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September 22, 2004

The Long Knives Are Out for Mary Mapes

Corante (I think) tips that CBS News seems to suddenly be offering up an awful lot of derogatory, well-nigh incriminating, information about Mary Mapes, she who was formerly called a "well-respected journalist" with an "unblemished reputation:"

CBS News executives want to know why Mapes, one of Rather's most trusted producers, repeatedly assured them that both Bill Burkett and the documents he gave her could be trusted β€” only to have both widely called into question by Internet bloggers and rival news organizations soon after 60 Minutes aired the story. On Monday, CBS said the story should have never run, and Rather apologized to viewers.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Mapes arranged for Burkett to talk to a top aide to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

"Funny, she doesn't look
like a hardcore lefty feminist.

Standard journalistic ethical practices forbid reporters from doing anything that could be perceived as helping a political campaign.

CBS News hopes to name an independent panel today that will investigate how Burkett, a Texas Democratic operative and opponent of President Bush, deceived 60 Minutes in its now-retracted story about Bush's military record β€” and who at the network is responsible.

"It's clear that something went seriously wrong with the process," CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves said. He called the review "both necessary and important."

As Joshua Micah Cougar Mellancamp Marshall would say: I question the timing of these leaks.

He then offers an updated timeline for the DNCBS Rathergate mess in two parts.

I don't want to say they're setting up Mary Mapes as a patsy, but my sources just informed me CBS is planning to move her through an underground police parking garage in Dallas, and that they plan on having fat guys in cowboy hats milling around when they do so.

Fake But Accurate Update: Dan Rather responds to his critics.

Dan Rather Retirement Watch Update:

They're planning on making Mapes the fall-gal and claiming that Dan Rather was just a senile old barking-mad crank who wasn't responsible for the content of this story, which is half-true, of course. (The first half is true.)

Will this work? I don't think so, but firing Mapes and claiming she was the Lando Calrissian on this Bespin betrayal will buy them some time-- some. We may have to wait for the ratings to fall below O'Reilly's to actually get justice-- Ace of Spades Justice.

At the tone, the Dan Rather Retirement Watch displays a time of


11:56PM -- the watch clicks one minute back away from midnight

Mary Mapes "I'm Just a Patsy" Watch Update:

At the tone, the Mary Mapes "I'm Just a Patsy" Watch displays a time of


12:01AM -- one minute past midnight. She's already gone; the pinkslip is already in the interoffice mail-cart.

Not Exactly A Ringing Endorsement Update: Last Tango hips me to a quote I missed:

"CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius... said that Mapes, 48, remains on CBS' payroll."

"Remains on the payroll"? One can't help but notice the egregiously present-tense form of the verb.

The present-tense here is just the polite form of the past-tense. In Latin, they call it the Pluperfect Patsy Tense, which is sometimes hard to distinguish from the Get Your Partisan Ass Working On Your Resume Tense.

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posted by Ace at 11:11 AM

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