web counter Media Lies: The story devolves

Friday, September 17, 2004

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The story devolves

In a Houston Chronicle article today any credibility that Bill Burkett had left was completely shredded. The Chronicle reporters, in a comprehensive analysis of Burkett's various statements over the years demonstrated that Burkett is dissembling, to use a "polite company" term.

Here are the salient points.
Burkett's allegations have changed over the years, and have been dismissed as baseless by former Guard colleagues, state legislators and others.

Even Burkett has admitted some of his allegations are false.
The Chronicle is being kind.
Burkett wrote a long indictment against Bush for a Web site in 2003 in which he said he personally was ordered to "alter personnel records of George W. Bush." In that article, Burkett said that when he refused he was sent to Panama as punishment, where he contracted a disabling disease.
Burkett later said, "That statement was not accurate, that is overstated."

Burkett has also posted in public forums on the Internet comparing Bush to Hitler.
In an article Burkett wrote for the Internet last year he compared Bush to Hitler and Napoleon as one of "the three small men" who sought to rule through tyranny. "Three small men who wanted to conquer and vanquish," Burkett wrote. Burkett confirmed authorship of that article in the February Chronicle interview.
Burkett in the past has expressed frustration about not finding any records of Bush's "failures" (Burkett's word.)
One month ago, in an essay posted on a progressive Web site, Burkett theorized that Killian would have been a likely person to know more about Bush's service. But, he conceded, "I have found no documentation from LTC Killian's hand or staff that indicate that this unit was involved in any complicit way to ... cover for the failures of 1Lt. Bush ... " Burkett went on to say, "On the contrary, LTC Killian's remarks are rare."
Yet Burkett has stated on the record that in 1997 he saw the records in a trash can!

To pound the final nail in this coffin -
Texas Guard officials said no Texas Air Guard records had ever been stored at the facility Burkett named.
That pretty much does it for Burkett, I would say.

Since he's the probable author of the forged documents, it also "does it" for Rather as well. The documents are forged. The likely source is discredited. The "support" for the meme, Ms. Knox is, to be kind, not impartial, and Ben Barnes has been debunked.

What's left? Not even an apology will do now. Rather needs to either resign gracefully or be shown the door if CBS hopes to have any future at all.