Thursday, September 16, 2004

Rather Courageous in the Face of Reality

CBS "journalist"/anchorman Dan Rather is an amusing figure to watch fall apart. He seems to believe, or else he is a pathological liar, that what he does at CBS is objective and reality based journalism about relevant issues of the day. Typifying this is his call on competing media outlets to ask President Bush the questions he raised in a recent "60 Minutes," questions based on what almost seems certainly faked documentation.

But think back on Dan's earlier career. What other controversies has he been embroiled in? He argued with Richard Nixon during Watergate, albeit Richard Nixon deserved a good yelling and some time in the slammer one would expect a little more decorum from a reporter. He argued with then Vice-President George H. W. Bush over the Iran-Contra scandal. And now he is hounding the current President over irrelevancies in his National Guard record three decades ago. Any pattern here? In a career that covers two of the worst Presidents in history, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, where is the story about Dan arguing with Bill Clinton about his constant lying and breaking the law? Where is the story of Dan smacking Jimmy Carter for doing nothing when American citizens were taken hostage on American territory in Iran? These stories don't exist for a reason, Dan Rather is a partisan Democrat parading about like an objective journalist.

Granted, one could be a partisan and still be an objective journalist, but Dan Rather certainly isn't the model for that. If he were why would he have producers working, according to Dan Rather, for five years on a story as dumb as the Bush National Guard story, yet devote no investigative energy to what Kerry talked about covertly with the leading representatives of North Vietnam in the early 1970's. It seems to me that the possibility of high treason trumps whether or not the President was a slouch thirty years ago. And going by Rather's own standards, where were the stories of what Clinton was doing thirty years ago, while protesting the Vietnam War on foreign soil where he could conveniently avoid going to war and also smoking marijuana? That slouch was elected to the office twice, yet Rather didn't angrily report on these things and then call on his colleagues to "ask the President these questions."

Rather's total bias is so blatantly obvious it becomes pathetic watching people attempt to defend his actions, which are indefensible. You know an investigative piece is useless when you ask yourself, "Even if what is alleged is 100% true, what is the point? What difference does it make?" This story makes no difference. We're not electing the Bush of thirty years ago, and he's already been the President for four years, an ample reservoir of experiences from which to judge his abilities or lack thereof. If we accept the premise of the Rather report as justifiable then we should look to the much more egregious cases of John Kerry, talking with Le Duc Tho is Paris covertly, of Ted Kennedy, killing a woman and getting away with it, of Robert Byrd, joining the Ku Klux Klan (though his supporters say he was merely a "young man" in his early to mid-twenties). Why not spend years asking questions to these people? Oh yes, Dan Rather and his cabal aren't objective, they are just objectionable.

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