Dan Rather, bless his feeble, liberal soul, just doesn't get it. The longtime CBS news anchor has been in the middle of a fire storm this past week following the release of documents critical of President Bush's National Guard service. It now appears likely the documents were forged. That in itself would be bad enough. But releasing these documents in the heat of a Presidential race has some calling for a criminal investigation into the allegation of fraud by Rather and CBS.
After sticking with his story for five days, Rather now has opened the possibility that he and the network were duped into a false story. But even now, Rather is missing the point.
Here's how Rather is taking the news. He complained Wednesday that a "thick partisan fogging machine seeks to cloud the core truth of our story by raising questions about the messenger, methods and techniques."
No Danny Boy. The "thick partisan fogging machine" is raising questions about a set of forgeries. The documents may reflect the beliefs of some military officials but they appear to be frauds intentionally promoted to undermine the upcoming election. That, Mr. Rather, is a crime. And you don't seem to understand that.
About three days ago, Rather and his CBS cohorts found the storyline they would take in the face of the massive allegations. The network honchos and Rather agreed their approach would be that the documents might be fake but the message was accurate. How absurd and equally, how frightening. The end justifies the means regardless of the circumstances. If the whole of society adopted this approach, truth and accuracy are abandoned.
I hope the documents are proven false and I hope Dan Rather leaves in disgrace over his arrogance and lies. And I believe the documents will be traced to a partisan attack against the President. You can conclude where that might just lead.
Dan Rather is no journalist. He's an entertainer. And as such, he should not portray himself as an impartial reporter bringing only the facts to the American public. He rushed to judgment when the story fit his political leaning. And he stonewalled when confronted with the truth. Now he tries to justify his lies in some curious cloak.
Unfortunately for Rather, the American public can spot a fraud from a mile away. And he's been spotted.