Memo to Dan Rather: Shut up about memos
(If that self-validating circularity of bogusness sounds eerily similar to what the Nunes memo revealed, you've been paying attention.)
Rather and his CBS team perpetuated journalistic fraud of the highest order. Conservative bloggers and alternative media called out Dan Rather and his con artist producer Mary Mapes for their malpractice. CBS denied this and delayed addressing the hoax. The mainstream media tried to shoot the messenger and discredit critics of CBS/Rather.
The evidence of bias was overwhelming -- forcing CBS to appoint an independent review panel that concluded that the network "failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece," was "rigid and blind" in its defense, and demonstrated "myopic zeal" in its manufacturing of the Bush/National Guard fraud. After the report was issued, Mapes and three executives were fired and the editorial practices at CBS were revamped.
The New York Times infamously coined the phrase "fake but accurate" to describe the left's stubborn defense of the four manufactured memos attributed to Texas Army National Guard commander Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Less remembered are the scathing conclusions of the independent panel who identified these worst defects of Rather's work in 2004:
"1. The failure to obtain clear authentication of any of the Killian documents from any document examiner;
"2. The false statement in the September 8 Segment that an expert had authenticated the Killian documents when all he had done was authenticate one signature from one document used in the Segment;
"3. The failure of 60 Minutes Wednesday management to scrutinize the publicly available, and at times controversial, background of the source of the documents, retired Texas Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Bill Burkett;
"4. The failure to find and interview the individual who was understood at the outset to be Lieutenant Colonel Burkett's source of the Killian documents, and thus to establish the chain of custody;
"5. The failure to establish a basis for the statement in the Segment that the documents "were taken from Colonel Killian's personal files";
"6. The failure to develop adequate corroboration to support the statements in the Killian documents and to carefully compare the Killian documents to official TexANG records, which would have identified, at a minimum, notable inconsistencies in content and format;