It’s time to play “Name That Journalist!”, with your host, Bernard Goldberg:
In August 2004, when the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were taking aim at John Kerry and causing a lot of damage, a prominent journalist told a national magazine that, “In the end, what difference does it make what one candidate or the other did or didn’t do during the Vietnam War? In some ways, that war is as distant as the Napoleonic campaigns.”
That article came out in the August 30, 2004 edition of Broadcasting & Cable magazine. But what the prominent journalist did not bother revealing was that at the very time he was saying John Kerry’s Vietnam record was irrelevant, he himself was working on a story that would air on a major national television news program, just days later … about – take a deep breath! – George W. Bush and what he did or didn’t do during the Vietnam War!
Now take a guess who that prominent journalist was.
If you said Dan Rather, give yourself a gold star.
The story, which aired on the weekday edition of 60 Minutes on September 8, 2004, has come to be known as “Rathergate” — a name it got, as just about everybody knows, because the documents Rather used to back up his story (about George Bush joining the Air National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam) could not be verified as real … and may in fact be downright forgeries.
So how was it that when John Kerry was taking fire from critics, Dan Rather thought Vietnam was ancient history – but just eight days later, the same Dan Rather was putting George W. Bush in the crosshairs on national television and all of a sudden Vietnam was as relevant as could be?
Could it be that Dan Rather was taking sides, that he was recklessly using his substantial power to further a liberal Democrat’s cause at the expense of a conservative Republican?
Not our Dan — who, during his tenure with CBS would often deflect questions from interviewers about his biases with kinderspiel such as this:
“I’m all news, all the time. Full power, tall tower. I want to break in when news breaks out. That’s my agenda. Now, respectfully, when you start talking about a liberal agenda and all the, quote, ‘liberal bias’ in the media, I quite frankly, and I say this respectfully but candidly to you, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
These days, Dan is hosting fundraisers for the far left magazine, The Nation — which simultaneously clears up whatever few questions about Dan’s worldview remain, as well as identifies the small niche market of viewers with which he has any credibility left. (And likely even they know Dan’s cooked the books, but are OK with it, because he told his Sorelian lies in service of the “higher truth.”)