April 16th, 2012

I believed at the time that the documents were genuine, and I’ve never ceased believing that they are genuine.

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather • Discussing the saga of George W. Bush’s questioned National Guard service, and the documents Rather found which ended an until-then illustrious career with CBS. Years after the fact, Texas Monthly looks back at a case which Poynter suggests was doomed because CBS jumped the gun with sketchy information, from a mysterious source at a cattle show. Rather, meanwhile, is still trying to defend his roughed-up name. Now’s a good time to look back at this story — with eight years of distance from the controversial CBS report that made proportional spacing a political issue, it’s good to reconsider exactly what happened. (via shortformblog)

I always wish Rather had done a little bit more to get a reliable source, but he wasn’t wrong.  Nobody questioned W’s AWOL status or his drug use along the campaign trail.  The national media basically gave him a pass on information and refused to either investigate or report details which for many other candidates would have had nightmare implications for their campaign.  Anytime it came up, the campaign always said the same thing: “He can pass the FBI background check needed to be President.”  No one ever asked the follow-up questions, like what about before the 20 year time limit? 

(via shortformblog)

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