Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Rathergate: deconstructive analysis of the "apology"

Rathergate Man Posted by Hello

FIRST KNOW THIS: Streight Site Systems is aggressively non-partisan. We favor no political party and no candidate. Liberals and conservatives are equally suspicious to us.

RATIONALE: CBS and other Mainstream Media journalists have launched vicious attacks on Citizen Blogger Journalists ("J-Bloggers"). Such anti-democratic, elitist nonsense will be gleefully commented upon in this forum.

J-BLOGGERS: You also need to shape up. Please always include hypertext links in your posts, so readers can link directly to sources of quotes and news reports. Don't assume that everyone knows where they are found.

For a full account of Rathergate and why our democratic institutions are threatened by his arrogance, please refer to Kathleen Parker of The Union Leader newspaper.


(CBS) Below is the text of CBS News Anchor Dan Rather's statement on the documents purportedly written by President Bush's National Guard commander:

"Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question-and their source-vigorously.

And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. 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.

But we did use the documents.

We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry.

It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully."


1. "I find WE have been misled":
failure to accept personal responsibility.

2. "questions that have been raised in
the public and in the press":
how about the blogosphere, your nemesis?
Conveniently left them out.

3. "vouching for them journalistically":
you mean you would vouch for them
personally, the contents are true,
but the documents are fake?
it's only "journalistically"
that you find them coming up short?

4. "if I knew then what I know now":
but you should have "known then" what
you "know now"--that's your job as a journalist.

5. "But WE did use the documents.
WE made a mistake in judgment":
failure to accept personal responsibility.

6. "error was made in good faith":
this makes the error, the sloppy journalism,
any less serious and troubling?

7. "investigative reporting without fear or favoritism":
yet no apology to the Bush campaign, to Bush himself,
to the American voters, to the world? how is this stubborn
arrogance and attempt to cover up not "fear or favoritism"?

CONCLUSION: There are many blog campaigns to force CBS to fire or retire Dan Rather, who would rather deny that he has a political ax to grind, and who is possibly guilty of trying to illegally influence national elections, which is a federal crime. When the mainstream media attack bloggers, we fight back.

(More on blogs as deconstructionist monsters at Vaspers the Grate site.)

No comments: