- Accuracy in Media - https://www.aim.org -

Dan Rather Must Go

STATEMENT OF AIM EDITOR CLIFF KINCAID

When the New York Times was finally caught running Jayson Blair stories based on fabrications, Blair was gone, and so were two Times editors. In the CBS “Rathergate” scandal, by contrast, no one has been fired. It appears that CBS wants to “forge ahead” with the disgraced and discredited anchorman, who relied on forged documents and once said that Bill Clinton was an honest liar. (Rather said, “I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”)

We want to say this personally and directly to Dan Rather: We’re sorry, but you have to go. And your producer Mary Mapes and CBS News President Andrew Heyward have to go, too. We say to Dan Rather: put on your pajamas, become a blogger, and take Journalism 101.

Thank heavens we have the bloggers in pajamas at the FreeRepublic.com who did the research that exposed the CBS documents as fakes. They are the true journalists. Dan Rather and Mary Mapes are political partisans masquerading as journalists.

I was on a show last night with former CBS newsman Daniel Schorr, who said CBS and Dan Rather were the victims here. No, Mr. Schorr. President Bush was the victim here. And the American people were victimized by a partisan liberal “news” operation working with the Kerry campaign to bring down the president.

CBS has been caught in the middle of a criminal conspiracy, with links to the Kerry campaign, to use forged documents to bring down an American president. This is a brazen attempt to deceive the American people and subvert a U.S. presidential election. Current federal law prohibits the use of false, altered or forged public records and documents to defraud the U.S. Penalties include up to ten years in prison.

Dan Rather is known for his Texas sayings. Well, the book Texas Sayings by Anne Dingus (and her follow-up More Colorful Texas Sayings Than You Can Shake a Stick At) has one saying that applies to Rather – “he’s as greasy as fried lard.” Rather must also be aware of the saying, “Don’t dig up more snakes than you can kill.” Rather is neck-deep in snakes. But I’m sure the bloggers will welcome him to their pajama party.

Statement on RatherGate by Kristinn Taylor, spokesman for FreeRepublic.com and Co-Leader of the D.C. Chapter of Free Republic

Two years ago, CBS News anchor Dan Rather criticized the American people while he was overseas, saying there was an atmosphere of intimidation against the media at home akin to the horrific necklacing that occurred in South Africa during the anti-apartheid movement. Specifically, he said, “It’s an obscene comparison, but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people’s necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be necklaced here. You will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck.”

Dan Rather, Andrew Heyward and Mary Mapes, in coordination with the Kerry campaign, tried to necklace a president of the United States by trying to knock him out of contention in the election with the flaming tire of forged documents.

‘Pajama-clad’ posters on FreeRepublic.com were the first to raise questions as to the legitimacy of the Texas Air National Guard documents used by CBS on the September 8th broadcast of 60 Minutes II. Even while the story was being aired, the authenticity of the documents was being doubted by FReepers. Later that night, after the documents were posted to CBS News’ website, a FReeper known as Buckhead analyzed them and declared them to be forgeries.

As doubts about the articles spread to the blogosphere and then to the old media, CBS News responded in Nixonian fashion: Stonewalling, attacking the messengers, and questioning the credibility of people like Gen. Staudt who tried to clear their good name.

In a mirror image of Mr. Rather’s insolent treatment of President Nixon at a press conference when Mr. Nixon asked Mr. Rather if he were running for something and Mr. Rather replied, “No, Mr. President. Are you?,”  Mr. Rather recently responded to a Fox News reporter asking him if he felt duped by asking the reporter if he felt duped working for Fox News.

Now CBS News is employing the Watergate-era ‘modified limited hangout.’ However, like Watergate, the effort to control the scandal is spinning out of control with confirmation that CBS News colluded with the Kerry campaign before the story aired.

There is a cancer on the Tiffany Network. In order to regain a modicum of trust and respectability, CBS needs to follow the example of The New York Times which fired Howell Raines, Gerald Boyd and Jayson Blair when faced with revelations of similarly fraudulent reporting and clean house.

Les Moonves needs to immediately fire CBS News President Andrew Heyward, who approved the fraudulent story, Dan Rather, who reported the fraudulent story and Mary Mapes, the producer of the fraudulent story. Apologies should be made to President Bush, the Killian family and Gen. Staudt, all of whom were unjustly smeared by CBS.

I’d like to thank Accuracy in Media for their valiant thirty-five year effort to hold the media accountable for their biased and fraudulent reporting.