What if Janet Cook had gone out and found a 7-year-old heroin addict after it was discovered that her Pulitzer Prize-winning story was fake?

After seeing CBS’s “60 Minutes,” which presented the spry 86-year-old secretary of George W. Bush’s late commander in the Texas Air National Guard, I am quite willing to entertain the notion that George W. Bush was quite possibly a total flake in his 20s and that, had he run for president then, aside from not being old enough, he would have been unworthy of the job.

But, of course, we don’t know f’sure, and CBS has such a weird notion of truth that we’re going to have to wait for a more respectable news organization to get at the truth (if you feel that what Bush did while still in short pants is a key factor in your vote, this will be of great import to you).

There’s a terrific piece this morning in the American Spectator on Dan Rather’s notion of the truth:

“On The O’Reilly Factor not so long ago, Dan Rather spoke in defense of public figures who make stuff up. He called Bill Clinton an “honest man” even as he acknowledged Clinton’s whoppers. ‘Who among us have not lied about somebody?’ asked Rather. ‘I think at the core he’s an honest person…I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.’

“You can be an honest person and lie about any number of things. This elastic philosophy of honesty must account for Rather’s view of himself as a witness to ‘core truth’ while peddling a forgery against the President. Rather sees a ‘core truth’ wrapped in a forgery inside his CBS reporting, and he is outraged that his critics won’t admit it. He is in effect saying: Didn’t this forgery at least place me in the vicinity of truth? He lashes out at ‘people who for their own partisan, political agendas can’t deny the core truth of this story…and want to change the subject and make the story about me rather than have the story be about the unanswered questions about President Bush’s military service.’…

“The audacity here is surreal….”

Ann Coulter has a hilarious piece headlined “C-BS:”

“In Dan Rather’s defense, it must be confessed, he is simply a newsreader. Now that Walter Cronkite is retired, Rather is TV’s real-life Ted Baxter without Baxter’s quiet dignity. No one would ever suggest that he has any role in the content of his broadcast. To blame Dan Rather for what appears on his program would be like blaming Susan Lucci for the plot of ‘All My Children.’
“The person to blame is Ted Baxter’s producer, Mary Mapes. Mapes apparently decided: We’ll run the documents calling Bush a shirker in the National Guard, and if the documents turn out to be fraudulent we’ll:
“a) Blame Karl Rove;

“b) Say the documents don’t matter.”

ABC is noting that CBS neglected to mention that Mrs. Knox, the secretary, is a Democrat.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that the fake docs (I think it’s time to drop the allegedly) have been traced to a Texas Kinko’s. The likely Kinko’s bandito is presented as a man who “overheard” Bush aides, including Karen Hughes, planning to destroy TANG documents when Governor Bush was running for his second (?) term as governor.