RUSH: All right, the CBS report. You know, there’s still some out there who aren’t going to get it, still some out there who aren’t going to admit it. I had two cable channels on this morning when the CBS report hit. Fox News went wall-to-wall with it. CNN maybe gave it 90 seconds. CNN covered the story when it was breaking news and then dropped it and went on to other things, but Fox stuck with it — and therein, ladies and gentlemen, tells a very interesting tale. By the way, Mary Mapes was one of the four people canned. A little sexism perhaps here? Three of the four people canned are females, none of the top execs were let go, Dan Rather gets by. Page 26 of the report Dan Rather maintains that these fake memos are still “accurate.” He has not changed his mind about this at all. But the institution known as CBS News is getting a reality check today. The institution known as the United Nations is also getting a reality check. I think the era of the free pass for liberalism is now over. This is what I mean when I’ve said all these past months and years that the liberal media monopoly is a thing of the past. It’s gone; they’re never going to get it back.
Another way of saying that is that the era of the free pass for liberalism is over. The Democrat Party has gotten a reality check but they still don’t get it. CBS is getting a reality check. I don’t know if they get it or not or if they’re still in denial. Many of their brethren in the mainstream press still don’t get it. I think the New York Times is in the midst of a reality check, and they don’t get, either. It was stunning. If you had time, if you read the New York Times on Saturday the way they treated two different storms, the Armstrong Williams story and the David Rosen story. The David Rosen story is about Hillary’s campaign fund-raiser, chief fund-raiser in 2000 has been indicted for all kinds of shenanigans in fund-raising that Hillary probably knew about. That story was not even covered in the New York Times on Saturday. It broke on Friday; it was not even mentioned in the published editions. You could find an AP version of it on their website, but you couldn’t find an actual copy of that story in a published dead tree edition of the New York Times on Saturday. Sunday it got scant mention, they just ran an AP version of the story.
Armstrong Williams was linked to Clarence Thomas and was linked to Strom Thurmond as a prot?g?. Neither of the two assertions are correct. They gave it front page treatment, the Armstrong Williams story — not that it didn’t deserve it. I don’t think it did deserve front page treatment, but it deserves treatment, no question about it. But the David Rosen story was totally, totally ignored. We are in the 21st Century, and the idealism-turned-sour institutions are getting very heavy anal exams, folks, and they are failing, and many of them refuse to admit it. Here’s the truth. Here’s the truth, now. The truth is that all journalism is now opinion journalism, and I think it always has been. This is the dirty little secret: All journalism has always been opinion journalism, but today what’s changed is that the ones who refuse to admit it and cast themselves as unbiased with no interest in political outcomes are the ones falling way behind. They have no credibility with the audience. They have no credibility with the consumers of news anymore, and the same thing is happening to the New York Times, as I just cited the way they treated the Armstrong Williams and David Rosen story Saturday, and that’s just one of a multitude of examples we could cite from the New York Times.
In Newsweek, Michael Isikoff still: Even though Gonzales is going to be confirmed, don’t expect Abu Ghraib to go away. Why? Because they don’t want it to go away. There’s no story there but they’re going to try to make something out of it for one reason and that’s to harm Bush. There’s no reason that this story continues to get the legs that they’re giving it. So the truth is that the jig’s up. They’re no longer operating under the same pretense they are used to; that the audience is a bunch of idiots and can’t figure it out. The audience does know now. There’s a reason Fox went wall-to-wall with CBS. They understand their audience. They understand how important it is; they understand how important the audience knows the media is in American political life today and in American political discourse. Now, it won’t be long for us to find out how right I am, not if I’m right, not when I’m right, but how right I am. Mary Mapes, who was the lead producer on the Bill Burkett faked forged document. By the way, reading the CBS report they’re actually going to appoint a forged document czar, a forgery czar.
They’re not going to call it that, new standards and practices person, but for all intents and purposes they don’t want to get stung by forged documents anymore, so we can say that CBS is going to have a forgery czar to make sure this doesn’t happen again. But what is it I’ve always said, ladies and gentlemen, about liberal Democrat failures? They rise to the top. When you fail as a liberal Democrat, you accrue stature, and you become big because your failure is always assigned to a right-wing conservative attack machine and so you become a martyr. So the more failure you can chalk up as a liberal icon, a Democrat icon, the higher you will go within Democrat circles, and though that is in dispute in some circles, I still maintain it to be the case: What can we look for? We can look for Mary Mapes, who was the lead producer fired along with three others at CBS for the forged document story, to soon get a job with a prominent senator or member of the House as a spokesman, spokesbabe, maybe a legislative liaison.
It might not be long before one of the lingering full-fledged liberal cable networks actually hires her on camera for something, maybe even as an anchorette, but don’t cry for Mary Mapes. Don’t cry for her, folks, because this today, this falling on the sword, this getting canned has guaranteed she will be set for life somewhere in the Democrat Party’s upper hierarchy, they take care of her. They take care of her own. She fell on the sword. She did everything she could to try to get rid of George W. Bush under the auspices of working as a journalist at CBS. She might be a great chairman for the Democrat — well, not this soon. She could be Democrat National Committee chairman in ’06, maybe ’08. She’s got to serve as a vice-chairman. She’s going to the fund-raising department or somewhere, maybe the direct mail campaign at the DNC, but she’ll be fine don’t cry any tears for Mary Mapes and it won’t be long before we find out just how high in the Democratic hierarchy she lands. Quick time-out we’ll get into some details of this when we come back, remember it’s a shorter commercial break here, folks, by one minute. They’re going to love me for pointing this out.
And so the next faze of this story has occurred. “Four CBS News employees, including three executives have been fired for their roll in preparing and reporting a disputed story about President Bush’s National Guard service.” It was only the sixth or seventh version of the story after none of the previous five or six had proved to have any substance whatsoever. “The action was prompted by the report of an independent panel that concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece. Panel also said that CBS News had compounded that failure with rigid and blind defense of the 60 Minutes Wednesday report. Asked to resign, senior vice president Betsy West who supervised CBS News prime-time programs, 60 Minutes Wednesday executive producer Josh Howard, and Howard’s deputy senior broadcast producer Mary Murphy, the producer of the piece, Mary Mapes, was terminated. The correspondent on the story, Dan Rather, still believes the documents — according to Page 26 of the report — were ‘accurate,’ is stepping down as anchor of CBS Evening News.” He escapes any further scrutiny in the story.
The independent panel that said, “A myopic zeal to be the first news organization to broadcast the ground breaking story was a key factor.” It had nothing to do with bias. It had nothing to do with liberalism. It was just bad journalism, ladies and gentlemen. Well, let’s admit that. It was horrible journalism. The question is, “Why?” What was the motivation for the bad journalism? And the independent report says, “Well, it was just a desire to be first. Too many competitive pressures out there; they thought somebody else had the story. They had to go with the story. They couldn’t wait to vet the story. It was too much competitive pressure out there.” So they gotta get rid of the competitive pressure. They gotta pay no attention to it and be more specific in vetting these stories. That’s why they’ve appointed a — I call it a forgery czar. “The panel made a number of recommendations including the appointment of a senior standards and practices executive reporting directly to the president of CBS News.” I can’t believe that doesn’t already exist, that position. Standards and practices? My experience with networks is that that is huge and that is an old position, a traditional position.
The fact that they’re going to appoint a senior standards and practices executive that reports directly to the president of CBS News, who would review all investigative reporting the use of confidential sources and authentication of documents. Personnel should feel free comfortable going to the forgery czar confidentially without fear of reprisal with questions or concerns about particular reports. So basically this recommendation is for not only a forgery czar but somebody to handle all the whistle-blower complaints and they’re pledging that the whistle-blowers will go in there with impunity. Also the recommendation was made to, “foster an atmosphere in which competitive pressure was not allowed to prompt airing of reports before all investigation and vetting is done.” What does that do to breaking news? How do you go out and vet breaking news like this? Well, this wasn’t breaking news, but I have also this: More people than what were originally cited that have been canned or asked to resign, same difference. “Following information provided by the office of Viacom co-president Les Moonves, Mary Mapes has been terminated, effective immediately. Josh Howard had been relieved of his duties, asked to resign. CBS News senior broadcast producer Mary Murphy had been relieved of her duties at 60 Minutes Wednesday, asked to resign.
“Senior script producer Esther Kartiganer has been relieved of her duties at 60 Minutes Wednesday, offered another assignment at CBS News. Senior Vice President for CBS prime-time Betsy West had been relieved of her duties and asked to resign. Rather voluntarily moved to set a date to step down faces no further action. The President of CBS News Andrew Heyward, Moonves says of him, ‘Heyward is an executive of integrity and talent, the right person to be leading CBS News during this challenging time. The panel raised questions about accountability at CBS News, questions that will have to be answered both by Heyward and me.'” Heyward, in essence, made a trip to the White House, went up there to assure them this story had nothing to do with their desire to destroy Bush, that their covering of Abu Ghraib was what they were trying to destroy Bush with. Come on, folks! Mary Mapes also got hold of the Abu Ghraib photos and I remember one of the things Rather said when this story first broke. Rather said he went to Heyward and said, “This is too big. I need you to ride herd on this.” He was clearly dumping on Heyward to try to save his own skin by essentially saying, “Hey I went to the top. I made sure they knew what we were doing on this story.” Try this. This is from Page 9 of the report: “The field of document examination is fraught with controversy and has differing and sometimes antagonistic certifying organizations. However, it is generally agreed that authentification of a document is best done by the original so that a chemical analysis of the ink and paper as well as a close review of any signature and the topography can be conducted. In addition, document examiners typically reach their conclusions with various degrees of certainty. A common finding is that the document in question does not have any indication that it is not authentic.” What? What a sentence! If that’s true, why did you fire anybody?
I want to read just this last line here from Page 9 because this is stunning to me, not only how poorly it is written, but what it says when you decipher it. “A common finding is that the document in question…” the Burkett memos. “[T]he document in question does not have any indication that it is not authentic.” Well, if you can’t prove that it is not authentic, the double negative is just screeching at us here, but if you can’t prove that it is not authentic, then why fire anybody? The fact of the matter is they had four experts who told them not only are these things not authentic, they’re impossibly not authentic, and they are forged; they are faked, and apparently the report does not even acknowledge that. It just says that we cannot prove that they are not authentic, and then on Page 10 from the same report, over the next few days the examiners analyzed the two documents that had several conversations with both Mary Mapes and somebody named Miller. This is somebody in Killian’s office. “Two of the examiners told the panel that they informed Mapes and Miller that they had various concerns about the documents.” These are the official examiners.
“Significantly, all four of the examiners told the panel, the independent panel, that they informed Mary Mapes that they could not authenticate the documents primarily because they were copies.” Well, they told them more than that. They told them the documents were probably were fake and couldn’t have been created to look the way they did back when they would have been authentic had they been created then. The typesetting technology didn’t exist; the typewriters didn’t exist. You know, word processors were not not used yet at that point. There’s still have something extremely fishy about this. Like we’re supposed to take the four or five people that have been canned here as the sacrificial lambs and now we all move on? But we don’t have memories that are this short. We remember what these examiners said on other networks. We know that these documents were faked. There’s no question they are not authentic. Again, on Page 26, Dan Rather says he still believes that they are accurate — not “authentic,” but “accurate,” which means that CBS still has people who think the story is true. It’s still true. They just couldn’t prove it, but it’s true, and they’re not going to go back on it and they’re going to admit the other thing, and they’re not going to admit that they had a liberal bias. You see, the thing about this bias business and all, it’s real simple.
All journalism is opinion journalism, always has been, if you just look at it this way. Take yourself, for example. This whole premise of objectivity I think is a straw dog. It has been used as a cover by journalists to hide what they really believe so they quote, unquote, “have credibility,” but the fact of the matter is, is if you were a thinking, informed and educated person, it’s simply unreasonable to expect that you don’t have opinions on things, and it’s doubly difficult to expect that you don’t have a choice or a preference in the outcome of particular events. So the idea that all journalism is opinion journalism is true. It is the motivation that you then have to look at. For example, why does CBS do the story? Why did they avoid all these journalistic practices? Why did they scrub all this stuff that they would normally do aside and go with the story? Why does the New York Times totally ignore a story on Hillary’s indicted fund-raiser and focus on Armstrong Williams? Why does the New York Times and Newsweek still continue to focus on Abu Ghraib? There is a motivation behind this.
They are trying — and it’s not just to “bring down the powerful.” That’s another straw dog they all hide behind. “Well, we’re out there to protect the little guy against the powerful.” Well, they aid and abet certain powerful people. They will not come and be critical of certain powerful people, people they agree with, people whose careers they want to see advanced. This is not news any longer. This is not a surprise to people. So the people that ridiculously hold onto this old-fashioned notion that there is objectivity in journalism and that they have no care what the outcome of a political issue happens to be, they have no interest whatsoever, they’re just reporting what the news is – those are the institutions losing respect. Those are the institutions losing ground, and those are the opinions of the institutions losing audience. When we talk about the mainstream press — just as a little exercise here — you know, there are many left-wing media organs that are opinion oriented, magazines like the New Republic and The Nation, and a number of other places, and they all admit who they are up front. They are never included in discussions of the mainstream press when it comes to the fact that they are dishonest, when it comes to the fact that they’re trying to fool people.
They’re just wrong. We’ll look at them, or we’ll analyze what they say. We’ll make fun of them. They’re just wrong, but we don’t include them in the discussion of the so-called mainstream media or the partisan media or the liberal Democrat spin machine, because they admit up front what they are. Same thing with me and this program and other people who do what I do. There’s no question where we come from, and so bias is never a criticism leveled. They may say we’re wrong. They say we’re all these other things, but it is the people who have just the same amount of bias, the same energy, the same desire and the same focus for particular outcomes who deny all that that, are the ones that are suffering today, the ones that don’t get it, the ones who are facing a huge wake-up call. They’re the ones losing audience left and right. They don’t know why. They won’t admit why, and they come up with fixes for their problems that don’t address their problems whatsoever, and they become even bigger laughingstocks. This is what’s happening to pretty much all of the mainstream press even as they sit around and refuse to admit it.
It’s what’s happening to the Democratic Party. It’s well known that they’re liberal but they won’t admit they’re liberal just like the mainstream press is liberal but they won’t admit they’re liberal. The Democratic Party will not admit it. They want to come up with new terms, progressive, moderate, what have you, because they know, they know that if they are tagged with the liberal label they’ve got an even bigger problem, and that is overcoming their liberalism. So they try to hide behind other names for it, but the simple fact of the matter is everybody now knows who liberals are, where they are, what they want to do, what kind of people they are in terms of the way they go about their business and that they’re not to be trusted. And when that happens to you in the news business, when you’re not to be trusted, well, I’m sorry: Your days are numbered. You can sit there in denial all you want. Same thing is happening to the Democratic Party. There is absolutely no question about it and they’re getting even worse. Now, one of the things that happens when you’re in this state of denial, you get enraged and you get angry and you try to prove everybody wrong by becoming even more what you are while lying about it all the more.
That’s what the Democrats are doing. “Well, we’re just not getting our story out. Well, we’re not getting our message out.” And then they go and pull stunts like they did, those three of them last Thursday, and they just hammer another nail in their coffin. Then we have these media analysts out there who themselves are liberal who want to paper it over and say, “Well, it was just bad journalism. Well, they just got a little over eager.” Well, why? Why did they get over eager? It’s the one thing these people just cannot admit. So they have a bit of a dilemma, all journalism is opinion journalism. The ones who admit it and proceed on that basis do okay. They find an audience. They survive economically. The ones who refuse to admit it just sit there and flounder and basically live a lie, and when they’re called on it they get even more radical, they get even more angry to try to prove everybody wrong. Actually don’t try to prove everybody wrong. That’s when the let’s get-even-with-’em-ism starts, and they get even more radical, and they live in the illusion that they still have their monopoly or they still set the agenda on a daily basis and that they still control it and that just starts a vicious downward spiral and cycle where they show even more what their limitations are and basically they put forth as loud and clear as possible that they’re not who they say they are and thereby announcing it even more.
Now, there’s a summary here of the whole memo, a summary of the whole report in bullet point fashion — and I don’t want to go through the whole thing but they do list some of the most serious defects in the reporting and production of the story, such as the failure to obtain clear authentication of any of the Killian documents from any document examiner, the false statements in the September 8th TV segment that an expert had authenticated the Killian documents when all he had done was authentic one signature from one document used in this segment. If all this sounds familiar, it is. It’s already all been uncovered. This proves once again the total lack of necessity for this independent commission if they’re gonna come up with what was already known which is what they’ve done. All these details in this summary, the only thing that we couldn’t do that the commission caused to happen was the firing of these people, but other than that the news that’s released here really isn’t news:
“The failure of 60 Minutes Wednesday management team to scrutinize the publicly available and at times controversial background of the source of the documents, Bill Burkett.” Sorry, been done. Been there, done that. “The failure to find and interview the individual who was understood at the outset to be lieutenant colonel Burkett’s source of the Killian documents and thus to establish the chain of custody.” People have already been down there trying to find out where Burkett got this stuff. That’s already been done. The failure to establish a basis for the statement in the segment that the documents were taken from Colonel Killian’s personal files. I could go through this whole list. We already know it, it’s already been done, it’s already been dealed. The thing that remains after of all of these points: “Why? Why there was there failure to find and interview the individual who was understood to be Burkett’s source? Why did 60 Minutes management fail to scrutinize publicly available and at times controversial background of Bill Burkett? We know why they didn’t. They didn’t want to blow up their source, they wanted the story. They wanted the story to be true, and why? Because they had an axe to grind with George W. Bush. I find something very interesting about all this. Richard Nixon has gotten his revenge on Dan Rather.