Patterico's Pontifications


Rather Suspect

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 10:23 pm

Howie Kurtz has a front-page article in tomorrow’s Washington Post titled Rather Concedes Papers Are Suspect.

“Rest assured” that Dan would like nothing better than to break the story that the documents are suspect.

“60 Minutes” Tonight

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:07 pm

Memo to Dan Rather: if you work with blogs, instead of against them, they can save you a lot of work.

Case in point: I made a few notes tonight of the more egregious examples of distortion in the “60 Minutes” piece with the secretary. But it’s much easier to cruise the Net and link to posts that already made the same observations.

Forged Documents Traced to Abilene, Texas

Filed under: 2004 Election — Patterico @ 7:51 pm

It sure would be nice if someone would figure out if forging the CBS documents was a crime. Then someone could see if they have enough evidence to get a search warrant for Bill Burkett’s computer. Read more here.

UPDATE: Here is the case on Burkett — before the Abilene Kinko’s revelation.

UPDATE x2: Charles Johnson says Burkett has an account at the Abilene Kinko’s. What do you want to bet he’s there right now, furiously deleting stuff off the hard drive?

Note to Burkett: there are experts who can recover anything from a hard drive.

CBS Statement

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 7:27 pm

Apparently “coroborating evidence” is not the same as “corroborating evidence.”

L.A. Times Whiffs the Forged Documents Story

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 6:56 pm

The lesson of the CBS forged documents scandal for the mainstream media is simple and straightforward: Don’t hide the truth. Because if you try, your deception will be discovered, and your reputation will be irreparably damaged.

John Carroll, the editor of the Los Angeles Times, hasn’t learned this lesson — as is apparent to anyone who reads the paper’s pieces today on the CBS document scandal.

Dan Rather Should Be Fired

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 7:09 am

It is impossible for CBS News to defend its decision to hide the fact that two document experts had raised significant questions about the forged Killian documents, before the story ran. Beldar says that Dan Rather — and any other CBS journalists and managers complicit in this cover-up — should be fired.

I think he’s right.

Let me use an analogy to make my point.

I am a prosecutor. My duty is not to convict every defendant who walks through the door of the courtroom. My highest duty is to seek justice and truth. In this sense, I share the stated goal of journalists, whose principal duty is also to seek the truth.

One of my most important duties is to tell the defense about any information I learn that could help the defense in a material way.

For example, let’s say I bring a criminal case where the theory of the defendant’s guilt is based primarily on expert testimony. Before trial, I consult with two experts who say that the defendant was probably innocent.

In such a case, I have a legal, ethical, and moral duty to disclose the opinions of those experts to the defense. If I make a deliberate decision to hide such information from the defense, I could (and should) be fired, disbarred, and even prosecuted.

Now, Dan Rather was not trying to put anyone in jail. But he was running a story that he knew could influence an election for President of the United States — a position that wields immense power over people’s lives, not just across the country, but also across the globe. Rather had reason to believe that his story was a fraud. Yet he ran it anyway, and hid from his viewers the evidence that the story was fraudulent.

This was a blatant violation of his fundamental duty to seek and publish the truth.

You’re damn right he should be fired.

P.S. I am extremely upset at the way that the L.A. Times has handled this story, and you can bet that I’ll have something to say about it later today.

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