Rathergate Smoking Gun

The Thornburgh Report came out this week at CBS and concluded:

“The Panel does not find a basis to accuse those who investigated, produced, vetted or aired the segment of having a political bias.”

The Powerline boys built a strong argument as to how the CBS News organization did in fact have a vendetta against George W. Bush.


However, the real smoking gun to the whole “CBS Bias” argument is in what the report failed to look at. The report focuses on how CBS:

… eagerly reported on the BUSH AWOL charges when Mary Mapes was told that no influence was used to get President Bush into the National Guard, that there was no waiting list for pilots, and that Bush actually volunteered to go to Vietnam. So one can only wonder in what respect Rather thinks “the facts are right on the money.”

This is damning enough but if the investigators would have looked at how this 60 Minute II segment fit in with the whole CBS News culture they would have had their Smoking Gun for CBS bias. CBS and 60 Minutes in particular rolled out the Red Carpet for any and ALL Anti-Bush authors during the 2004 election cycle. They jumped on any story that was damning towards the president (or the country, the War in Iraq, the economy) that they could during the pre-election period. This was proof enough of the bias not only at CBS but at all of the major news networks.

But the clincher was how they ignored the Swift Boat veteran’s charges against JFK. Here were 60+ veterans (not one self-proclaimed mental patient)whose numerous charges against the democrat challenger were completely ignored. The Swift Vets came out with a news conference in the spring of 2004 that was ignored by CBS (and the other MSM outlets). They wrote a book that was published in the summer of 2004 that was ignored. They came out with damning ads that were ignored until they started to do damage to Mr. Kerry. Amazingly, after the most vicious attacks and millions spent against the sitting president during a time of war, it was the few thousand that the Swift Boater’s spent that did the real damage. It goes back to the saying that “truth always wins the argument”.

And so the AWOL accusations, the intentional omission of facts from the AWOL accusations , and most importantly, ignoring what the other side had to say, proved the bias of the report, of Dan Rather and Mapes, and of the CBS News organization. Rathergate was just an example of the pervasive bias at CBS News. The Thornburgh report should have seen this.

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