Now, get this next two paragraphs. This is on the CBSNews.com website: “According to the Washington Post, the network plans to say it was misled about the authenticity of the documents. The New York Times reports that CBS News officials met Sunday evening with anchor Dan Rather, the reporter of the contested story to discuss the network’s next steps.” For crying out loud, how do you explain — I don’t know that I have the vocabulary to explain this. Here is CBS News, the Tiffany network, quoting the Washington Post and the New York Times as to what they, the network, are going to do! The network knows what they’re going to do. They ought to be announcing this themselves, not leaving it up to the New York Times and Washington Post to run speculation the night before. “According to the Washington Post, the network plans to say it was misled about the authenticity of the documents…”
This is like me putting out a statement, folks, “According to the New York Times, I will be hosting the program tomorrow.” I mean, this is just… I’ll tell you what it does. It underscores what actually is going on here. CBS News’ own website reports about Rathergate and quotes other sources and its own website speculates about what it might do. CBS’ own website speculating on what CBS might do and relying on other sources to confirm the speculation as if it’s an outside party looking in on all this. Now, if this organization were really interested in its calling, it could just quit playing games here by talking about this in third party and teasing with news announcements. They’re issuing press releases on this. This is all obviously a calculation to minimize damage to itself. Well, the follow-up, if CBS just cannot report the news about this instead of holding back for CYA reasons, then it has too great a conflict of interest to continue reporting on the matter at all, and that’s really what they’re making themselves look as though has befallen them. They’ve got a conflict of interest.
Now, here’s the CBS story, or statement: “Bill Burkett, in a weekend interview with CBS News anchor and correspondent Dan Rather has acknowledged that he provided the now disputed documents used in the September 8th 60 Minutes website report on President Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard. Burkett, the retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, also admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the document’s origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source.” A-ha! It is as I suspected. There is another source here, and CBS doesn’t know who that is. A-hem, wink, wink. Here’s the next paragraph: “Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point. Burkett’s interview will be featured in a full report on…”
They’re still drumming for audience: So watch what Burkett says! We’ll tell you a part of it here in our statement! So Burkett says he made all this up to protect another source. He got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News have been unable to verify. Don’t you think they would be angry? I mean, I keep asking this. I’m sorry, folks, this is my own human nature putting myself in the place of CBS News. If there’s another source that’s, you know, misled Burkett and now Burkett’s misled CBS, don’t you think there would be some anger here? I mean, not in a press release. Wouldn’t you think Dan Rather would be hell-bent to break this story to find out who this other source is? They’ve only subjected the reputation of CBS to ruin, and I’m just going to say it again: the reason that there doesn’t appear to be any anger is because it’s highly likely, it seems very, very, very probable, likely, that the source is somebody they do know, and that the identification of that source would bring down everything, bring down CBS, bring down Rather, and bring down what’s left of the Kerry campaign.
Now, the American Spectator online had a recent interview with the lawyer for Bill Burkett. His name is David Van Os. Let me read this to you. He’s a Texas Supreme Court candidate, by the way, and he’s a very high ranking Democrat, Mr. Os. You can look at his bio. He’s been to every Democrat convention since ’74. He’s been big in the party organizations for all these years, very, very loyal Democrat, very big contributor, and here is what he said to the American Spectator: “Based upon my personal knowledge of Bill Burkett’s character from knowing him and knowing his reputation among his peers, I will state unequivocally that Bill Burkett did not falsify or create the CBS documents. I do not assume that anyone falsified or created those documents until more is known, but if anyone did, it was not Bill Burkett. I will stake my reputation and good name on this certainty. Further, from my knowledge of Bill Burkett’s character and integrity I will state unequivocally that if, hypothetically speaking, Bill Burkett handled documents that were recent creations rather than true copies of originals he would have done so only because he had reason to believe they were true copies rather than recent creations.”
So the stage is being set here. This guy’s lawyer, Burkett’s lawyer, is pretty much telling us what happened by saying Burkett didn’t falsify anything. “I’ll stake my reputation on that. He wouldn’t create or falsify, and I don’t assume anybody did, but if hypothetically speaking Bill Burkett did handle documents that were recent creations rather than true copies of originals, he would have done so only because he had reason to believe they were true copies rather than recent creation.” So a source apparently has misled Burkett but what we’re hearing is this guy’s lawyer is pretty much admitting Burkett handled them and that Burkett didn’t know what they were, and had he known, he wouldn’t have, da-da-da-da-da-da-da. So the CYA is in full force. Everybody’s rear end is being covered with as much cloth as they can find out there, probably more like iron — everybody, CBS, Burkett, Van Os. By the way, it does appear that some people are even going to great lengths to protect the identity of The Source.
Because there is another source here. Somebody gave these things to Bill Burkett. That’s the story, anyway. That’s the story. Bill Burkett just a harmless, lovable old Democrat that hates Bush and wants to see Kerry win, got caught up in his emotion. We understand how these things happen, we’re to believe. But again, let me run through a list of things that CBS had to overlook if they want to maintain they were misled. They had to overlook the widow and son of Jerry Killian. They were ignored. They spoke out. They denied this could happen. CBS ignored them. CBS went out and got some document experts that said, “You can’t run with these. These are fakes. These are forgeries.” CBS ignored them. Bobby Hodges was read some of the documents on the phone, said (paraphrasing), “Yeah, it sounds fine to me.” Later when he found out that they were forged documents, he said, “Ah, they didn’t tell me that.” So they misled Bobby Hodges.
The old secretary was not interviewed until afterward when she could be led by Dan Rather as a witness, which she was. Mr. Stott, who had his character attacked in one memo was never contacted. The opinions of the experts were misrepresented after they were ignored. The swift boat veterans have been maligned rather than covered, and George Bush’s roommate during his Guard years who agreed to speak to them, CBS, was turned down by a producer because after they talked to him, he just decided he “was too pro-Bush.” So all of those things CBS had to overlook if they want to maintain they were misled. They were not misled, folks. This was a hit piece on the president, and in this statement, the only really glaring thing missing is an apology to President Bush. There is no such apology, which tells me that CBS is still struggling trying to put this story together in a way that they can say is believable.
I always love using Mr. Snerdley as sort of a trial balloon to see what the rest of the audience is thinking. So I’m going to ask this question because Snerdley, he didn’t blow it, but he didn’t zero in on it, and that’s important. So I’m going to keep pounding this. Thanks for being a sounding board. The question was: “What is the real scandal underlying the whole CBS story?” The real scandal, what is the real scandal? No, go back to the beginning. Not that they’re standing by it and not that they reported it. I mean, those are scandals. The real scandal of this story, I keep pounding, because, folks, it is important. The real scandal in this story is this. If these documents were forged and we know now they are, who did it and why? That’s the scandal. Who forged the documents and why? Now, we also know the “why.” CBS is not even talking about the “why.” The purpose for the forgery was to destroy the Bush campaign. CBS was a willing participant in this.
So the real scandal is: Who forged the documents? CBS has expressed no interest in anything it said to date of finding out the answer to that question. They have not expressed any anger over the fact that they were duped with forged documents. They have said they were deceived. The real scandal here is something they are not vigorously pursuing, and the fact that they are not vigorously pursuing the central scandal of this. The documents are forged and who did it is an indication that they may already know who is implicated here. I maintain that they do. I’m speculating, I will admit, but the fact this they do not seem interested, the fact that there is no anger, that the real scandal of this is still untouched, that the real scandal of this is still not being dealt with or approached, means the answer to the question is just too devastating to CBS and other interested parties. Again, let me do this with no histrionics. We are talking about CBS, by reputation the Tiffany news network, and I know they’ve lost that and the mainstream press does not have the reputation that it once did when they were a monopoly, but in their minds they do.
In their minds they’re still all that matters. I’ll guarantee you in Dan Rather and Andrew Heyward’s mind they are the cat’s meow, same thing at ABC and NBC. Those people, they’re not sitting there saying they don’t matter anymore. They’re not sitting there saying that what they do doesn’t count. They’re not sitting there saying their reputations aren’t important to them. Their legacies are all important to them, just as everyone’s legacy is important, and yet for a major news network to actually have accepted forged — you can substitute any word you want: recreated, remanufactured, whatever — forged documents, and for this network to have willingly overlooked expert advice and evidence that that’s exactly what they had, sets a new standard and a new low, and to me it’s quite indicative of the utter desperation they feel over the loss of their monopolistic power, that they would go so far as to accept and use and then try to defend for over one full week the use of forged documents.
To then, after that, go so far as to say, “Well, yeah, they may be forged but we think they’re still true.” Forged! Think “forged check”! Think “forged painting.” Think of any time in history when you’ve heard of something being forged. I mean, this is preposterous, and yet there’s no accompanying desiring to find out who did this. There’s no anger apparent. Sort of like Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles. Remember how the case was solved? The dog didn’t bark. There was a crime that was committed, all hell broke loose. Dog didn’t bark. It was a hound. It always went crazy at the slightest rustling of a leaf. The dog didn’t bark. CBS is the dog that isn’t barking. CBS is the dog that’s spinning. CBS is the dog circling the earth looking for a place to relieve itself. CBS is the dog that didn’t bark. There’s something still smarmy about this.
Forged documents! I can’t emphasize this enough. Forget the partisanship here. Forget what it’s even about. Well, it’s hard to do that because I think that’s what led them to get away. I think they tried to get away with this. They had the advice they were forged. Don’t tell me they didn’t. They had plenty of experts saying these are forgeries; these are no good. You’re gonna have all kinds of trouble. They ignored that. They wanted this story. They weren’t misled, and the fact that they were willing to take the risk of using what experts were telling them were forged documents, forged? They may as well have made it up themselves. Who cares who the source is when you get right down to it. CBS may as well have written these documents themselves, on their own computers. What difference does it make? They willingly used them so who cares where it really came from other than the damage it could do to whoever is on the other end of that question.
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