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January 31, 2005

New York Magazine Doing Rathergate Postmortem

Ratherbiased.com has a tease from an upcoming LLM piece on Rathergate, including these tidbits:

* Dan Rather has been observed wandering the hallways of CBS News muttering "elections have consequences," referring to Bush-Kerry presidential race.

* Many within CBS News believe Rather and CBS News president Andrew Heyward should quit out of honor. Says one executive of Rather: "Should Dan resign for his part in this story? Yes. Will he? No. It’s just not his style." As for Heyward, Blum points out that in the seven years that Betsy West, Heyward's assistant vice president, worked for him, she never did anything that Heyward didn't require her to do. "The fish stinks from the head," he concludes.
Don Hewitt, the founder of "60 Minutes," on the scandal: "This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in 55 years of working for CBS News."

* "Much has been made of Rather's failure to see the piece before it aired, but that fact isn't very meaningful; he'd read multiple drafts of the script for the story (written by producer Mapes), done most of the interviews, and had a thorough knowledge of the story's content and point of view. He was hardly the uninformed mouthpiece portrayed in the media."

* Rather seems to have been responsible for the disastrous 12-day denial strategy following the initial questioning of the Burkett documents:
"Rather has remained intensely loyal to his disgraced producer Mary Mapes, but those around him feel his loyalties should have been to the truth. 'The producer lied,' one longtime Rather producer told me in an unsolicited, not-for-attribution e-mail, angry that other innocent people had been wrongly punished for Mapes's transgressions. But the commission's report showed that it was the considerable power of Rather—in addition to Mapes—that helped lead Howard, West, and others to trust the reporting on the National Guard story in ways they now must deeply regret."

There's more at the link, of course.

I'm always amused by the comparisons between this story and Watergate. Dan Rather, muttering to himself as he wanders the halls aimlessly -- perhaps speaking to a portrait of Edward R. Murrow? -- is just another example that history repeats itself, especially if you're a retard.


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posted by Ace at 09:47 PM

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