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Sunday, September 19, 2004

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Rather may win this yet

Beldar points to today's front page article in WaPo that takes an in-depth look at the CBS forged documents scandal. The Post spends quite a long time looking at the development of the story and although they don't emphasize it, it's obvious that the real culprits in this fiasco are Mary Mapes who quashed opposition to the story and misrepresented the certainty of their authenticity to CBS executives and Dan Rather who so desparately wanted the story to be true that he abandoned journalistic ethics to push the story forward.

All this is well and good, but what frustrates me is that the meme that the documents may be forged but the story is accurate simply won't go away. The Post closes with this.
As they continue their investigation into whether they were hoaxed, CBS officials have begun shifting their public focus from the memos themselves to their underlying allegations about the president. Rather said that if the memos were indeed faked, "I'd like to break that story." But whatever the verdict on the memos, he said, critics "can't deny the story."

As the days begin to blur for Josh Howard, he embraces the same logic: "So much of this debate has focused on the documents, and no one has really challenged the story. It's been frustrating to us to see all this reduced to a debate over little 'th's."
This meme is being repeated in the old media, best represented by the unbelieveable "Fake but Accurate" NY Times headline. That this could possibly be a "standard" for journalism is a definitive statement of the corruption that infests the media today.

What irritates me more, however, is that the claim that the charges are accurate is provably false. I've written about this before, but it seems it will not go away, so I guess I'm going to have to deal with it in depth. Since that would be a very long article, I will address each charge individually in separate articles.