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Rathergate - Rather And Mapes Still Don't Get It

Perhaps when on is running a covert political hatchet job - especially on which rehashes previously told stories to showcase a supposed new smoking gun - you assume that everyone critical of your work is running their own secret black op. What else can explain the conspiratorially obsessed musing of the chief architects of CBS 60 Minutes II's disastrous look at President Bush's service in the Air National Guard. Everyone knows how that story turned out, but Mary Mapes (the segment producer) and Dan Rather (the segment anchor) still don't understand the tectonic shift in the balance of power between the media and the public - they're locked in the ivory towers of the 4th estate. They'll tell you what's true dammit! Ignore what you can see with your own eyes....

To wit, witness the joint delusion. Here's Mary Mapes from the first chapter of her new book:

I was told that the first posting claiming the documents were fakes had gone up on Free Republic before our broadcast was even off the air! How had the Web site even gotten copies of the documents? We hadn't put them online until later. That first entry, posted by a longtime Republican political activist lawyer who used the name "Buckhead," set the tone for what was to come.
An here's Dan Rather, from an interview with NBC's Marvin Kalb:
"There are some strange, and to me, still mysterious things," he said. "Certainly unexplained things that happened about how it got attacked and why, even before the program was over," Rather said.
The only strange and mysterious thing about the story is why Dan was allowed to depart CBS with even a shred of his reputation intact.

Even liberal blogger Kevin Drum, who had already thoroughly covered the Bush/TANG story six months prior to the 60 Minutes II story, thinks Mapes is nuts:

"This is ridiculous. Mary Mapes went to air with a story that was full of obvious holes and hadn't been checked adequately. There is tons of evidence that the memos are forged and not one single piece of evidence suggesting they're real. If Mapes is still trying to defend them, she's delusional."
Ouch.


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Comments (37)

The part of Mapes complete ... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

The part of Mapes complete cluelessness I find most irritating is this quote I picked up from lgf:

There was no analysis of what the documents actually said, no work done to look at the content, no comparison with the official record, no phone calls made to check the facts of the story, nothing beyond a cursory and politically motivated examination of the typeface. That was all they had to attack, but that was enough.

Hello? You don't have any evidence. Without proper evidence, you have no story, you dumb twit. I could say that Mary Mapes is a serial cannibal according to these documents I have in my possession and then complain that those who want to examine them for authenticity are missing the point; it's the content of the documents that's important.

Sheesh.

"tectonic"... (Below threshold)
am:

"tectonic"

' no analysis of what the d... (Below threshold)
ICallMasICM:

' no analysis of what the documents actually said, no work done to look at the content'

because they were f'ing forgeries, dumbass!

HERE WE GO AGAIN. HAVEN'T R... (Below threshold)
oliver bush:

HERE WE GO AGAIN. HAVEN'T RATHER AND MAPES SUFFERED ENOUGH FOR THEIR 'SINS' AGAINST THIS CRIMINAL AND INCREASINGLY STALINIST ADMINISTRATION? THIS IS A TRAGIC PRECEDENT, WHERE REAL JOURNALISTS WERE PUNISHED FOR MERELY DOING THEIR JOBS; ASKING QUESTIONS. THESE TWO BRAVE SOULS HAVE SACRIFICED THEIR LIFESWORK TO GET THEIR TRUTH OUT. THIS CONTINUED ATTACK ON THEIR CHARACTER IS UNCONSCIONABLE. THEY'VE ALREADY BEEN FIRED. THEY HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH. JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE, OK. IF PEOPLE WANT TO GO 'DIGGING UP TOMBSTONES', WHY DON'T THEY FOCUS ON REAL LIARS LIKE THOSE NOT-SO-SWIFT-VETS?

IT IS NOTHING MORE THAN SHAMEFUL, THE TACK THESE MEMO-DOUBTERS TAKE ON THE SITUATION. BIGOTEDLY FOCUSING ON HOW THE MEMO LOOKS, RATHER THAN EVALUATING THE CONTENT THERIN. WHEN ONE TREATS OTHER PEOPLE IN THAT WAY IT'S RIGHTLY CONDEMNED AS RACISM BY BOTH PROGRESSIVES AND REGRESSIVES ALIKE, BUT WHEN THE RIGHT-WING-VIGILANTE-BLOGGING-MACHINE DOES THE SAME EXACT THING WITH INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT CAN HARDLY SPEAK UP FOR THEMSELVES, THERE ARE NO CHARGES OF RACISM. THAT IS THE TRUTH. IT IS OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WITH A CONSCIENCE THAT MAPES, RATHER, BURKETT, AND RAMIREZ ARE THE REAL VICTIMS HERE - AND THE ADMINISTRATION AND BLOGGERS WHO SO GLEEFULLY SMOTE THESE HEROES DOWN ARE THE REAL ONES GUILTY OF A CRIME. A HATE CRIME.

--
OHB

o.h.bush@gmail.com

Careful Oliver, you may bur... (Below threshold)
Chesster:

Careful Oliver, you may burst a blood vessel.

And then CBS decides to soi... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

And then CBS decides to soil the original 60 minutes with offal like Dan Rather. Gotta make the regular bunch there feel real good.

Actually, the content was l... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Actually, the content was looked at:

No officer in the Air Force would have used a Subject of "CYA".

Abbreviations used in the document were US Army standard, not US Air Force. Hmmm, Burkett was Army...hmmmm

Document referred to a commander applying pressure only the commander had retired a year earlier than the date on the document.

The content was pitiful and full of holes as well. The proportional typeface and the ability to exactly repreoduce the document with a modern day word processor (and to date no one has reproduced it with a 1970s era typewriter/typesetter) was just gravy...

Oliver still sounds too ove... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Oliver still sounds too over the top to be real. He's beyond parody of the left. He's complete caricature.

Oliver... get a new keyboar... (Below threshold)

Oliver... get a new keyboard or learn to use the one you have. Or do you scream your screed when talking, as well?
I don't which variety of BDS is more annoying, the e.e. cummings variety that forego punctuation and capitals, or the mooks that leave their 'lock on at all times...
Actually, on reflection, it's the latter. All caps for more than a sentence or two ensures it won't be read. The former may be readable, unless it's a multi-page rant.

Faith+1,Also, the Ar... (Below threshold)

Faith+1,
Also, the Army jargon was from a different era, as well. It wasn't in common use until the 80's, if I recall, not the early 70's when the memos were supposed to have been created.
But to Mapes and Rather, Truth to Power overides all concerns. Including the truth part.

Rather and Mapes will, of c... (Below threshold)
Levans:

Rather and Mapes will, of course, never "get it." Had they enough integrity "to get it," they never would have gone with such a blatantly dishonest story in the first place. By their own words they (unintentionally) confess to appallingly slipshod journalistic method and to a total commitment (still maintained) to their own political agenda. The ignorance, arrogance, and dishonesty that motivated their story from the beginning will almost surely be the the bastion of their self-defense right up to the grave.

Oliver - I can't tel... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Oliver - I can't tell if your post is sarcasm or delusion. Either way it's not factual or astute.

oliver bush is joking, folk... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

oliver bush is joking, folks. The caps are annoying but o.b. has the rant down pat. It's all part of the grand Rovian plan... don't even try to connect the dots. Your mind will explode. Foolish are those who would twist and turn KR's Rubick Cube. Its permutations are unfathomable.

QUIT ASSAULTING THE FORMAT ... (Below threshold)
oliver bush:

QUIT ASSAULTING THE FORMAT OF MY POSTINGS. NOT THAT I HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF BUT I HAVE POOR EYESIGHT AND MY GLAUCOMA MEDICINE MAKES IT EVEN WORSE. BESIDES, *NIGERIAN BARRISTERS ALSO REGULARLY CORRESPOND IN ALL CAPS. ARE YOU SOME KIND OF IDEOLOGICAL THUG WHO HATES NIGERIANS? INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW!

*AND NO, I AM NOT IMPLYING THAT I AM A NIGERIAN BARRISTER.

oliver can only read nigeri... (Below threshold)
red fog:

oliver can only read nigerian barrister blogs; therefore, leave him alone.

Well at least Oliver didn't... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Well at least Oliver didn't put it ALL IN BOLD.

To the folks dog-piling on ... (Below threshold)
D:

To the folks dog-piling on Oliver,

His first all-cap rant is clearly sarcasm. It could only be with a line like this in the second par.:

WHEN ONE TREATS OTHER PEOPLE IN THAT WAY IT'S RIGHTLY CONDEMNED AS RACISM BY BOTH PROGRESSIVES AND REGRESSIVES ALIKE, BUT WHEN THE RIGHT-WING-VIGILANTE-BLOGGING-MACHINE DOES THE SAME EXACT THING WITH INANIMATE OBJECTS THAT CAN HARDLY SPEAK UP FOR THEMSELVES, THERE ARE NO CHARGES OF RACISM.

Have to admit, he had me going there as well until I read it a second time.

oliver bush,What t... (Below threshold)
LoadTheMule:

oliver bush,

What the hell is a Nigerian bastard?

Regards...

Oliver, take another hit of... (Below threshold)
kev:

Oliver, take another hit of your 'glaucoma medicine' and calm down.

Once a dirty liberal liar a... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Once a dirty liberal liar always a dirty liberal lair what dose DAN BLATHER think cost him his job

Ollie the boy wonder asks r... (Below threshold)

Ollie the boy wonder asks rhetorically:

HERE WE GO AGAIN. HAVEN'T RATHER AND MAPES SUFFERED ENOUGH

No, they haven't, Ollie, and I'll explain why. The reason is that despite having permanently damaged the already tottering reputation and credibiilty of CBS News, and despite their sorry excuse for journalism being jeered at and mocked up one side of the internet and down the other, Rather and Mapes remain as they always have been, clueless boobs. They (a) still don't get it, (b) blame everyone but themselves for their misfortunes and (c) clearly have not even the merest shred of comprehension of the new journalism environment (i.e. the internet, blogs, talk radio, etc.) they have to work in. Mapes' petulant whine that "nobody is looking at the content of the documents" is an indication that the MSM has lost the ability to frame the terms of the debate and furthermore, she has no clue how or why this happened. So that is why we continue to dump on these idiots, Ollie. They are pathetic fools whose naked partisanship has been exposed big time for everyone to see all the while they keep insisting they're wearing lovely clothes. Only the ignorant or hopelessly gullible still believe their crap.

There, that wasn't too bad, was it, Ollie? Everything is understandable if you just go slowly enough. Come back another time and we'll explain other things to you that you no doubt find equally baffling, such as why poverty won't be solved by giving money to poor people or why the crime rate keeps going down despite the record number of criminals behind bars.

Looks like Ollie is self me... (Below threshold)
mesablue:

Looks like Ollie is self medicating for his glaucoma with a little whacky weed.

A lot of lefties seem to self medicate, their actions are hard to explain otherwise.

I think those on the left a... (Below threshold)
Chris:

I think those on the left are as angry or angrier with Rather and Mapes. Although I'm sure Rather is a liberal, I think they were both motivated more by a desire to break a big story than a desire to bring Bush down. That's a pretty strong drive for these media types.

The reason I'm so pissed at them is because they took a story with a lot of credibility and made it all about their stupid documents. There was tons of credible evidence that Bush didn't fulfill his Guard obligations before Mapes and Rather got involved. The Republicans managed to spin the story that the documents' lack of credibility meant that there was no credibility to any of the allegations (as the Democrats would have done, if the shoe was on the other foot.) They basically gave Bush a free pass on what was one of his biggest scandals.

I think those on the lef... (Below threshold)

I think those on the left are as angry or angrier with Rather and Mapes. Although I'm sure Rather is a liberal, I think they were both motivated more by a desire to break a big story than a desire to bring Bush down.

Eh. If this is the case, the Swift Boat Vets handed the media a pretty big story, too. Did they pursue it? No. Their supposed desire to break a big story was definitely AWOL on that one. This unequal treatment can hardly be explained by anything other than liberal bias, pure and simple. As far as the media is concerned, Kerry was their man and they didn't want to do anything that could hurt him.

Yeah, funny how we never he... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Yeah, funny how we never heard a word about the Swift Boat Vets during the campaign. Are you shitting me? That was probably the single most talked about thing in the campaign, which is pretty good for a bunch of baseless charges. If anything, the media gave the Swifties a pass with this whole "I guess we'll never know the whole truth," stuff. The only thing that held up to scrutiny was that Kerry was in Cambodia two months later than he said, which was not material to anything. I guess the fact that the media questioned some of what the swifties said was "unfair." Yet you'll rip Rather and Mapes for not questioning evidence presented against Bush.

For those interested in rev... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

For those interested in reviewing "a bunch of baseless charges" and revisiting some seminal moments from the '04 Presidential campaigns, please visit Swift Vets and POWs for Truth.

Yes, I recall how well the press covered the topics and I'm reminded immediately of two enlightening gems:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL AND LIBERALS UNHINGED (October 22, 2004 10:42 PM)

AMBUSH JOURNALISM...OR MY EVENING WITH CAVEMAN CHRIS MATTHEWS (August 20, 2004 02:34 AM)

I present the Malkin summaries because she supplies a nice roundup of context and links, though I recommend you read the linked, source transcripts. Yes, cable news and investigative journalism at its finest. That was some fine, fair-minded coverage when they finally got around to covering it. At least cable mentioned it as opposed to the MSM which predominantly avoided SBVs and focused instead upon the "truthful" TANG memos. Boy... good times. Rathergate inoculated the President from further smear. Karma's a real bear sometimes.

Mapes is too pathetic to ev... (Below threshold)
BR:

Mapes is too pathetic to even waste time refuting, but from what I've read so far of Chapter 1 at Amazon, Hodges and Matley could probably sue her already.

Two other ridiculous items in Chapter 1:

First one - Mapes trying to discredit bloggers' analyses because they didn't have originals:

"And these faxed, scanned, and downloaded documents were the only versions of the memos ever made public."

Nope, Mapes obviously doesn't know that USAToday's online copies were personally obtained by a USA Today reporter directly from Burkett, not faxed. Also, Dr. Newcomer and other experts proved the scanning process did not alter ratios and dimensions sufficient to prevent their forensic investigations.

Second (major) blooper by Mapes:

"I was told that the first posting claiming the documents were fakes had gone up on Free Republic before our broadcast was even off the air! How had the Web site even gotten copies of the documents? We hadn’t put them online until later."

Nope. CBS's pdf creation times on 9/8/04 of the 4 fake docs were at 6:08:04 PM, 6:08:07 PM, 6:08:23 PM, and 6:08:48 PM, that last one modified at 6:07:59 PM, East Coast time. As I recall the first Free Republic mentions of the fake memos were Pacific time around 11 pm. However, the DNC was already quoting from the fake memos using the phrase "sugar coat" just minutes after CBS 60 Minutes began airing. In a statement to NRO's Jim Geraghty, Terry McAuliffe's assistant (Cabrera) said this:

"The "sugarcoated" remark came in an e-mailed statement that was distributed to reporters as the "60 Minutes II" story was beginning, and was based on the posting of the memos on CBS' web site."

So what now? Has Mapes put her foot in it again? If she is correct that CBS didn't put those fake memos online until much later, then the DNC has some explaining to do!

This remains a published de... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

This remains a published defense from someone who cannot define, still, "proportional font" as opposed to "peripheral font". Jeez, how did this supposed intelligent and productive producer ever get a story out? She worked on the AWOL bit for years and the forged memogate for months and yet fails to explain away or grasp such fundamentals.

Pathetic. She is proving herself to be unhirable if her reputation hasn't destroyed her utterly already.

Yep, really amazing. Readi... (Below threshold)
BR:

Yep, really amazing. Reading the rest of Chapter 1, she shows no sign of taking responsibility for her part in falsely influencing a Presidential election. The closest she gets to (unwitting) self-criticism was this paragraph:

"I often wondered what those women thought I did for a living. Disheveled and limping, straggling along with a heavy briefcase full of files, I entered the hotel lobby each night looking like a failing hooker for that small subset of customers who preferred exhausted, unkempt professional women."

Sheesh! What debased self-esteem. (I have seen the enemy and it's not very formidable, just a paper tiger. How humiliating for her co-MSMers; they're probably cringing as they read it.)

Actually, if anyone has a c... (Below threshold)
BR:

Actually, if anyone has a copy of the full book, could you check if the name "Lukasiak" shows up in the index? I'd be interested to compare her version with the Thornburgh Report.

Re: the Kalb interview ment... (Below threshold)
BR:

Re: the Kalb interview mentioned in Kevin's post:

John Hinderaker of Powerlineblog has written a letter to Marvin Kalb ("...the former CBS reporter who now hangs his shingle at Harvard's Kennedy School as Senior Fellow at the school's Shorenstein Center. As a general rule, he should know what he's talking about, but Kalb demonstrated his complete ignorance of the fundamental facts related to Rathergate in his interview of Rather for The Kalb Report at the Washington Press Club on Monday night.")

The post at Powerlineblog has links to Dr. Newcomer's extensive investigation and findings, etc.

Someone who has trouble see... (Below threshold)
Galen:

Someone who has trouble seeing text on a computer monitor can always right-click on the Desktop, select Properties from the menu, then the Settings tab. The sliding bar for Screen resolution offers several settings that reflect the video driver options available and can be manipulated with the mouse. Click OK to reset. Practically all monitors support the 800 by 600 pixel setting, thereby making the use of all caps unnecessary.

Wouldn't it be funny if Map... (Below threshold)
BR:

Wouldn't it be funny if Mapes' publisher, St. Martin's Press, has deliberately allowed her to publish it unedited... gave her enough rope to hang herself and her co-conspirators by her unwitting admissions. Loose lips sink ships.

A grand jury would have a field day: So, Ms. Mapes, on page __ of your book, you wrote "We hadn’t put them online until later." Then how do you explain the DNC's claim that they accessed the Killian memos pdfs online at CBS's website as the show began airing? Did you give the DNC special online access before the public?

Mapes' choices:
A) I stand by what I wrote! The DNC is lying!
(Prosecutor's note to himself: Issue summonses for McAuliffe and Cabrero to appear before the GJ with copy of their e-mail to reporters quoting from the fake memos.)

B) I lied in my book and thereby libeled Free Republic and numerous individuals.

C) So-and-so at CBS lied to me about when the docs were put online at CBS. And here's the evidence to prove it. Ooops, it's gone.

D) Everybody's lying. The DNC and Kerry Campaign already had the fake memos before me. I got the memos via their Lukasiak-Linda Starr-Burkett cutout pipeline. Then I shared them with the DNC to help cover up the true source.

E) I'll be a martyr and not reveal my partners-in-crime, I mean my sources.
... no, wait, I've changed my mind...
F) I want to cut a deal and rat on ALL my cohorts.

Ha, the Amazon page with Ma... (Below threshold)
BR:

Ha, the Amazon page with Mapes' Chapter 1 is now gone!

Observed via Drudge/E&P : here.

"...One clue in the mystery is that Kurtz [of WaPo] writes that he had been meaning to get to this item 'for some time,' so perhaps the excerpt got pulled a few days ago. But it doesn't explain why the entire book has gone missing at Amazon."

I'll be searching for it using www.waybackmachine.org ;)

Btw, Buckhead's own report ... (Below threshold)
BR:

Btw, Buckhead's own report of the timeline; i.e., who noticed what when first about the fake Killian memos, is at Powerline's 9/27/05 post: here:

By Buckhead:

"FreeRepublic poster TankerKC posted a doubt about the document during the program based on the formatting of the signature block, after he saw the document on screen during the broadcast. He's Air Force and knew the signature block should have been left justified.

My [Buckhead] comment on the fonts was posted later that same night at 11:59:47 EDT, after the show was broadcast in my time zone, which is eastern. I did not watch the program. I read the NYT article on the story when it was posted on FR. FR poster Howlin posted a link to pdf's of the documents on the CBS website. I followed that link and downloaded the docs and looked at them, and formulated my post, and it went up at the time noted.

The confusion arises because of the way the FR website displays post times. If you are not registered or logged in, FR by default shows PDT for post times, regardless of the time zone from which the poster posted. If you are logged in and registered, it shows them by your time zone. In any case, I posted from Atlanta at 11:59:47 PM EDT. To a non-registered user, this would display as 8:59:47 PDT. The error comes from inferring from the PDT time stamp that I posted before the program was over on the west coast."

*****
So, that confirms and amplifies what I wrote in an earlier comment above - Buckhead's comment at FR was "around 11 pm" (turns out 11:59 EDT, not PDT), many hours after the show was aired and means both Mapes and the DNC have quite some explaining to do - if the memos weren't online at the start of the show as Mapes claims in her book, how could Terry McAuliffe have been quoting from the supposedly online memos???

Re: Amazon recently deleti... (Below threshold)
BR:

Re: Amazon recently deleting their September Mapes book page and Chapter 1 excerpt:

Although it's still missing from amazon.com as of 10/8/05, I just found it again - ha, they forgot to delete it from their Canadian site (reached via their "International" link). This time I've saved it as a pdf and text doc :)

For the record – typo corre... (Below threshold)
BR:

For the record – typo corrections to earlier post, above:

The 9/8/04 pdf creation dates of the fake "Killian" memos at CBS's site were:

6:07:04 PM,
6:07:48 PM (modified 6:07:59)
6:08:07 PM,
6:08:23 PM]
Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT)




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