Washington – Calling it the vindication of Accuracy in Media founder Reed Irvine, who started a “Can Dan” campaign 16 years ago, AIM today hailed the “retirement” or “resignation” of Dan Rather from the CBS Evening News. However, AIM said that he has still not been held accountable for his vicious September 8, 2004, 60 Minutes broadcast that was designed to sabotage President Bush’s re-election. “This was a brazen attempt to deceive the American people and subvert a presidential election,” said AIM editor Cliff Kincaid. “It was a conspiracy to deceive and defraud.”
Kincaid said that Rather should have been fired, and that he should not stay on to do stories for 60 Minutes. “Rather is finished,” Kincaid said, and “he should have been canned years ago. Now, with the results of an investigation into the scandal coming down shortly, CBS had no alternative but to put Rather out to pasture. He should go back to Texas to work with his daughter, another liberal Democratic Party activist, where they collaborated to raise money for the Texas Democratic Party several years ago.”
At the same time, AIM warned against replacing Rather with his sidekick, correspondent John Roberts, who is closely associated with Rather’s partisan approach to the news. Kincaid urged CBS to pick a fresh face, not tarnished by liberal bias, as the new anchor of the broadcast. “This is the only way to escape the damage that has been done,” said Kincaid. “CBS News must shed the baggage of being known as another arm of the Democratic National Committee.”
The controversial broadcast involved using forged documents in an attempt to prove that President Bush had neglected his National Guard service during the Vietnam War. The broadcast was false and it backfired. “It was one of the worst abuses of the public airwaves that we have ever seen,” said Kincaid. “It must never happen again.”
Kincaid pointed out that the anchorman’s conduct is the subject of a pending legal complaint to the Federal Election Commission from the Center for Individual Freedom, charging that CBS “became an arm of the Kerry campaign” and blatantly violated federal election laws. The complaint says that Rather and CBS were guilty of “illegally coordinating a partisan attack” on President Bush only 55 days before the election.