It is a scandal that CBS didn't find out if the documents were real BEFORE they went on the air, as Jon Stewart noted last night on his Comedy Central show.
What interests me is that the Bush administration has decided to turn CBS into a punching bag. But why not? There's no downside. The media are rated next to IRS agents in popularity with the American people. Dan Rather is hated by the rightwing. (He not only had the temerity to taunt Nixon but also Bush pere.) And Rather has the third rated TV news show among the Big Three.
In the last half century or so only one president has benefited from good relations with the media: Kennedy, who turned supposedly independent journalists like Charles Bartlet into Democratic Party hacks. (Bartlett famously said he would do anything to help Jack succeed.)
Even Kennedy would rage at the press when it didn't do his bidding. And if he felt that way, imagine what Nixon and Reagan and Bush I felt.
Even though I consider myself a member of the press, I am also wary of its power. Since the party bosses left the scene, it's the media bosses who decide who is up and who is down, who they should cover and not cover, and who has made a gaffe. In all these ways they control the process to an extraordinary degree. They deserve scrutiny. And Rather deserves to be punished for going on the air with a story that had not been properly vetted. Of course, mistakes happen, as they say. Rather has to admit his mistakes. It might even set a nice example for President Bush.
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Stephen Thomas - 10/29/2004
The concept of "rightwing" as understood in academia bears absolutely no relationship to political affiliation as understood by the rest of the populace.
In academia, rightwing now means anybody who does not subscribe to the notion that only blacks (well, certain types of blacks), women (feminist ones) and gays (well, the right kind) have the right to political expression.
In academic communities, it is now taken for granted that the hated groups in the sexual and racial quota systems have no right at all to representation. Thus, any group that purports to speak for non-radical blacks, non-feminist women and non-activist gays is assumed to be "rightwing" and beyond the pale.
Academic communities, in short, deem anybody who refuses to accept their bottom feeder status in the racial and sexual quota systems to be "racist, sexist and homophobic." In this strange vernacular, only the privileged ("oppressed") groups have the right to a self-interest.
Thus, the bizarre myopia of the academic community.
Stephen Thomas - 10/29/2004
"Dan Rather is hated by the rightwing."
So, you've fallen for it, too. Remember? Somebody wrote a book predicting this over two years ago: "Bias."
"The friend of my enemy is my enemy," is the only thought contained within your post.
I live and work in NYC and Woodstock, NY. I've lived my entire life within very leftist communities. The tendency to group anybody who dares to depart from the PC, liberal, feminist, racial and sexual quote agenda as "rightwing" is slowly driving these communities stark raving mad. The hatred and mania driving leftist and academic communities has become something astonishing to behold.
You are ripe for a downfall, too. You are living 30 or 40 years ago, to judge by your rhetoric. The fossilization of the left and the academic communities is a wondrous sight to behold. The self-delusion and self-destruction are awesome, and the best thing about it is that nobody within these communities sees the absolute collapse of their belief systems coming.
HNN - 9/21/2004
But Rather is detested by the rightwing. Just this week frontpagemag.com published a piece by radio commentator Lowell Ponte in which he admitted as much--and explained point by point why the rightwing hates Rather.
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