The Kerry campaign was working on this story and put a press release out in April talking about this angle. There’s another thing. Don’t forget, folks, that their fortunate son campaign, the Democrats’ fortunate son campaign launches the day after CBS does this story. There had to be some coordination going on here, and we now know that the story is changing from the Kerry campaign. It started out, “We didn’t know about this till we saw it on TV.” Now we know that what happened is, is that Burkett wanted to talk to the Kerry campaign and his price for giving Mary Mapes of CBS these documents was the connection at the Kerry campaign. So Mapes calls Lockhart before this thing ever went to TV. Lockhart knew about this long before it hit television, as George Stephanopoulos said, and Lockhart is told by Mary Mapes, “Look, we’ve got this guy, is a good source but needs to talk to you.” Lockhart says, “Yeah, we do this thousands of times a day. I’ll be glad to talk to this donor of yours, this source, thousands of times a day.” Lockhart talks to the guy. They didn’t talk about the documents, and they didn’t talk about the National Guard. No, why would they? No, they talked about the swiftvet campaign and how upset Burkett was about it — and apparently Lockhart liked Burkett’s strategy on this so much that he told Marybeth Cahill, who then told the candidate, John French Kerry.
So from going to we didn’t know about this till we saw it on TV, to Mary Mapes calling Lockhart and saying, “Hey, would you spell talk to Burkett? Say, ‘Well, give me the documents?'” Okay, fine. That conversation gets reported all the way up the chain of command to Kerry, and the documents were never discussed? I know we shouldn’t assume, but, folks, come on.
Ah thank you, Mr. Snerdley, that’s true. I have been mischaracterizing this. Let me correct myself. Technically this wasn’t even a conversation. Lockhart just listened. Lockhart says he just “listened” for three or four minutes to Bill Burkett, and then hung up, and then he called Marybeth Cahill, who called Kerry to report what Lockhart had just listened to. They’re asking us to believe quite a lot here. Here’s Margaret in Ridge, New York. Hi Margaret, glad you waited. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush, I think you’re great.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Do you think that regarding the CBS story, do you think that NBC would have touched it with a ten-foot pole, Tim Russert or Tom Brokaw.
RUSH: Now, that really is calling for speculation, and there’s no reason… This is serious enough without impugning somebody else with something else that’s a pure hypothetical.
CALLER: Yeah, but I mean I don’t think they would have touched it with a ten-foot pole.
CALLER: Because I think they’re a little smarter than the CBS and Mr. Rather. I think Rather was delighted to get it because of how he feels about the Bushes.
RUSH: Yeah, there is that suspicion, that Rather is actually on a vendetta. CBS was not misled and they weren’t just following up some tip. They’ve admitted Mary Mapes working on this story for five years.
RUSH: This is an agenda item. Let’s make no mistake about it. CBS is carrying out an agenda. They’re not just reporting the news here.
RUSH: So you don’t see an agenda actually being carried out by NBC in this regard —
RUSH: — is what you’re saying?
RUSH: I would have to agree with you on that.
CALLER: I think Rather was delighted to get it. That’s my personal opinion.
RUSH: He certainly acted like it, and then when he got — you know, remember all the life lessons: When you get caught, just, “Okay, the jig’s up,” and admit it and so forth. But he starts blaming his accusers, and that’s why people — one of the reasons people are saying this is Lockhart. This is like Watergate, you know, because that’s what Nixon said, “Ah these are just a bunch of liberals that hate me. You can’t believe what they’re saying,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
“Well, what about the question, Mr. Nixon?” He stonewalled, stonewalled. We all know what happened. As I said, it’s fascinating to watch CBS in this, particularly Rather and his unit because they have become what they hated. They have become Watergate-like. This is much more serious, I think, than anybody even in the mainstream press is alluding to here. They’re trying to make it out to be a journalistic mistake. It’s not a journalistic mistake. This is a criminal conspiracy scandal, folks.