Rathergate isn’t the first time 60 Minutes covered the Bush Air National Guard story.
In February 2000 Leslie Stahl interviewed J. H. Hatfield, the author of “Fortunate Son,” (inspiration for Michael Moore and the DNC’s Operation Fortunate Son) who made the same type of allegations against Bush – cocaine use made him miss his physical, special treatment getting in the Guard. The only problem, aside from the fact that he had zero eveidence to back up his claims, was that J. H. Hatfield was a convicted felon – he was convicted for hiring a hit man in a failed attempt to kill his employer with a car bomb in 1987.
On the lack of verifiable sources upon which his story was based, Stahl asks:
STAHL: You know, if I came in with a story to my bosses at 60 MINUTES with anonymous sources, they’d want to know who the sources were; we’d have to triple-check, quadruple-check.
Thanks to reader Katherine Lambert for bring this to our attention earlier.
Postscript: Hatfield committed suicide in July 2001.