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.