It'z News to Me

The news of the day...and my own peculiar take on it...

Monday, September 20, 2004

Sorry Dan...This Pig Won't Fly...

The statement:

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically.

Why did it take additional interviews? Why did you dismiss the warnings of your own experts? Why did you continue vouching for the documents up until today even though the proof of the forgery has been around since the day after your story aired?

I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers.

How your source got the documents wasn't the key question, the key question was: are they fake? You are still dodging the question.

That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

Tell us what you know that you didn't know then. What "new information" has CBS discovered that suddenly makes the documents less credible than they were yesterday...or the day before...or the week before...?

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry.

The mistake in judgment was running the story in the first place. The attempted and still-ongoing attempt at a cover-up is not a mistake. It is an intentional act of bad faith.

It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

No favoritism? Then CBS will have to explain why there was no breathless reporting on the Swift Vets despite their claims being backed up by sworn affadavits...Where is CBS' "tradition of investigative reporting" on Kerry in Cambodia?

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

Then why have you been stonewalling? Why has it taken a media and internet firestorm to get you to admit to this much?

Notice what has NOT been said:

- We will tell you who our source is
- We will tell you how our source told us they got the documents
- We will tell you why we don't believe that any longer
- We will tell you where the documents came from
- We will tell you how we found the source in the first place
- We will tell you why we've been stonewalling
- We will apologize to everyone we've smeared including the president, the bloggers, Lt. Col. Killian's family, General Staudt, and our document experts.
- We will hold people accountable for this

Sorry, Dan...This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface...

UPDATE: Prestopundit reads between the lines to come up with the true message from CBS/Rather's statement.