Brad Wilmouth: Bush Volunteered for Vietnam, CBS's Mapes Knowingly Omitted from Story





[Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center] On Tuesday, FNC's The O'Reilly Factor hosted FNC analyst Bernard Goldberg as the former CBS News correspondent highlighted a story recently posted on his Web site, BernardGoldberg.com, in which he complains of how little mainstream media attention was given to the fact that former President George W. Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam as part of his service in the Texas Air National Guard, but that he was turned down because other pilots were more experienced, and that CBS News producer Mary Mapes, even though she knew this part of the story before the report aired, did not include this important angle in the infamous piece by Dan Rather that used forged documents to paint Bush as trying to avoid Vietnam War service. On his Web site, BernardGoldberg.com, Goldberg chastizes Mapes:

However the complexities and seeming contradictions are interpreted, if Bush at any point had volunteered to fly combat missions in Vietnam – as the CBS investigation unequivocally states — how then could he have been a slacker? The clear answer is that he could not – unless, of course, he volunteered to go to Vietnam knowing full well he wouldn’t be taken. But if that was the case, Mapes would have had an obligation to report both that he volunteered and then produce a credible witness to say it was a sham. She did neither. Mapes, a well-known liberal at CBS News, has always contended that she had no agenda, that she was not out to get President Bush. But if she knew that George Bush had volunteered for service in Vietnam – as the CBS outside panel clearly concludes — she obviously had an obligation to share that with her viewers.

Below is a transcript of portions of Goldberg's observations from his Web site, BernardGoldberg.com:

What seems like a long, long time ago Dan Rather was a very powerful force in American journalism. He not only was the anchorman of the CBS Evening News, he was also the face of the network’s renowned news division — the “Tiffany” network of bigger-than-life legends like Ed Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, Mike Wallace and many, many others. That was then. Now Dan Rather is suing the network that employed him for 44 years, asking for $70 million dollars in damages. Technically, the lawsuit is about a dry legal issue — breach of contract. But it is also about something much more personal to Rather: his legacy. It is a lawsuit, fundamentally, about saving Dan Rather’s reputation. That reputation took a turn for the worse back in 2004. As has been widely reported, just 55 days before a very close presidential election, Dan Rather and his producer Mary Mapes put a story on the weekday edition of 60 Minutes that brought on the media equivalent of World War III. There were accusations that Rather, Mapes, and maybe the entire CBS News Division had set out to deliberately destroy George W. Bush and get John Kerry elected President of the United States – a charge everyone at CBS vehemently denies. The story was about how the young George Bush got preferential treatment during the Vietnam War; how he wangled his way into the Texas Air National Guard back in the 1960s to avoid service in Vietnam; and how he was able to do it because his father was a big-shot, a United States Congressman from Houston. The story portrayed the Bush as a slacker. Others have said it portrayed him as a “cowardly draft dodger.” And to bolster their story, Rather and Mapes got their hands on “never-before-seen” documents (as Rather put it in his story) that supposedly backed up their months (and in Mapes’ case, years) of reporting. But in no time flat the documents came under attack, mainly by conservatives on the web who examined the typeface of the memos and concluded they were fakes...



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