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RUSH: Dan Rather: We’re going to get to all this. This is unbelievable. Yeah, okay, he wants to get paid. Bernard Kalb is out there saying $70 million is pocket change to Dan Rather. This is not about the money, it’s about honor. Look, everybody was expecting Dan Rather to crack up on the air, and he came close to it on this story here on the Bush National Guard thing. But it’s now official. Because if you read his lawsuit, he makes it plain that he was just a puppet. I’m just the anchor. I was just the narrator. He has finally pulled the curtain back on the truth of all of these network news anchors. They show up, they go through the motions of having the meeting and talking to the reporters around the world and getting the news, and they write it up, supposedly. It ends up on the TelePromTer, they do 22 minutes of reading, and if they look authoritative and look halfway decent (no comment here on Katie Couric) you can make big money and do well under the guise of being a newsman.

Dan Rather has just admitted to making himself a dupe here. He was duped; he had no role in the story; he didn’t know what was going on; they made him the fall guy, and yet you talk to people who worked on the story who have been fired, like Josh Howard, 60 Minutes II producer, ‘What the hell? He’s lost his mind. He’s gone over the cliff. He wrote every line. He made every phone call. He did all those interviews. Mary Mapes has taken a lot of grief for this, but this was Rather’s story from beginning to end.’ Now he’s out there in this court filing saying he had nothing to do with it. He wants $70 million. This is a godsend, folks. Be it the elected Democrats or Drive-By Media, these liberals keep opening the door and bloodying their nose before they can get through the doorway.


RUSH: Depending on how far this suit goes… By the way, we have a sound bite coming up from Bernard Kalb. He says it’s not about money. Of course it’s about the money! When somebody says, ‘It’s not about the money,’ it’s always about the money. Most everything is about the money. If it weren’t about the money, why $70 million? Why not just five million? Why not a million? If you’re really just trying to get the asterisk removed from your name — you’re just trying to freshen up your image and build your legacy and try to get rid of this notion that you were a fraud and engaged in total deception, trying to effect the outcome afternoon election — why go for $70 million? You go for $70 million to make sure you pay your lawyers and have a little bit left over for yourself. Something else here. He’s going to get questions. If this goes this far, he’s going to get questioned by opposing counsel in ways he has not been questioned before. If this gets to that stage, CBS lawyers are going to just put him through the ringer. I don’t think he has the slightest idea what’s ahead of him. We’ve got audio sound bites about this. Here’s Tom Shales on MSNBC this morning with fill-in host Willie Geist, and Geist says, ‘Hey, Tom, why’s is Dan Rather bringing up this suit at this time?’

SHALES: It’s a matter of honor for him, and, ummm, it’s kind of an old-fashioned concept these days, honor. The way CBS allowed this scandal to be called Rathergate, or it just came to be known that way because they pushed Dan up there as the front man, the guy that took all the knocks for it. And I don’t think he wants the record books to have that asterisk next to his name that, you know, he left CBS after disgracing them with this so-called flawed report on [President] George Bush.

RUSH: (laughing) So-called flawed report? This is Tom Shales, the unassailable media critic of the Washington Post. So Dan wants his honor back. They just pushed Dan up there as the front man, the guy that took all the knocks for it. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll give you some quotes here. Josh Howard, forced to resign as executive producer of 60 Minutes II after CBS retracted the story, says, ‘Why, he seems to be saying he was just a narrator. He did every interview. He worked the sources over the phone. He was there in the room with the so-called document experts. He argued over every line in the script. This is laughable.’ This is like a guy who got canned for this as well. The producer, Rome Hartman, former executive producer of Katie Couric’s newscast who now works for the BBC, says, ‘It’s gotta be about this lasting sense of hurt and pride. I was flabbergasted. I just don’t get it.’ You know, Rather, if you get him in the right moment, still thinks the story’s true. What is it he says about this? He says, ‘Oh, nobody has proved that the story’s untrue.’

Dan, those were fraudulent documents! You forged documents. Forged. They’re fakes.

‘They may be, Mr. Limbaugh, but nobody’s proved that story is untrue — and if it’s untrue, I want to be the one to break that story.’

Earth to Dan: the story broke. You’re gone.

Do you know what he did? He had a feature (and I meant to talk about this yesterday) that ran on the HDNet, which is where Dan is now located doing the news, doing the Dan Rather reports. It’s Mark Cuban’s network. He found a disgruntled Boeing employee who’s out there. They have a brand-new way of making the 787 Dreamliner. All the parts are assembled. They put it together like you’d build a model. All the parts are assembled off-site, then they bring all the fuselage, the wings, and attach everything to itself, and new materials are being used in the fuselage. A disgruntled employee is out there saying, ‘This thing won’t hold up in a crash. Boeing knows it, and they’re screwing everybody. This plane is unsafe.’ Of course, this guy gets hold of Rather, and Rather goes out there — and this is typical of what they do: They get one disgruntled employee, maybe with a couple of supporters; they go out and they do this thing and then Boeing is on the defensive here about their airplane. This is typical. This is what Dan Rather is saying, ‘Well, we must speak truth to power,’ and, of course, who’s ‘power’? Well, power is Republican administrations, big corporate titans, CEOs. These people are all suspects to people like Dan Rather. So they focus on this thing, try to tarnish the image of an airplane under the guise of doing great works; saving humanity from possible dire consequences at the hand of evil profiteers who couldn’t care less about their customers dying — which really makes a lot of sense. Boeing is going to make an airplane and put it out there that’s going to kill people. It’s like McDonald’s is trying to kill their customers. It’s absurd, but this is the theory. By the way, will somebody explain to me what airplane is crash-worthy?


RUSH: Let’s listen to Dan Blather himself. This is September 20th, 2004, info babe Marcia Kramer, CBS Channel 2 in New York interviewing Dan Rather.

RATHER: I made a mistake. I didn’t dig hard enough; long enough; didn’t ask enough of the right questions, and I trusted a source who changed his story. But there are no excuses. This is not a day for excuses. I made a mistake, we made a mistake, and I’m sorry for it.

RUSH: Well, that’s going to be tough to square when they play that at the lawsuit trial, if it ever gets that far, because the lawsuit says something entirely different. It says, ‘Look, it I was basically a puppet in there. I was just reading the words they wrote for me, and they made me the fall guy, and I want $70 million.’ Here’s his on-air apology, by the way, September 20th, 2004, a portion of his report about Bill Burkett.

RATHER: I want to say personally and directly, I’m sorry. This was an error made in good faith as we tried to carry on the CBS News tradition of asking tough questions and investigating reports. But it was a mistake.

RUSH: I just have to laugh, asking the tough questions and doing investigative reports. Folks, you have probably forgotten, the Drive-Bys carried this vendetta on this National Guard story and George W. Bush for five years. There was never anything to it. And finally, CBS, in a desire to scoop everybody, forged some documents. They found some guy with a chip on his shoulder about Bush, and they had Burkett out there who was already, you know, he belongs in the sleeper compartment with Norman Hsu on the California Zephyr. These people, the whole thing was a setup, and Rather probably knew it and thought he could get away with it. Now this lawsuit comes up. We memorialized all this in parody.

(Playing of Mary Mapes phone call spoof.)

RUSH: That’s what it was. Mary Mapes is calling Joe Lockhart at the Kerry campaign, whatever it was, trying to get him in touch with Bill Burkett. Our Dan Rather theme song today, folks, James and Bobby Purify. (Playing of I’m Your Puppet.) My name is Dan Rather. CBS News. Tough questions. (Continued playing of song.) Okay, that’s fine. We made the point. You can almost say that if you read Rather’s lawsuit today that he is accusing CBS of forcing him to make a hostage tape. They forced him to go on the news and say that he was responsible, when he wasn’t. What he needs to do, he needs to put this in graphic form. He needs to have himself seated at the CBS News anchor desk, or something that’s made to look like it, just a still shot, he needs to get Sumner Redstone of Viacom and Les Moonves standing behind him holding AK-47s with masks on their faces forcing him to read his apology. (Laughing.) He’s a hostage of CBS News.

This is fascinating to me. ‘A conservative German politician on Wednesday proposed making marriage contracts expire after seven years, with the option to renew for those not feeling the proverbial itch. ‘I propose that marriages lapse after seven years,’ Gabriele Pauli told reporters in Munich, the capital of the largely Catholic southern state of Bavaria. ‘This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your vows if you still want to continue.’ Pauli, 50, has been divorced twice. The proposal is part of her manifesto as she prepares to contest the leadership of Bavaria’s governing party, the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), next week.’ Okay, so they’re being called here the ultra-conservative Christian Social Union. That probably means the mainstream, normal people. Seven years. Mr. Snerdley, would you be more inclined to commit to marriage if you know you were only getting involved for seven years, and, after seven years, it was automatically going to end? You babes out there might want to consider this because this might be a way to get these stubborn men to commit, if they know they get out of it in seven years. No, there’s no penalty. It ends, the contract expires. You go out and get married, that’s it, the vows, forever after, life and death, whatever the vows are, seven years. Maybe we can make it five, you know, whatever. Well, if you have kids, I mean, work it out.

Try this headline. This is from USA Today. Getting to your phone calls right after this, folks. ‘Divorce Threat Persists Throughout Marriage.’ Really? This is news. This is USA Today. It’s written by an info babe Sharon Jayson. Here’s the nut of it. ‘More than 70% of those who married since 1970 celebrated a 10th anniversary. That statistic — one of many released Wednesday by the U.S. Census — shows that divorce itself has stabilized in recent decades, neither rising nor falling significantly.’ Listen to the next line. (Laughing) ‘But experts say the longitudinal information also suggests divorce remains a threat throughout married life.’ (Laughing.) Some may see divorce as a threat; others see it as a salvation. But the idea you would write a story and say that the threat of divorce survives and remains throughout married life, even though the divorce rate is actually improving, we’ve got good news here, we still have to pepper it with the usual Drive-By pap and BS. Yeah, the divorce rate may be stabilizing and may be getting better. Damn cultural conservatives are winning again, those Christian right moral crusaders. So we have to make sure that the news isn’t all positive. So, yeah, the divorce rate is stabilizing, may be improving a little bit, but you could get divorced at any time. The threat is always there when you’re married. And this passes for news.


<*ICON*> eStack: Drive-By Media Bias and the Rise of New Media

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