Ed Driscoll

'Give it to Dan'

In his latest Best of the Web column, James Taranto proffers his choice for the winner of PJM’s recently announced contest:

Roger Simon of PJMedia.com announces the Walter Duranty Prize:

Walter Duranty–it will be recalled–was the New York Times’ Moscow correspondent in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced mass starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression.

Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. . . .

The first annual Duranty Prize will be given for what our readers consider the most egregious example of dishonest reporting for the fiscal year 2011-2012 (July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012).

We’d like to nominate Dan Rather. Yes, the dishonest reporting that made him infamous took place in 2004, but he has a new book out, “Rather Outspoken: My Life in the News,” whose official publication date is next Tuesday.

We’re lucky enough to have a copy, and we read part of Chapter 10, titled “Rather v. CBS.” Rather still claims that the fake documents on which he based the infamous report were genuine! Moreover, his writing is self-aggrandizing and just plain awful. Here’s his description of the courthouse where the proceedings in his failed lawsuit took place:

Inside there is a rotunda, with a huge WPA mural entitled Law through the Ages that covers the ceiling. The magisterial atmosphere of the courthouse extends into the courtroom itself. It looks exactly like you’d want a courtroom to look. It was a little tatty around the edges, showing the earmarks of the fiscal austerity of the times, but nonetheless still dignified. It was clearly a place for serious business, spare, almost spartan, but not quite: Judge Gammerman had made an effort to soften the severity of his courtroom by adding a few plants, an effort that unfortunately was not successful. The plants were droopy and anemic, perhaps because the chosen vegetation was never intended to spend its life indoors.

It didn’t matter.

Man, this writing is droopy and anemic!

While Dan should place rather (sorry about that) high in the running, arguably, the MSM’s collective meltdown over Trayvon Martin supersedes Dan’s efforts. Or as John Nolte wrote at the start of the month:

When it came to Rathergate, CBS was targeting a powerful public figure with the resources to fight back. With Editgate, three major networks have targeted a private citizen, a man who does not appear to be wealthy, who has not been charged with a crime, who is innocent until proven guilty, and who is currently in hiding with a bounty on his head.

Worse still, these malicious attempts to paint Zimmerman as a liar and racist are not only attacks on Zimmerman, but through the intentional enflaming of racial divisions based on false and half-baked information, this is also an attack on the American people–especially the people currently sitting in the front row in Sanford, FL.

After the investigation we all want to see, it may very well be discovered that George Zimmerman committed a crime. But if it comes out that he in fact did act in justifiable self-defense, he’ll probably have lawyers beating down his door for a piece of ABC, CNN, and NBC.

See also: Jewell, Richard: