2. Andy Rooney Realizes Memos Fake and Prods CBS to Admit It
3. Rather: His Conservative Critics "Know I'm Fiercely Independent"
4. Rather: If I Got Facts Wrong "I'd Be Selling Insurance Now"
5. Backlash? Ratings Plummet for
CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes
6. Jay Leno Echoes Howard Dean's Views, Praises Michael Moore
Dan Rather didn't utter a word on Thursday's CBS Evening News about the controversy over the CBS memos everyone outside of CBS has concluded were forged, FNC on Thursday night found Texas Air National Guard veterans who contradicted the claims made by Rather and Marian Carr Knox on Wednesday's 60 Minutes that Bush was ordered to take a physical and then disobeyed the order, that Bush got any preferential treatment or was "resented" by other Guardsmen. And CNN's Jeanne Meserve noted on NewsNight that an expert document examiner pointed out that "none of the experts used by CBS are accredited by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners."
In a piece on FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume, take down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, Jim Angle played a clip from Wednesday's 60 Minutes:
For a full rundown of the Rather/Knox session, see the September 16 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
For a look at the statement put out Wednesday night by CBS News and the two statements it released from supposed document experts, only one of whom vouched for the memo while the other validated the signature, see the September 16 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
Rather has lost Andy Rooney who can no longer keep up CBS's illusion that there's credibility in denying the memos were forged. The commentator for the Sunday edition of 60 Minutes, who in 2002 described Dan Rather as "transparently liberal," has told the New York Daily News he thinks the documents are fakes, adding: "I'm surprised at their reluctance to concede they're wrong."
An excerpt from a September 17 New York Daily News story, "Rooney'd rather CBS fessed up," by Paul Colford:
CBS curmudgeon Andy Rooney indicated yesterday he believes the controversial documents on President Bush's National Guard service are fake and said it could cost Dan Rather down the road.
"I'm surprised at their reluctance to concede they're wrong," Rooney said, referring to CBS brass.
Despite praising Rather as "a good, honest newsman," Rooney added, "I'm unsure if they're whistling in the dark instead of apologizing."...
Rooney doesn't think the network would try to ease out Rather over the memo mess, but he added, "It might have an effect on him six months from now."...
END of Excerpt
For the Daily News article in full: www.nydailynews.com
For a little more from that CNN appearance, see the June 7, 2002 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
Dan Rather, unbiased "independent." Friday's New York Times noted that Rather, "addressing the charges of liberal bias," claimed: "Anybody who knows me knows I'm an independent." That matched his proclamation in Thursday's USA Today that "anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I'm independent." Except when he attends fundraisers for the Democratic Party as he did in Texas in 2001? Rather maintained that conservative ideologues, who "can't deny the message so they have to discredit and destroy the messenger," really "know that I'm fiercely independent and that's what drives them up a wall." USA Today's Peter Johnson also relayed how "since the buildup to the war in Iraq, Rather said, the nation's news media have turned timid."
In March of 2001 Dan Rather was the featured guest at a fundraiser in Austin, Texas for the local Democratic Party committee, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz revealed. "Please join us for an evening with DAN RATHER. Mayor Kirk Watson & Other Honored Guests," announced the invitation. Kurtz reported that the March 21 appearance "generated about $20,000 for the Travis County Democratic Party -- and will undoubtedly provide ammunition to critics who have long accused Rather of leaning to the left."
As CyberAlert commented at the time: Indeed it will since it confirms not only his preference for Democrats but that Democrats think he will attract donors to an event.
Kurtz wrote that Rather adopted Al Gore's Buddhist temple excuse since he maintained "he hadn't realized beforehand that the event was a fundraiser. 'I didn't ask the question, and I should have,' he said in an interview. 'I take full responsibility for it. I'm responsible and I'm accountable.'" But, Kurtz pointed out, "the Texas native stopped short of calling his appearance a mistake or saying he would not have attended had he known in advance that he was being used to raise money."
For more, see the April 4, 2001 CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
But that didn't air eight weeks before Kerrey faced re-election. And what about Rather making a little effort to look into the record of this years's Democratic presidential nominee?
An excerpt from the September 16 USA Today article, "Rather says memo flap doesn't change his story; CBS anchor: Substance of report not challenged," by Peter Johnson and Jim Drinkard:
...."Anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I'm independent," Rather said. "People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, 'Because he won't report it our way, we're going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain.' They know that I'm fiercely independent and that's what drives them up a wall."
He said he expected to take heat on the story from Bush supporters and the right wing, which has long accused him of being liberal and pro-Democrat. Those camps "can't deny the message so they have to discredit and destroy the messenger," he said. "Anybody who has been around for a while understands that's going to happen. It goes with the territory."
Since the buildup to the war in Iraq, Rather said, the nation's news media have turned timid. "An awful lot of people in journalism have laid down and said: 'I'm not going to ask the tough questions. I'm not going to tell any tough truths' because when you do that, you're going to pay too heavy a price, and so a lot of people just walk away."
Rather said he won't walk away from this story, and the veteran hurricane reporter said he is "happily" in the eye of this storm. "What kind of journalist would I be, what kind of man would I be, if at the first sign of pressure I backed down?"
END of Excerpt
For the September 16 USA Today article in full: www.usatoday.com
Time for Dan Rather to start selling insurance? In his 1994 book, The Camera Never Blinks Twice, Rather maintained that "a serious journalist can't run with a story without confirmation" from at least two sources. Writing that was how he "made it through Watergate," Rather predicted that "if I'd gone off half-cocked, if I'd gotten my facts scrambled, if I'd run with unconfirmed leads, I'd be selling insurance right now." But maybe it depends on how he defines a story as honest. In defending Bill Clinton as an "honest man," in 2001 Rather insisted: "I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."
Just like the memos! They are simultaneously fake and accurate.
The MRC's Rich Noyes on Thursday came across this passage in Dan Rather's 1994 book, The Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Further Adventures of a Television Journalist. The MRC's Jessica Anderson typed in the paragraphs from page 97, in a chapter about his 1988 confrontation with then-Vice President Bush:
The American Spectator's George Neumayr, in a posting picked up by James Taranto's "Best of the Web" column for OpinionJournal.com ( www.opinionjournal.com ), recalled Rather's 2001 claim you can be honest even if you lie regularly, a quote which won the "Gilligan Award (for the Flakiest Comment of the Year)" at the MRC's DisHonors Awards held in January of 2002.
In a piece posted Thursday on the American Spectator's Web site, Neumayr, the magazine's managing editor, recalled:
For the rest of Neumayr's posting: www.spectator.org
The exchange from the May 15, 2001 O'Reilly Factor on FNC:
Bill O'Reilly: "I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton's an honest man?"
To watch a RealPlayer clip of that exchange, go to the MRC's Dan Rather page packed with his worst bias from 1988 through mid-2003 (scroll down to the 2001 section for the video): www.mediaresearch.org
That page also features a video comparison of how Dan Rather treated President Clinton in a March 31, 1999 interview in which Rather avoided the Chinese espionage and fundraising scandals and Rather's infamous interview of Vice President Bush on January 25, 1988 on the Iran-Contra scandal in which Rather told Bush: "You've made us hypocrites in the face of the world." Direct address: www.mediaresearch.org
Public rejecting Dan Rather? Last week 60 Minutes won its time slot, but Wednesday's edition, in which Dan Rather featured the late Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian's secretary, as he tried to justify his use of memos she said were fake, came in fourth place. And the CBS Evening News is following the same trend, FNC's Brit Hume reported Thursday night, relaying how ratings for the newscast "have dropped 24 percent in New York, 35 percent in Philadelphia, and 42 percent in Atlanta, to name a few, since Rather first reported on those disputed National Guard documents on 60 Minutes."
In an update posted Thursday afternoon on Broadcasting & Cable magazine's paid site, John Eggerton reported: "CBS's 60 Minutes follow-up to its high-profile National Guard document story came in last among the 'Big Four' networks in the Nielsen Media Research prime-time ratings Wednesday, according to overnight ratings."
Eggerton then zeroed in on a narrower demographic for the hour: "The show, which also featured interviews with Matthew Broderick and a fundamentalist Christian General, averaged a 1.9 rating/6 share in the 18-49 demo. Fox's That '70s Show led the hour with a 3.2/10 in the demo, followed by a repeat of My Wife & Kids on ABC and NBC's new drama, Hawaii, which tied with a 2.6."
The September 8 60 Minutes, in which Rather first showcased the forged memos, won its time slot amongst all viewers. According to Nielsen ratings printed in Thursday's USA Today, 60 Minutes finished in first place during the first hour of prime time with 9.9 million viewers, followed by NBC's Hawaii, Fox's That '70s Show and ABC's My Wife and Kids.
On FNC's September 16 Special Report with Brit Hume, during the "Grapevine segment," Hume reported:
The DrudgeReport.com on Thursday morning disclosed: "In the nation's top market, New York, Rather finished not only behind NBC NIGHTLY NEWS and ABC WORLD NEWS TONIGHT -- but also pulled less audience than reruns of the SIMPSONS, WILL & GRACE and KING OF QUEENS. Rather finished dead last in New York during the 6:30 pm timeslot among all broadcast channels tracked by NIELSEN on Tuesday."
Drudge's item in full: www.drudgereport.com
Jay Leno is quite liberal, and echoes Howard Dean, a LA Weekly story this week documented. The alternative weekly's Nikki Finke summarized her interview with the host of NBC's Tonight Show: "Jay Leno says, 'I'm not conservative. I've never voted that way in my life.' He 'really worries' what a Dubya victory in November will do to the makeup of the Supreme Court. He believes 'the wool was pulled over our eyes' with the Iraq war. He thinks the White House began using terrorism 'as a crutch' after 9/11. He feels that during the campaign Kerry should 'make Bush look as stupid as possible.' He believes 'the media is in the pocket of the government, and they don't do their job' so 'you have people like Michael Moore who do it for them.' He has on his joke-writing staff a number of former professional speechwriters for Democratic candidates. 'No Republicans.' When it comes to Bush, he doesn't think his politics are much different from Letterman's. 'Does he show his dislike maybe a little more than I do? Probably.' Leno used to read Mother Jones magazine." Plus he took shots at the Fox News Channel and talk radio.
Some brief excerpts from the interview, "Does Mr. Middle-of-the-Road Lean Left?", highlighted by the DrudgeReport.com on Wednesday. The interview appeared in the September 17-23 issue of the newspaper:
Finke: "Do you personally think this is a more important election than some of the others?"
Finke: "What do you read?"
Finke: "And TV news?"
Finke: "Do you think it's weird that talk radio is all right all the time?"
Finke: "When you interview people for the writing staff, what if somebody comes in and says, 'Look, I have to warn you, I'm a proud liberal,' or 'I'm a proud conservative'?"
Many of Finke's questions, such as this one, made it clear she's well to the left: "The media seems to only present the Republican spin and to not present the other side of what's going on."
For the lengthy interview in full: www.laweekly.com
Another sign of Finke's agenda -- the lead to her April 23 column: "Leno may be the ratings winner. Stewart is the critics' darling. But, day in and day out, Letterman is the hands-down leader when it comes to unabashed Bush bashing. One reason is that his Late Show has the brass balls to go where the cowardly White House news corps and corporate suck-up Leno fear to tread: presenting Dubya in all his dumb-ass glory." See: www.laweekly.com
-- Brent Baker