September 25, 2004

Goodnight Dan


Drudge reported last week: CBS Concern Over Viewership Plunge; Rather Ratings Fade In Major Markets.

In the The Weekly Standard, John Podhoretz writes: Dan Rather's Day of Reckoning; It didn't start with Rathergate. (Via Little Green Footballs)

If you want to understand why [CBS anchorman Dan] Rather is being so recalcitrant and finding it so difficult to make a full acknowledgment of his role in perpetrating a colossal journalistic and political fraud -- and why he was so adamantly opposed to an internal investigation of his now-infamous story about George W. Bush's National Guard service -- you need to understand that Rather saw his network weather two previous and surprisingly similar tempests. [...]

In response to [Vice President Spiro T.] Agnew's [1969 "nattering nabobs of negativism"] speech [in which he accused the media of a liberal bias], Eric Sevareid of CBS said, "I don't even know what a liberal is" -- and Sevareid was CBS's on-air commentator! Nearly 30 years later, Lesley Stahl of CBS said flatly, "I had my opinions surgically removed when I became a network correspondent."

Dan Rather is still trying this trick, asserting that "anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I'm independent." But it no longer matters much what he may or may not say. He has destroyed himself and his news organization not because he is biased -- which of course he is -- but because his bias blinded him to the obvious truth that the memos he and his team believed (and/or desperately hoped) might help derail the reelection bid of George W. Bush were fabricated. They believed this because they wanted to believe it.

UPDATE -- September 28: From the New York Post: Dan's Ratings In A Free Fall.

Posted by Forkum at September 25, 2004 02:32 PM