As I write this, Dan Rather is intoning that “60 Minutes” will be back later in the evening with “new questions” about President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service.
No, Dan, the new questions are about CBS’s use of most likely faked documents attributed to the late Jerry Killian, Bush’s commanding officer. The questions about the President’s Guard service are very, very old indeed and they won’t be answered, to the degree that the voter gives a hoot about this information about a man who has been President for four years, with fake documents.
Here’s a snippet from CBS’s statement on the documents (courtesy Instapundit):
“We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that’s what we are doing.”
Here’s the comment from Instapundit:
“Translation: CBS has played its cards; it holds none. CBS now undertakes efforts to discover evidence bolstering a story that has blown up in its face. Its efforts should be redirected to facing reality and acknowledging culpability. It is now at the least complicit in a fraud of monumental proportions.”
National Review–which has tons of stuff on the controversy Lucianne Goldberg has dubbed “Fortunate Fun”–reports that even some of the most vocal and dependable liberals are no longer defending Rather:
“Juan Williams, on Fox All-Star’s panel (ah, to join such an all-star team!) has been the most pro-CBS voice in the group as of late. And now, he’s slipping.”
The New York Observer (“Dan Rather to Bush:’Answer the Questions'”), which is generally liberal but often wanders off the reservation, has a must-read interview with Rather–it’s truly amazing:
“Mr. Rather said that he and his longtime CBS producer, Mary Mapes, had investigated the story for nearly five years, finally convincing a source to give them the National Guard documents. He did not reveal the name of the source, but Mr. Rather said he was a man who had been reluctant to come forth with them because he’d been harassed by political operatives. ’Whether one believes it or not, this person believed that he and his family had been harassed and even threatened,’ he said. ’We were not able to confirm that, but his fear was that what had already been threats, intimidation, if he gave up the documents, could get worse–maybe a lot worse.'”
Remember when nut cases ran around saying that the Clintons had ordered hits on people? Well, are you listening to Dan? These are serious charges, especially if you don’t have any faked memos to back them up.
And: Five years?
The National Review comments that the New York Observer story is “huge.” After reading it, you might agree with NR’s Jim Geraghty:
“At this point, it does not seem too harsh to question how much of a grip Dan Rather has on reality.
“And I think a lot of people at CBS are asking that question, or questions in that vein. Thus the statement that keeps getting pushed back, and pushed back, and pushed back…”
I’d love to sit here and blog all night, but I gotta go watch “60 Minutes”–with Dan is Jerry Killian’s 86-year-old secretary! Can’t wait! I hope she bought a new dress for the occasion.
Lucianne, by the way, is a great Rathergate clearinghouse.