The Depth of the Bush Haters 9/17/04
Many media people made a big deal about the Clinton haters, especially during his impeachment. There were grounds for making the haters the story, when so many of them went over the line. I mean there was stuff out there that Rush Limbaugh wouldn't even touch, though he's mistakenly considered "extreme" by some. The funny part is that the major networks, who participated in changing the message from Clinton to his opposition's tactics, are getting a taste of their own medicine. This time, talk radio and the online community (or blogosphere) are switching the story from Bush's missed medical exam to CBS's history of falsehoods, which always seem to go against the military or Republicans (or big biz). Now, imagine that those same media people who then helped Clinton now hate Bush so much that they let their standards slip, or something. When caught, they cry "the story is Bush is evil, not us!", sounding just like the Clinton haters.
It's been reported that the producer of the story had been working on it for 5 years. What would she do with it after the election? Try to get Bush impeached? She saw Kerry getting his ass kicked, and decided to throw her career away trying, futiley, to save him. If anyone is going to be sacrificed, it's this woman producer, whose name I can't even recall. Even if the producer hangs, what of Dan Rather? His hatred of the Bushes is generational, dating back to his on-air humiliation by then Vice Pres. GHW Bush in 1988. Will he last until his scheduled retirement next year? Has he succeeded, where Nixon failed, at "circling the wagons?". Rather's recent interviews all have been shown to have an obvious bias against Pres. Bush, with no such exposure for the Swift Boat Vets, the bestselling and most outspoken critics of Sen. Kerry. His bias is already hanging all the way out, so I don't see a down side to him coming clean if the documents are proved forgeries. In fact, Rather might come off better if he did a Reaganesque "mistakes were made" speech, coming off as if he didn't know what was going on. Either that or come off like Sen. Robert Byrd, whose history of foibles and biased remarks is overlooked because of his age and his reliable vote against anything Republican. Which one does he seem closer to right now? Call him Dan "Byrd" Rather.
There is some other stuff about this that smells, but it is strictly circumstantial. Dan Rather hosted a Democrat fundraiser in Abilene, Texas, at the behest of his daughter, a local Dem party official. The alleged forged documents were faxed from a Kinko's in Abilene, Tx. Rather interviewed the guy who said that he got Bush into the Nat'l Guard ahead of others, knowing that he was connected to the Texas Democratic party. Did Rather meet him before? How are they both connected to the man who alledgedly faxed the documents to CBS? It's much more interesting than either campaign right now, for sure.
Even the steady uptick of violence in Iraq is not beating this as a news story. This story might even be damaging the public's belief in the media's reporting to the point where they believe Bush more than the media about Iraq, especially with Kerry taking the media's line of "we're losing". It's important to note that Bush correctly predicted the violence to intensify before both the Nov. US and Jan. Iraq elections . The Bush haters have 100 different reasons, many of them contradicting each other, why Bush shouldn't have gone to war with Iraq. The real problem is that decisive action in Iraq is waiting on the US election. Meanwhile, such important diversions as the latest implosion of Rather and CBS deserve at least as much scrutiny as they've given out over the years, and maybe as much fairness in reporting, too.
In the end, this all hurts Sen. Kerry much more than the President. No one thought Bush was a model soldier, while Kerry boldly claimed that mantle in his convention speech. Bush has only said positive things about Kerry's military service, while Kerry has prsonally degraded the President as evading or somehow shirking his duty. This plays into the image of Kerry as someone who can only look good by putting someone else down. Kerry has become a Bush hater, adopting the language of the extremist prevaricators (liars). Bush has condemned all the negative ads, choosing to poke fun at his opponent with Kerry's own words. Who knew that CBS would help put the nails in Kerry's coffin, next to Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern and other heroes of the left? Should Rather join that august pantheon of faded Liberals?