Quote of the Day…

“Ex-forger Frank Abagnale — played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie ‘Catch Me If You Can’ — scoffed: ‘If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been, ‘Catch Me In Two Days.'”
–As reported in today’s New York Post

Remember how when Janet Cook faked her Pulitzer Prize-winning story on Jimmy the seven-year-old heroin addict Ben Bradlee, then editor of the Washington Post editor, quickly admitted the mistake and mailed the prize back? His prompt actions ensured that Ms. Cook won’t make it into the first paragraph of Bradlee’s obituary.

Well, Dan Rather is following a different course of action in responding to mounting challenges (that’s a nice way to put it — the documents are almost certainly fakes) to the authenticity of documents the Tiffany network used to impugn President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Rather has chosen the Howell Raines approach — remember Mr. Raines, he was editor of a large metropolitan daily before he chose the tough-it-out-be-arrogant-as-hell approach to his prot’g’ Jayson Blair having been caught making up stories?   

Last night, Rather was incredibly brazen, quoting Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe on the National Guard story for which the main evidence — the documents — no longer stands unquestioned. A man whose brother had been killed in Iraq was quoted saying that his brother died “trying to make an honest man” of George Bush by finding Weapons of Mass Destruction. The “balance” was provided by quoting Laura Bush saying she thought that the CBS documents were probably false.

Looks like it’s time for Dan to begin planning family cookouts with fellow retiree Raines because the blogosphere won’t let the story drop (and neither will ABC network, for that matter).

Meanwhile, the editors of National Review argue — quite convincingly — that unless CBS stops stonewalling, Bob Schieffer should not be allowed to host the presidential debates:

“The strategy cannot be tolerated by the broader political and journalistic community. Until CBS cleans its own house, it cannot be considered just another news organization, in good journalistic standing. Which brings us to the presidential debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates has scheduled a debate on foreign policy for October 13 at Arizona State University. The moderator the commission has seen fit to anoint for this encounter is Bob Schieffer of CBS News.”

The Washington Post reports that CBS’s own document experts warned them not to do with the story.