"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
CBS News icon Edward R. Murrow set the standard for excellence in broadcast journalism. It is worth noting the report cited above that did much to secure his and CBS News' place in the pantheon was motivated by rightful anger at the concocting of "files" to be brought against the accused.
Fast forward to Rathergate, and cue the Clintons' favorite band, as the news operation Ed Murrow built now makes a case for pressing accusations – in this case, against the president – based on documents shown to have been forged.
As long as you forged memos that you believe actually existed, what difference would it make? You can almost hear Jon Lovitz doing his Tommy Flanagan bit: "Yeah, yeah. They're not forgeries, they're, uhhhhh . . . replicas! Yeah, replicas -- that's the ticket!"
In any case, the whole “fake but accurate” line shows how tone-deaf these people are; it’s like saying a body in a pine box is “dead but lifelike.” It boggles, it really does: the story is true, the evidence is faked, but the evidence reflects the evidence we have not yet presented that proves our conclusion – ergo, we’re telling the truth.
Here's why the memos' authenticity does matter: if the memos carrying the accusations do not matter, then why bother with memos at all?
ACCUSATION: Dan Rather was hoarse and sluggish on that newscast because he had snorted cocaine less than 15 minutes before going on camera. In fact, Rather has had a drug addiction since returning from Vietnam as a war correspondent. His powerful connections inside the network have shielded him from repercussions as he rose through the reporting ranks.
I could spend a few minutes (on a real typewriter, which I have) forging CBS memos laying this information out, but really, why bother? I'll instead take CBS's line and insist all that really matters is what the memos say, the accusations themselves. But if so, then you don't need the memos at all. You can just make spurious accusations and demand your opponent address them.
As Pat Caddell pointed out tonight, that's what you do in a country with secret police.
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I haven't weighed in until now on CBS' petard-hoisting because I haven't known quite what to add, given the ongoing blitz of coverage and minute dissection of fonts, superscripts and kerning at such sites as Power Line,LGF,INDC Journal and Instapundit. Kudos to the bloggers for a breakthrough in keeping the media honest.