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Rather's Epilogue

Jim Geraghty, John Hinderaker, and I are quoted in today's lead story in the USA Today on Dan Rather's "retirement."

Some of the bloggers, or Internet diarists, who raised the ruckus over the Guard story said they weren't celebrating Rather's departure. "There certainly will be people (in the blogging world) who feel vindicated," said Kevin Aylward, an information technology consultant in Virginia who writes a blog on Wizbangblog.com. "But the issue was always whether (the Guard story) was done ... to throw an election. So for me, the sense of relief came on Election Day. It didn't work. Bush was re-elected."

Said John Hinderaker, a Minneapolis lawyer and co-author of Power Line (powerlineblog.com): "I wouldn't say I feel vindicated. I never felt we were in need of vindication. But now that the episode is pretty much behind us, I think it's been a tribute to the power of the medium: the Internet."

The bloggers, starting just hours after the 60 Minutes report, raised doubts about the Guard documents. They questioned, for example, whether the papers could have been produced on a 1970s-era typewriter. "Within a matter of hours, millions of people had seen that information," Hinderaker said. "The biggest newspaper with the biggest resources and the biggest budget could not have done what we did that day."

Some anti-Rather bloggers viewed Tuesday's announcement with suspicion. "There's no way CBS will face the music and admit that the 60 Minutes story was a cheap-shot, amateur, sloppy, partisan, nasty, half-witted bit of hackery," Jim Geraghty wrote on Kerry Spot (at nationalreview.com).

In response, Rather said he was looking forward to report of the independent panel investigating the story: "The last line has not been written about what we did, how we did it and why we did it." He said many CBS viewers have encouraged him: "They understand."

A longer version of my comments were provided here yesterday, but in regards to the USA Today mention, I'll second Jim's take, "It's nice to be quoted in USA Today, but it is even nicer that a major newspaper recognizes how central the bloggers were to the final chapter of Rather's career."

On the topic of the Rathergate report, Jim Lindgren of The Volokh Conspiracy argues that If ever there were a situation for releasing a draft before releasing the final report, the CBS Rathergate investigation is it.

And on the lighter side, Scott Ott of ScrappleFace (and author of Axis of Weasels) suggests another target for Operation Early Retirement...


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Rather's Epilogue:

» The Volokh Conspiracy linked with The CBS Rathergate Report: Distribute a Draft First.--

» ISOU linked with Thanksgiving Reading

» Pajama Pundits linked with The Sad Saga of Dan Rather Continues

» Blogumentary linked with OLD MEDIA SLIP-SLIP-SLIPPIN'

Comments (6)

That was a classy way to ha... (Below threshold)

That was a classy way to handle it, Kevin. :-)

Nicely Said, And Nicely Don... (Below threshold)

Nicely Said, And Nicely Done!

If you really had a need to... (Below threshold)

If you really had a need to purge, you shd have caught Marvin Kalb defending Rather last night on Scarborough. He said that Rather may continue investigating the Guard story after he leaves the anchor spot. Personally, I can see Rather as Ahab, chasing his great white whale of a Guard story unitl it kills him.

Marvin Kolb suggested and i... (Below threshold)

Marvin Kolb suggested and it appears that Dan Rather promised that he will continue to investigate the ancient tale of the TANG. Dan Rather needs to know that the blogosphere has one word for him, "bringiton."

Drudge has linked a beautif... (Below threshold)

Drudge has linked a beautiful article from The Economist 11/25/04, summing up Dan Rather and the MSM's demise and describing the role of the blogosphere (past and future): here.

- Good presentation and ang... (Below threshold)

- Good presentation and angle on the Rather/bloggers story Kevin....

- At this point Rather has raised the evasions and denials to an art form. He has less credibility than Jon Stewart....

- Maybe Rather should talk to O.J. and together they can both look for things they seem to have lost....Truth and character among the items....






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