Friday, March 11, 2005

Dan Rather

Over the past few years I have come to the conclusion that our media is bullshit. Evidence of that is the shabby way the media covered the run up to the Iraq war by not questioning anything. Or the way that every media outlet became a virtual Bush mouthpiece during the 2004 election. With Fox news being #1, and the other stations trying to imitate by becoming Fox-lite, it is hard to find a respectable journalist out among the plethora of incompetent boobs out there. One of the last relics still around from a time when journalism still mattered was Dan Rather.

Dan Rather stepped down from his CBS anchor chair this week and it is a shame that his farewell had to be a unpleasant one. From republicans constantly criticizing him from what they consider a "liberal bias" by Rather over the years, or the documents they claim were fraudulent exposing George W. Bush's "service". What the media misses about the documents are 1)It's true that they were never authenticated, but they were never proved to be false either. 2)Even though the wife Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the author of those memos, didn't know if they were authentic but she confirms that the memo was consistent with his feeling at the time. Fuck it, lets break down Bush's service:

Media reports found Bush didn't fulfill obligation to the Guard
*According to a September 20 U.S. News & World Report article, Bush didn't fulfill the "military service obligation" that he signed. He still didn't attend enough drills to meet requirements. Bush also failed to comply with time limits on making up missed drills. The U.S. News article reported: "[D]uring the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills." In addition, Bush never made up five months of missed drills.

Bush flew planes for 22 months, not for "several years as Bush claimed
*Joe Conason pointed out, "[I]n May 1972, only 22 months after he completed pilot training, he [Bush] stopped flying. Twenty-two months, hardly constitutes the "several years" that Bush claimed.

Bush got preferential treatment
*Former Texas Speaker of the House Ben Barnes swore under oath that he helped Bush get into the Air National Guard.
*Bush's Harvard Business School professor Yoshi Tsurumi said Bush admitted his father's friends got him into the Guard.
*Records examined by the Boston Globe, and interviews with military specialists of that era, prove that Bush's attendance was so irregular that he could have been disciplined or ordered to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974

Bush never made up five months of missed drills
*In a U.S. News article, Bush "apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration.

Bush twice signed documents pledging to meet requirements; twice violated that oath
*According to a article in The Boston Globe: "Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service -- first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School -- Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty. He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice."

Bush skipped a required physical, and was grounded from flying
*The Globe article continued: "While Bush was in Alabama, he was removed from flight status for failing to take his annual flight physical in July 1972. On May 1, 1973, Bush's superior officers wrote that they could not complete his annual performance review because he had not been observed at the Houston base during the prior 12 months."

So now you understand where I'm coming from. Even if the documents were totally falsified there is no doubt that Bush not only got in the National Guard because of family connections, but also there is proof that he was a miserable soldier that missed a significant amount of time.

What makes "Rathergate" even more laughable is that there were journalistic misdeeds which made anything that Dan Rather did seem small in comparison. You had a journalist who leaked the identity of a CIA operative just because her husband came out against the Bush administration. You had a White House plant whose main purpose was to throw softball questions at Bush and his staff.(He turned out to be a gay escort by the way) You have Fox news with their misinformation, 65% of their viewers still think that Saddam was linked to the 9/11 attacks. Lastly, you have a handful of journalists who were paid to push George W. Bush's pathetic agenda. "Rathergate"?? Give me a fucking break.

Since 1961 Rather has covered the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, Watergate, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tianemen Square, you name it he's has been the first to cover it. He has had a long and respectable career, and its sad that he is being torn down by fellow colleagues who couldn't hold his journalistic jockstrap.

17 comments:

peachy said...

I think it's sad that Dan Rather had to retire or was forced to retire, but I just wonder about those documents. He's supposed to just report the news. If he knew the documents were false, he shouldn't have reported them, Bush supporter or not. I just think it was ethically wrong to do, as a reporter.

Anonymous said...

I agree critic. For one thing the documents were never proved to be false. Second, Bush was missing from service and that was also a fact that can't be debunked. Most journalists can't hold a candle to Rather, and to hear the assholes at Fox news criticize him is hypocritical since they lie on a daily basis. Please do more political pieces and expose that incompetent motherfucker that we call our president.

..Carla..

jonetsu said...

I agree with you. Rather was from an age when reporting the news at least meant showing both sides of the story. I will miss Dan Rather, and a handful of other recently retired "real" journalists, that have represented the profession with honor. Thanks for blogging this

jonetsu said...

I agree with you. Rather was from an age when reporting the news at least meant showing both sides of the story. I will miss Dan Rather, and a handful of other recently retired "real" journalists, that have represented the profession with honor. Thanks for blogging this

Sankofa said...

I was sad to see Dan Rather go, but not surprised. He is just another casuality of the AmBUSH. I am still amazed the so many people don't see it. Everyone else in the world sees it, but here? No, he is a "good man"...a "God-fearing" man. What a joke. Good piece Critic.

Still waiting for that push-pop...

Sasu...aka Balsera said...

Bush= annihalation to the world as we have ever known it....
I dont know what the hell is going on or what he and his supporters have put in the water but damn that ignorami bug is eating away at all the SANE voices.

greggy said...

Well said son...well said.

Brother OMi said...

again, you should read "Banana Republicans" and also "Everything you Know is a Lie" edited by Russ Kick from disinfo.com

FOX News is wild cause i notice they focus on emotion rather than content. I liked to watch them because they have some bugged out news casters and reports. its wild.

Luke Cage said...

Bush is the Anti-Christ and while he serves the remainder of his term, we are all stuck in hell. 'Nuff Said. Farewell Dan! It was a great ride.

Belle said...

Very good post, Critic. It's terrible that his career had to end on such a low note. As you say it wasn't proven that the documents were false.

woodrow241 said...

I am certainly not a Bush supporter and I tend to agree with your assesments on things but now youre starting to sound like a Dean left-winger. You say that the media wasnt questioning the war? Then why did Michael Moore's 911 movie get so much attention and press coverage? And why did we hear the "Bush Lied" theme echoed over and over for nearly two years? Now I agree that Fox news is a Bush mouthpiece but the other networks were certainly not. The findings of a study by Columbia University were released today that concluded that press for Bush was three times more likely to be negative for Bush than for Kerry.
I admired the work of Dan Rather over the years too and congratulate him on an excellent body of work throughout his career. He should be applauded and remembered for the years of dedication and hard work and not for the one incident of memogate. But what does a journalist have if he has lost his credibility. The research they did as to the sources of those documents was bad and that should have been exposed. And lets not forget the timing of the incident. It was less than two months before the election. This false information could have turned the tide of a close election. He has to be more responsible than that. And its just backwards to say that they never proved the documents to be false. Since when does the burden of proof fall on the accused? If a journalist claims to have evidence of misdeeds or some sort of indiscretion by the president of the United States then they damn well better be able to authenticate the sources or else their career is over. Dan Rather is no exception.
Im not claiming that George Bush is a saint and there is no doubt that he attempted to evade the Vietnam war. But who wouldnt have evaded that war if they had the means to. I certainly would have used my family's influence to get me out of that god-forbidden war. Kerry did not dodge the war and that in part is why I voted for him. But lets remember that Bush was honorable discharged and anyone who has been in the military knows that they rarely allow a person in the service to dick over the military and get away with it clean or with out some sort of record of the incident. Just not very likely.
And if 65% of citizens thought that Saddam had something to do with 911, do you think that is the fault of the media or is that just lazy viewship because that fact may have been implied but it was never directly stated.
What people were doing to Bush was very similar to the way that people were going after Clinton. And both were ugly and unfair.

The Humanity Critic said...

"I am certainly not a Bush supporter and I tend to agree with your assesments on things but now youre starting to sound like a Dean left-winger."

Let me start this by saying that I respect your opinion and I hope that you continue reading my blog. I totally accept sounding like a Dean left winger since he was the only one that got it right from the beginning.(Bush lied about Iraq, no weapons, ect)

"You say that the media wasnt questioning the war? Then why did Michael Moore's 911 movie get so much attention and press coverage?"

As opposed to years of newpapers and television that didn't question the war one bit. In my opinion it isn't really a accurate comparison since misinformation was in billions of households for years and that definitely had a greater effect than Fahrenheit ever could of. Proof of this is when many newspapers across the country gave mea culpa's because they should have questioned the war when they didn't.

"The findings of a study by Columbia University were released today that concluded that press for Bush was three times more likely to be negative for Bush than for Kerry."

But that is misleading, especially when you factor in that Bush had legitimate criticisms coming his way at the time. The economy was crap, Iraq was a mess, and he was the first president since hoover to not have created one net job. But then, when you factor in how much airtime was given to the swift boat vets, men who are proven liars, its hard to think the media balance swung in Kerry's favor.

"But what does a journalist have if he has lost his credibility. The research they did as to the sources of those documents was bad and that should have been exposed."

The reason that I disagree is. 1) The documents were never proven to be false. and 2) The wife of Killian couldn't verify the documents but she says that the language in the documents were his exact thoughts of the time.

"And lets not forget the timing of the incident. It was less than two months before the election. This false information could have turned the tide of a close election. He has to be more responsible than that."

That is another theory that I don't particularly agree with. If you have what you consider a hot story, and it is around election time you just eat the story to be courteous to the person it's about?? Democrat or republican, I feel that you run with that story.

"And its just backwards to say that they never proved the documents to be false. Since when does the burden of proof fall on the accused?"

Easy, if a person wants to say that the documents were forgeries and you can't prove them to be fake, then you can't say they are undeniably false.

"Im not claiming that George Bush is a saint and there is no doubt that he attempted to evade the Vietnam war. But who wouldnt have evaded that war if they had the means to. I certainly would have used my family's influence to get me out of that god-forbidden war."

I have no problem with someone evading a war, but if your ass claims to be the "war president" and you didn't have the sack to go then you have got a problem. Along with him wearing that flight suit with "Mission Accomplished" in the background, him telling terrorists "bring it on", and a plethora of other crap, it just seems phony that he ran with his tail between his legs when faced with actual combat.

"But lets remember that Bush was honorable discharged and anyone who has been in the military knows that they rarely allow a person in the service to dick over the military and get away with it clean or with out some sort of record of the incident. Just not very likely."

Maybe not likely, but it happens. Many people have received honorable discharges despite dishonorable service, including Washington, DC-area sniper John Allen Muhammad, who was charged with striking an officer, stealing a tape measure, and going AWOL, then sentenced to seven days in the brig -- and still received an honorable discharge from the Louisiana National Guard. So Bush's "honorable discharge" is hardly proof that he wasn't a piss poor soldier.(In no way am I comparing the two men)

"What people were doing to Bush was very similar to the way that people were going after Clinton. And both were ugly and unfair.""

There is absolutely no comparison whatsoever. 80 million dollars of taxpayers money was used to bring down Clinton, there is no such effort going on to bring down Bush. The criticism that Bush is getting is fair because he is a horrible president, with a record that would prove me right. The right wing smear machine that went after Clinton was truly unfair, there isn't anything unfair about calling a guy on his incompetence.

Big Al said...

"The reason that I disagree is. 1) The documents were never proven to be false."

You have got to be kidding me. There is no way that you are serious. Get off the ganga, brother.

I've got some documents that says HumanityCritic is a kid toucher, Michael Jackson-style. The kid's mother says she remebers his mood change and him scratching his daiper after being near you. Prove them wrong, or we're gonna call you MC Pedo.

Here's the facts on the CBS story:

1) Typographical experts on the SAME DAY the story aired immediately identified traits of the documents that showed they could not have been produced when the documents were supposedly typed.

2) Several of CBS' "experts" either flat out said they were fakes (CBS ignored them), or said they would need to see the originals to give a final answer - they only got crappy faxes from CBS to look at.

3) The source of the documents has never been revealed, nor has Dan Rather or his producer Mary Mapes attempted to find the real source.

4) The story's producer, Mary Mapes, had been trying to do this story for 5 years, and suddenly, 2 months before an election, the documents "appeared"?

Bush's horrible guard service and the Dan Rather story are not connected, so do not confuse them.

Dan Rather is as liberal and biased to the left as Sean Hannity is to the right.

The Humanity Critic said...

"You have got to be kidding me. There is no way that you are serious. Get off the ganga, brother."

The mere fact that you disagree with my statement that the documents were never falsified but never accurately debunk my claims just shows a weird desperation in your ramblings, along with a tired GANJA insult.

"I've got some documents that says HumanityCritic is a kid toucher, Michael Jackson-style. The kid's mother says she remebers his mood change and him scratching his daiper after being near you. Prove them wrong, or we're gonna call you MC Pedo."

Hey, I've got documents that say you are a cock smoking coward. Hey, you post from a blog that is nonexistent and the stretchmarks around your mouth is a dead giveaway. The evidence is there. But seriously, the comparison(besides being lame) is silly because 1)The documents were never proven to be false. 2) Killian's wife can't verify the documents, but she claims that the sentiments in said documents accurately portrayed how he felt at the time.-

"1) Typographical experts on the SAME DAY the story aired immediately identified traits of the documents that showed they could not have been produced when the documents were supposedly typed."

Which would be relevant if we were talking about months ago. But the final conclusion, based on the expert opinions of Typographical experts around the world claim that they can't prove the documents to be forgeries. Kind of pokes holes ion your already flimsy argument, huh?

"2) Several of CBS' "experts" either flat out said they were fakes (CBS ignored them), or said they would need to see the originals to give a final answer - they only got crappy faxes from CBS to look at."

No one from CBS said that, this is just a gem that came from the diseased regions of your ass. The mere fact that you would pass it off as fact just makes me realize that your mother should of swallowed you. Even if someone from CBS did say that, there is a plethora of experts who couldn't tell the difference, so what in the fuck do they know??

"3) The source of the documents has never been revealed, nor has Dan Rather or his producer Mary Mapes attempted to find the real source."

A writer doesn't have to reveal their source, especially if they want to protect their identity. This was your weakest point yet. Journalism 101..

"4) The story's producer, Mary Mapes, had been trying to do this story for 5 years, and suddenly, 2 months before an election, the documents "appeared"?"

So fucking what? If you are a political figure you should expect negative stories about you, its the nature of the business. Deal with it.

"Bush's horrible guard service and the Dan Rather story are not connected, so do not confuse them."

They are linked because people act like Rather made up the whole story. Bush WAS a piss poor soldier. He WAS AWOL for a great amount of time. He DID receive preferential treatment. The Rather story and Bush's horrible service are forever merged.

"Dan Rather is as liberal and biased to the left as Sean Hannity is to the right."

Sean Hannity is a right-wing douchebag with the journalistic credibility of a corpse. Comparing him to Rather just exposes you as a douchebag. Document Rather's liberal bias and I will document Hannity's. Lets see whose list is longer, OK scooter..

Big Al said...

Ok. We'll start tommorow. I'll debate your silly ass seven ways 'til Sunday.

I put up a blog just for you....you should be honored.

http://beeftech.blogspot.com

The Humanity Critic said...

You don't have a legitimate retort so why would I go to your site dedicated to me?? Your my bitch, not the other way around..

Here comes the "Bitchslap"..

The Humanity Critic said...

Hey Al, you stupid cock sucker, it's 2 years later an I'm the one who's still standing. What!!?? I've made you my bitch, you and woodrow's punk ass..