Marian in Ratherland
A tightly coiled Dan Rather gave a breathtaking performance last night as he escorted 86-year-old Marian Carr Knox through the wilderness of mirrors that is Ratherworld like a Border Collie leading a particularly feeble sheep.
It was classic television.
The thrust of the “news story” is that while the memos saying young George Bush received special treatment in the National Guard are crudely forged and demonstrably false, they are nonetheless “accurate” in some cosmic sense.
Of course, if the story is accurate why is the only proof of it a set of forged documents and the memories of an elderly woman? That’s never explained and is clearly a pesky distraction to the investigative reporters at 60 Minutes.
But the more interesting story is the most obvious one.
It’s not whether or not a weekend reservist took a scheduled physical during a war thirty years ago. The explosive news is who used forged documents to damage a sitting president and influence the outcome of an election during a war that’s taking place right now?
The National Guard story is only interesting to people who already detest Bush. It’s just another screech in the BushHate™ echo chamber. To the rest of us the fascination is with the very public implosion of Dan Rather, CBS News, and the establishment news media.
It’s like watching Titanic but without the tedious Leonardo DiCaprio scenes. You know how it’s going to end but you still can’t take your eyes off the great ship twisting and contorting in its death throes.
The New York Times ends its coverage of the wreck today with a quote from Josh Howard, identified as the “producer” of “journalist” Dan Rather.
As of late yesterday morning, at least, Mr. Howard said that he still had the utmost confidence in the initial report. “Everything I’ve seen makes me completely confident in the documents, in the reporting, in the story, in what we’ve done,” he said.
Man, talk about whistling past the graveyard! I half expect a statement from CBS spokesman Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf saying there are no Americans in Baghdad.