Tags: Rather's | Apology | Not | the | End | the | Story

Rather's Apology Is Not the End of the Story

Wednesday, 22 September 2004 12:00 AM

Second, CBS hasn’t taken corrective action. The network hasn’t fired anyone (yet) despite a number of worthy candidates — Rather for destroying the little credibility that he retains, producer Mary Mapes for acting as a Kerry-for-President campaign surrogate, and CBS News President Andrew Heyward for overseeing a news division that acted far worse than any “527” political group.

Third, the strong evidence of a hoax was an explosive story last week. Now add the involvement of several high-placed Kerry campaign officials and the fact that CBS’s source was a partisan activist, and the explosiveness of the story becomes atomic.

The same mentality that led to the scandal is now ensuring that it becomes a quagmire. The CBS eye is blinded to reality by ideology. Within their insular world above West 57th Street, the network’s news division still doesn’t get it. No one has been fired. No apology has been made to the aggrieved party. The managing editor stubbornly maintains that the documents are authentic. They mistake liberal crusading for journalism. Any attempt to curtail the former — like the blogger-driven rebuttal of the documents initially shown on “60 Minutes 2” — is perceived as an affront to the latter.

My new book, "Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas," details how the causes that elites serve often overwhelm sound judgment and breed dishonesty. Rathergate is an illustration of this phenomenon in action. Whereas Noam Chomsky, Rigoberta Menchu, Alfred Kinsey, and other intellectual morons can get away with falsehoods for long periods in the echo chamber of academia, Dan Rather can’t. He doesn’t operate in a vacuum. His pronouncements are broadcast across the United States for others to examine. Bloggers, Internet news sites, talk radio, and other alternative media now speak with a loud enough voice to effectively rebut lies from intellectual morons in the mainstream media.

Instead of a black mark on journalism, Rathergate might be better seen as a positive turning point, when independent journalists stepped forward to correct the libelous inaccuracies of a massive news outfit that would have gotten away with peddling this hoax if it had occurred just a few years ago. After all, if exposing truth is the aim of journalism then the outcome of the Rathergate affair has to be seen as a good thing. Even if Dan Rather remains a true believer in the documents’ authenticity, few others will follow suit.

CBS labeled a rabidly partisan Democrat with a history of mental illness an “unimpeachable source.” They gave the Kerry campaign a heads-up on the story, putting source Bill Burkett in touch with Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart. When Rather labeled his critics “partisan political ideological forces,” the CBS anchor was apparently projecting. Like other intellectual morons, Rather would rather blame his scrutinizers than face facts.

Monday, Dan Rather asked Bill Burkett, “Why did you mislead us?” Today, the American people asked Dan Rather, “Why did you mislead us?” Both Burkett and Rather offer the same lame answer: my source lied to me.

Rather blames Burkett and Burkett blames some shadowy figure named Lucy Ramirez. Burkett and Ramirez, however, didn’t broadcast the defamation on national airwaves. Dan Rather did.

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Second, CBS hasn't taken corrective action. The network hasn't fired anyone (yet) despite a number of worthy candidates - Rather for destroying the little credibility that he retains, producer Mary Mapes for acting as a Kerry-for-President campaign surrogate, and CBS News...
Rather's,Apology,Not,the,End,the,Story
527
2004-00-22
Wednesday, 22 September 2004 12:00 AM
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