never arrested. He used faulty intelligence to start a war. (Lie?) The list goes on...

Also, with all the attacks on the president in office, the 911 report showed Clinton was too busy defending himself with all the republican attacks. Nice job. And now the republicans say, doesn't matter who is president, you should support your president.... Nice 180 there.

The newest spin for today, Rathergate.

Business as usual.

-
Commies had Pravda, Republicans have FOX TV

Re:How Soon Does The News Have to Be Out? (0, Offtopic)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300756)

Wow. You just kinda vomited all over the keyboard there, didn't ya? I know you're probably so furious about the coming landslide that you can barely see straight, but could you maybe put just a little effort into at least concocting the appearance that your post is in some way topical or relevant?

Re:How Soon Does The News Have to Be Out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301709)

Rather, on the other hand, had time to check, and didn't do his job.

True, but already implied in the other post.

It's amusing, they tried to get Clinton on anything, finally after nothing worked, they investigated his sex life.

Here's why you got modded to troll right away -- you dared to start here and say something bad about conservatives. In today's climate, that's a group that is unable to understand there are different points of views and feels the need to hide anything that indicates there is another view. You got modded down because conservatives can't stand to hear any truth that they disagree with.

His daughter sold drugs in re-hab, was never arrested.

I've worked in rehab. I can't remember ever seeing someone arrested for selling or using in any programs I worked in (I'm not saying it's never done). The emphasis is more on treatment than on calling the police.

My two questions (3, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300333)

1) These documents didn't appear in a vacuum. They came out in what was clearly a coordinated attack on Bush by CBS, the Boston Globe (who, with their NYT owners are getting off the hook way too easily on this) and the DNC. Now, I don't believe for a second that the Kerry campaign created these documents. But given how closely the campaign was tied to these documents, everyone involved really needs to explain where the forgeries came from. (And, no, there is no issue of protecting an anonymous source in a case like this.)

2) The CBS "apology" might have been adequate a week and a half ago. But at this point, CBS has been stonewalling and hiding behind a constantly changing cast of "experts" way, way past the point where it was obvious that the documents were egregious fakes. (And ridiculing everyone who bothered to actually do some real fact-checking.) Are there going to be any further explanations or consequences? This is nowhere near enough.

(By the way, given that this is going to turn out to be a watershed moment in Internet journalism, Slashdot has been curiously oblivious to its News For Nerds aspect.)

Re:My two questions (4, Insightful)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300482)

Don't forget that Karl Rove has been known to do things like bug his own office. The assumption that this was a coordinated attack on GWB is just that, an assumption based upon the (perfectly legitimate anywhere except in politics, where this sort of thing usually ends up favoring the target) logic that GWB's campaign wouldn't forge documents that make them look bad. Do I think there are people on the left capable of doing something like this? Sure. But don't assume that just because the obvious benefit (if the documents hadn't been all but proven to be forgeries) would have redounded to Kerry means folks with Kerry's best interests at heart forged them.

Re:My two questions (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300764)

The assumption that this was a coordinated attack on GWB is just that, an assumption based upon the (perfectly legitimate anywhere except in politics, where this sort of thing usually ends up favoring the target) logic that GWB's campaign wouldn't forge documents that make them look bad.

You and shaka999 are both reading way too much into "coordinated attack". The Kerry campaign launched this "Fortunate Son" offensive, complete with theme, theme song and an elaborate video at the same time that CBS and the Globe prominently announced their supposed revelations, and Tom Harkin and others were out on the campaign trail flogging the documents the very next day. Again, I do *NOT* believe that the Kerry campaign (or CBS or the Globe) had any involvement in creating the documents, but I also certainly don't believe that their themes all happened to synchronistically converge on the same day. The campaign was clearly close enough to the story that it bears explaining just how close they were to this part of it.

As far as Karl Rove is concerned -- if it makes you happy to tell yourself that, so be it. The great thing about evidence-free conspiracy theories is that there's no way for anyone to talk you out of them.

Re:My two questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10300888)

> The campaign was clearly close enough to the story

Agreed, but it cuts both ways. The "blogger" that almost immediately exposed the fraud turned out to be a big GOP Hack.

(Not that it matters who he is, just that the story was spun as if he were an anonymous nobody.)

Re:My two questions (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301926)

Agreed, but it cuts both ways. The "blogger" that almost immediately exposed the fraud turned out to be a big GOP Hack.

Um. That statement is completely false. You know that, right? I'm just wondering if you're posting out of malicious intent to lie or out of shameful and disgusting ignorance.

'Cause it's one or the other.

Re:My two questions (1)

brewthatistrue (658967) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301679)

Some evil mastermind. His grand scheme was discovered within a matter of hours by non-experts of the blogosphere who kept asking questions until the real experts got a chance to chime in. There would be no apologies or retractions necessary from CBS if they had seriously researched the documents before running with the story.

Re:My two questions (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301847)

Um, if Karl Rove were behind this, that's exactly what he'd want to have happen - have it exposed immediately as a fraud. This isn't to exculpate CBS - they should have looked into the documents more closely. I just want you to ask yourself this question: are you really sure you know who benefited by all this?

Re:My two questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10302096)

So because you know who Karl Rove is, that makes your crackpot conspiracy theory credible?

Re:My two questions (2, Insightful)

shaka999 (335100) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300505)

Why exactly do you believe CBS and/or the Boston Globe were in on a coordinated attack? A much more likely situation is that someone was out to get Bush and CBS/Globe jumped on the story in the age old journalistic tradition.

This is just going to feed the Right Wing's crap about the liberal press.

2) Here I agree. CBS took way to long to admit a mistake. Furthermore, some of the items brought up to prove these documents were fakes were so obvious I have to seriously question how well the researched them in the first place. Again, they probably wanted to get the story out so bad they fell hook, line, and sinker.

Re:My two questions (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300787)

See my reply to someone else above.

This is just going to feed the Right Wing's crap about the liberal press.

Yeah, go figure.

My two answers (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301655)

These documents didn't appear in a vacuum. They came out in what was clearly a coordinated attack on Bush by CBS, the Boston Globe (who, with their NYT owners are getting off the hook way too easily on this) and the DNC.

How is it a "clearly coordinated attack"? Just because they all said negative things about Bush at the same time? Of course the DNC is attacking Bush! It's a Presidential election year!

The CBS "apology" might have been adequate a week and a half ago. But at this point, CBS has been stonewalling and hiding behind a constantly changing cast of "experts" way, way past the point where it was obvious that the documents were egregious fakes.

CBS did their due diligence in seeking multiple exper opinions once the authenticity was challenged and Dan Rather personally apologized for the error. I think that's plenty adequate.

What I found telling was that the Whitehouse didn't deny the accuracy of what the documents said. They just claimed that the documents were forged. That's sort of like Michael Jackson saying that there couldn't be any videotapes of him molesting children because he keeps the lights off.

Lawsuit (3, Insightful)

c.ecker (812382) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300381)

This is the we're sorry ploy. Notice they didn't retract the story -- just retracted the authenticity of the memos. They're trying to mitigate possibility of a lawsuit with more fictional reporting ...

If GW was a citizen rather than The President, he'd have a slam-dunk slander case. CBS did not follow due diligence in determining the authenticity of the memos. It really looks like CBS was shopping for the verification they wanted, in order to be able to air the memos even though they knew they were fakes. They even went so far as to call a preliminary opinion of the documents (collectively, not just the 4 memos) their authentication.

If it can be proven that CBS intentionally ran the story with fake documents, its just a short step further to the jackpot slander verdict ...

Watch how they CYA with their 'follow-up' 'report' on how the documents were authenticated ... more bogus reporting by CBS and company ...

Re:Lawsuit (2, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300535)

Notice they didn't retract the story -- just retracted the authenticity of the memos.

Um. No.

I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where--if I knew then what I know now--
I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.


That's a retraction. Of the whole story.

If GW was a citizen rather than The President, he'd have a slam-dunk slander case.

No, he wouldn't. In order to collect damages for defamation, you generally have to prove that the publishing agency acted with the clear knowledge that the information wasn't true. Proving that the absence of probative evidence --a memo from Rather saying that the story is crap but that he's going to run it anyway because he hates that bastard Bush--is essentially impossible.

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10300761)

CBS did not follow due diligence in determining the authenticity of the memos. It really looks like CBS was shopping for the verification they wanted, in order to be able to air the memos even though they knew they were fakes.

That sounds a bit like the tactics used to sell the American public on war with Iraq. One wonders what might have happened if some of the folks who spent hours trying to analyze the nature of of curlycue apostrophes would have put the same energy into analyzing the Niger forgeries, Chalabi's ties to Iran, or Hussein's supposed ties to Al Qaeda.

Re:Lawsuit (1)

c.ecker (812382) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300825)

Michael? Is that you?

Re:Lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301332)

How did they slander them? There was no new information in the documents. The White House even initially accepted them as genuine. The documents did not conflict with what Bush knew to be true.

Bias : A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10300452)


Bias : A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News

www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/006052084 1/ qid=1095708401/sr=8-1/
ref=pd_csp_1/103-7489900-3 467008v=glance&s=books&n =507846

It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (4, Funny)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300478)

The Bush administration created these documents!

They heard that CBS was investigating the story and they immediately went in to damage control. The documents were clandestinely delivered to Kerry supporters so that they would then be given to CBS. They were made to be so juicy that CBS wouldn't be able to see through all of the drool that they were obvious forgeries.

The Bush family has a history in the intelligence business. I wouldn't put this past them.

Sure, the documents are forgeries, but is the story true or false? As it stands now, the story is in a quantum state, awaiting the collapse of a wave function.

I agree with another poster, "Kodos 2004"

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (2, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300832)

The 'wave function' is leaning to the story being true simply because bush has made no effort to refute them.

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (1, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300913)

Sure, the documents are forgeries, but is the story true or false?

Okay, that's about the stupidest comment ever.

The story is, "These memos show that Bush blah blah something bad blah blah."

The memos are forgeries.

The story, therefore, is automatically false.

Use your brain for a minute, huh?

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301023)

The Bush family has a history in the intelligence business. I wouldn't put this past them.

Don't you suppose they'd have done a better job with the forgeries then.

All of this "Bush/Rove planted the forgeries" stuff depends upon CBS or the DNC or whoever believing the documents are real and that the source of the documents isn't trying to fool them.

Who would you rather be - Kerry or Bush if it's disclosed that one of your people made the forgeries?

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301556)

Any chance you'll remove that email address from your sig? I know the person who has to read email sent to that address, and they really aren't happy to see you posting with that.

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302119)

Is there any chance that they'll not contest us?

Consider it done.

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302003)

No, it depends upon being able to convince CBS that they're genuine and then being to easily and convincingly impeach them. Look into how Karl Rove operates some time; if he were behind this, it wouldn't be the first time he got something potentially damaging to his candidate into the press in a way that would ultimately discredit it.

Look into the original Bush cocaine accusations (made by an ex-felon, but sourced to Karl Rove), the bug in Rove's office, the Bush debate practice tape that the Gore campaign dutifully handed over, and turned out to have been "leaked" by a Bush campaign staffer with no grudges against GWB - hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Rove directed Bush's ex-sister-in-law to leak that nonsense story to Kitty Kelley. Notice how quickly that story was discredited, despite the fact that the corroborating witness was Sharon Bush's own ex-publicist? Notice how all the attention has been drawn away from Sey Hersh's very important book?

The man is brilliant. He has the moral integrity of a styrofoam cup, but he's brilliant.

Re:It is obvious if you put on your tinfoil hat (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302104)

What does it say about the moral integrity of those who use what is leaked?

John Kerry's coffin called... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10300481)

It said, "No more nails please."

Allow Me to Rant About This (2, Insightful)

Murdock037 (469526) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300538)

So, because these documents were forged, it means George W. Bush honorably and fully completed his commitment to the National Guard, right?

Of course not. But, as is the custom with our current administration, the most effective way to suppress the message is to conduct a smear campaign against the messenger.

Such is the cult of personality surrounding George W. Bush: Because Bush cannot be flawed in any way, those that suspect he is must be destroyed. (I'm thinking of Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, Dan Rather, and any other number of smaller government employees, economists, journalists, etc.)

But you can't entirely blame Bush's people. Why not do what works, if you can get away with it?

This whole forged documents story is endemic of a systemic failure in our print and television media-- a failure that allows any number of major scandals to go unreported, that allows lies to pass under the guise of "viewpoints," that focuses on real or imagined personality traits rather than issues.

I will register my disgust in the proper way: through my vote. ...But it's not as if I really trust that anymore, either.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (2, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300710)

So, because these documents were forged, it means George W. Bush honorably and fully completed his commitment to the National Guard, right?

Well, actually ...yeah. Given that the only documentary evidence of misconduct that anybody has ever been able to cough up has turned out to be forged, yes, this basically means that the "Bush went AWOL" non-story can finally be put to bed once and for all.

There are idiots out there who will fight to keep it alive, of course, but there are people who insist we never landed on the moon, either.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301673)

Well, actually ...yeah. Given that the only documentary evidence of misconduct that anybody has ever been able to cough up has turned out to be forged, yes, this basically means that the "Bush went AWOL" non-story can finally be put to bed once and for all.

Uhh, no, illogical conclusion. Absence of evidence is not evidence of non-absence :-)

There are idiots out there who will fight to keep it alive, of course, but there are people who insist we never landed on the moon, either.

Poisoning the well... interesting.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301860)

Absence of evidence is not evidence of non-absence

It most certainly is when you're talking about things like military service where dereliction of duty is documented. If (1) George W. Bush failed to carry out his assigned duties, and (2) no documentation to that effect can be produced, you have to conclude that (3) a ridiculously complex plot was carried out inside an Air Force warehouse in St. Louis involving the meticulous scouring of thirty-year-old records. That's a silly conclusion, so one of the two premises must be false. Since we know that #2 is true ...well, you can suss it out from there.

Poisoning the well... interesting.

Bein' a dumbass ...interesting.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (2, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301921)

My god. This comment is enough to bring me out of a nearly year-long hiatus from posting to /..


Of course there is other evidence. Try this [archive.org] . In fact, there is no evidence to support that Bush was not AWOL. In this case, since the military should have been keeping meticulous records, it is a reasonable conclusion that Bush was AWOL in lieu of any credible evidence to suggest that he did in fact show up for his duty at wartime.


By your idea of "logic," because there is no document saying there is not an invisible pink unicorn flying above your head, there must be. Here, there should be documentation of his service, but there isn't. Were this a case where we shouldn't expect records to exist, you'd be right. However, at fault is your assumption that a (fictious) lack of evidence to incriminate Bush in fact clears him. It does not. Furthermore, as I specified above, there is evidence to incriminate Bush. Take this quote from the article:



And Bush himself, in his 1999 autobiography, ''A Charge to Keep,'' recounts the thrills of his pilot training, which he completed in June 1970. ''I continued flying with my unit for the next several years,'' the governor wrote.

But both accounts are contradicted by copies of Bush's military records, obtained by the Globe. In his final 18 months of military service in 1972 and 1973, Bush did not fly at all. And for much of that time, Bush was all but unaccounted for: For a full year, there is no record that he showed up for the periodic drills required of part-time guardsmen.


I rest my case. Here, we have evidence to specifically incriminate him, and none to save him. Until further evidence is produced on this issue, there is no logical conclusion but that he failed in his duty, then lied about it.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (4, Insightful)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302145)

Try this.

A Boston Globe story? You've got a lot of balls posting that link in here.

In fact, there is no evidence to support that Bush was not AWOL.

Except, you know, for the fact that he was honorably discharged, not an honor conferred upon them what don't show up. And the public record of Bush's attendance. And the expert opinion of Lt. Col. Lloyd given upon examining the records. And the dental check-up that you guys love to forget about.

Except for all that evidence, there's no evidence at all.

Hell, even CBS News admits that ample evidence of the president's honorable service exists.

Here, we have evidence to specifically incriminate him, and none to save him.

Oooh, one quote taken out of context and misrepresented. (He was talking about an event that happened in the winter of 1968, dumbass.)

You baffle me. "There's no evidence at all! Except for all that evidence, which doesn't count because the Boston Globe which never, ever lies told me so!"

Loser.

What a great point... (1)

LoveLiberty2004 (812201) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301096)

It's also very very interesting to note that Bush is not letting guys in the National Guard today, get away with what HE did 30 years ago. No way, no sirree... they are not only having to show up, they're being kept under lock and key until they are shipped off to Iraq. Not only that, but this is all due to his own choice not to expand our armed forces. And not only THAT, but if someone were to refuse a phsyical now... what do you think would happen? Oh George, this is just getting so ugly! http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A31689-20 04Sep18?language=printer [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301153)

I think in this case, the Bush administration is responding appropriately to the documents. If the evidence for the accusations is not credible, Bush should not have to defend himself against it. Saying "well, the documents are fake, but Bush should respond to these allegations" is setting a bad precedent. Imagine the massive fishing expeditions the media would engage in if they could just make stuff up, and then demand a response. They might get lucky and get somebody to admit somthing, or deny it and get caught in a lie when somebody finds some real evidence at some later date.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (1)

n-baxley (103975) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301182)

Actually, Bush has admitted that he is flawed and succummed to drug and alcohol use earlier in his life. For some reason you think he would admit to this but not to something as common place as getting into the national guard becuase of his parent's connections.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (5, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301356)

You know, it's ironic that everyone is saying to just move on and get past the circumstances surrounding Kerry's Purple Hearts and Silver Star, because according to the military, he earned them and deserved them, and yet the DNC is beating up on Bush even though he received an honorable discharge, in other words, according to the military, he did his job.

How is that the military's word is good enough for one candidate and not the other. I would love to see one campaign where a double standard isn't so blatantly applied by either side. As it is, I need to keep duct tape wrapped around my head to keep it from exploding.

Here's an idea: Let's give Kerry credit for serving bravely and honorably and let's give Bush credit for serving, even if it wasn't in combat.

Here's the real question: Who's going to keep the Islamofascist nutjobs from blowing me up?!

I still can't see what tortured logic you are applying to blame this issue on the Republicans. Dan Rather destroyed himself (and he's been doing it for years). I didn't give him any credibility before all this happened. You ever hear the nickname "Red" Dan Rather? It's been around for years, even decades.

Courage, indeed. CBS has gotten to the point where they can't even pretend to be objective. I'd trust the National Enquirer before those clowns.

Re:Allow Me to Rant About This (1)

spu (591506) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301550)

As it is, I need to keep duct tape wrapped around my head to keep it from exploding. Glenn Beck fan, eh?

New Democratic line (2, Interesting)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300579)

Ok, so CBS is a fraud. But even though GWB was HONORABLY discharged, the faudulent info is still true!

And the dems still don't understand why they're losing the race.

Micheal-Moore-Documentary Style ... (1, Interesting)

c.ecker (812382) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300599)

... CBS News took a page from Michael-Moore-Money and his 'Michael-Moore-Documentary' style ...

Using obviously faked 'historical records' to back up an outrageous theory; a TANG pilot skipping a physical is tantamount to treason! Come on DAN, do some real reporting for crying out loud!

Then, using Michael-Moore-Money's own tactics, when caught at their lie, they deflect (provide authentication), obfuscate (well, the memos might be fake, but the content is correct), and confuse the issue (we got them from a 'reliable source' who we can't name ...).

LIES! LIES! LIES!

Pilots attempting to skip their annual physical is nothing new in any service. My dad served as a trainer in WW2, and he would've skipped any annual physical he thought he could get away with. He also voluntarily quit flying immediately upon leaving the service.

What works for the Michael-Moore-Money fringe doesn't fly with mainstream America. CBS ends up with egg on their face, and Dan Rather ends up ruining his career.

Good Riddens you BLOCK HEAD!

Look at the those MEMOS! Look only at the MEMOS! (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300628)

The damage of these memos was not to CBS, or to the Globe or to Bush but to the STORY. The story was well researched, includes a lot of interviews, (including, now, to the secretary who says "I didn't type those. But I typed ones that said about the same thing.") and military records.

See http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/bush /national_guard/ [boston.com]

The Globe (and CBS) showed pretty darn conclusively that Bush reneged, was AWOL, that it was covered up/excused, and that he's lying and/or stonewalling when he says different and at the same time, he and his proxies are attacking Kerry's war record.

But these documents... They get shown to be forgeries and we forget (POOF!) the whole, real, well-rounded story. If these documents weren't plants, then Karl Rove couldn't have hoped for a better lucky break.

You dangle a shiny toy in front of the American public and it immediately forgets that its sippy-cup exists.

Re:Look at the those MEMOS! Look only at the MEMOS (5, Informative)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300809)

The story was well researched

Um. No. Even CBS News says now that the story never should have gone on the air.

includes a lot of interviews

Mostly interviews that torpedoed the story. But you didn't hear anything about those on 60 Minutes.

including, now, to the secretary who says "I didn't type those. But I typed ones that said about the same thing"

That's not at all what she said --go read the transcripts --and she's also the same person who was quoted in the Dallas Morning News as saying that the thought Bush was "selected, not elected." No possible agenda there, no sir.

The Globe (and CBS) showed pretty darn conclusively that Bush reneged, was AWOL, that it was covered up/excused, and that he's lying and/or stonewalling when he says different and at the same time, he and his proxies are attacking Kerry's war record.

Wow. That's the precise opposite of what the record actually shows. Amazing.

Did George W. Bush sign up for a six-year commitment? Yes. Did he fulfill every obligation during his service? Yes. When he transferred to Alabama, did he give up his flight status because there was no place on the flightline for him? Yes. Did he request an early discharge? Yes. Was he granted that early discharge? Yes.

Is there any evidence at all that George W. Bush did anything improperly or incompletely? No. Ben Barnes insists that he pulled strings for Bush, but he simply can't produce any evidence to that effect, and everybody else involved maintains that it simply isn't true.

But don't let the facts get in the way of your personal hatred, now.

Re:Look at the those MEMOS! Look only at the MEMOS (0, Troll)

LoveLiberty2004 (812201) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301157)

Well, but, but, but... "That's not at all what she said --go read the transcripts --and she's also the same person who was quoted in the Dallas Morning News as saying that the thought Bush was "selected, not elected." No possible agenda there, no sir." But, he wasn't elected. That's a statement of fact, not an agenda. (Frankly I have not gone off and done all the research into every little detail of this or that or the other as I could care less. But truth be told, Bush never would've signed up for a National Guard en route to Iraq... which is just what he's doing now!) http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A31689-20 04Sep18?language=printer [washingtonpost.com]

Re:Look at the those MEMOS! Look only at the MEMOS (1)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301595)

But, he wasn't elected. That's a statement of fact, not an agenda.

Actually, it's an out-and-out lie. But whatever.

Frankly I have not gone off and done all the research into every little detail of this

No. Really?

If the story was so well researched (1)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300836)

Why did they need to pull a fraud to prop up their argument?

Obviously the truth isn't on the rabid anti-Bush side as much as these fervent liberals think it is. Luckily the general public can see through these left-wing media tricks.

Admission of guilt is actually a good thing (2, Insightful)

AnwerB (255422) | more than 10 years ago | (#10300945)

What are some of your thoughts regarding 'moderating' (think /.) a news agency when it admits that more than just an honest mistake has been committed in its reporting?

The fact that a station actually admits that they made a mistake is to its credit.

I'm sure that there are news stations that misreport without ever clearing up any mistakes they may have made.

Anyway, firstly, if you wanted to censure news stations for obvious bias, there would probably not be any US-based channels on the air. I personally prefer news from Reuters and the BBC, but I'm sure someone will believe them to be pinko-commie-sympathizing liberals (or neo-Nazi facists, depending on your view of the news being reported).

Secondly, I think that allowing people to moderate news will result in continuous 24 hour coverage of sports and models, since that's probably what most people would like to see instead of depressing world news and politics.

Re:Admission of guilt is actually a good thing (2, Insightful)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302065)

The whole problem here is that the potential moderators don't have enough evidence or knowledge to accurately moderate the news. Look, I know from my mods that most of the time when I make a political comment, if the mods reflect the repllies, that liberals mod me up and conservatives mod me down - regardless of whether or not they know that what I'm saying is true. There are some exceptions - mostly conservatives who respond politely or constructively or at least logically and rationally, and who I assume would mod me up if I were making some kind of sense regardless of whether or not they agreed with my thinking. But for the most part, mods on news and political comment will be polarized and partisan.

So no, I think it is unlikely such a system would work.

already decided (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10301474)

An appeallte court already decided that it's ok for the media to lie. A case against Fox News was brought up by a reporter that was forced to present as fact information that she knew was wrong. Fox News defended itself by saying that they should be able to lie if they want to. The court agreed with them.

http://www.vaccinationnews.com/DailyNews/2003/Marc h/02/AppelateCourtRules2.htm [vaccinationnews.com]

"On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast. "

So it doesn't matter if CBS/Rather knew the docs were fake, they still apparently are allowed to present any information they want as "fact".

Cat Got Your Democracy? (2, Interesting)

Rie Beam (632299) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301529)

So this is what it's come to? I'm stuck voting for the people who lie, cheat, and steal their way to the top, or people who lie, cheat, and steal to make the others look bad. Meh...

**waves flag, promptly burns it**

I hear Canada is nice this time of year...

Re:Cat Got Your Democracy? (0, Flamebait)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301822)

If every shit-for-brains dickhead who threatened to move to Canada actually would, this country would be a much nicer place.

I think we should establish a "Get The Fuck Out" fund, a non-profit charitable organization whose purpose is to help liberal crapweasels and libertarian freaks secure the funding they need to pay for a one-way ticket to wherethefuckever.

Who's with me?

Stuff that seems to have been forgotten (1, Interesting)

eskezl (727442) | more than 10 years ago | (#10301845)

From CNN's site ("the broadcast" is the one in question): After the broadcast, the White House, without comment, released to the news media two of the memos, one ordering Bush to report for his physical exam and the other suspending him from flight status. Here are the documents: http://news.findlaw.com/legalnews/lit/election2004 /docs.html#ltbush [findlaw.com] note that only the last two documents are "forged" or faked or retyped or whatever the current line is now.... and that the first two were released from the whitehouse right after the story, and, perhaps im not reading this correctly, had not been released before. Which would suggest that the white house had been holding them, as its been holding so many of these records. So are all the documents fake, or just the two, did the administration release those two after the story, and if so, doesnt that mean they are legit? I think I am also eyeing some canadian realestate...

Forging = felony? (1)

aggiefalcon01 (730238) | more than 10 years ago | (#10302089)

I keep hearing that forging gov't documents is a felony. If true, then will it be likely Burkett will be forced to disclose, under oath, whom The Source(R) is?
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