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Sep 20, 2004 6:43 pm

Drudge/Rather ...

They're beginning to look like two peas in a pod. As I said a week ago, it could only be a matter of time before CBS conceded that the so-called Killian Memos were fraudulent. Matt Drudge is reporting this statement by Dan Rather of CBS:
Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

The New York Times story is here. CBS bungled this story quite badly. Its failure to confirm the authenticity of the documents allowed the discussion to shift to its own culpability. Its hesitation to recognize its blunder is further damaging to its credibility.
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Richard Henry Morgan - 9/24/2004

KerrySpot just admitted it got it wrong. Corrected within the day. Pay attention, Dan.

Richard Henry Morgan - 9/23/2004

At KerrySpot over at National Review they seem to have picked up on an extraordinary coincidence. Seems that nine hours before the initial CBS broadcast, Terry McAuliffe, the head of the DNC, at a press event, said that Bush needed to answer who had put political pressure on his behalf to have his performance reviews "sugarcoated" (yes, that's a quote). Ain't that "sugarcoated" one helluva coincidence? It's a good thing that the DNC hadn't had substantive prior notice of the CBS broadcast content, nor of the content of the documents. If they had, people would no doubt be suspicious.

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