There He Goes Again

Steve Lovelady of the Columbia Journalism Review writes in the comments,

I ask you to do a little homework before you again accuse Mike Hoyt, the editor of the print CJR,or me by extension, of “defending Dan Rather.”

That’s an outright lie.

Well, no. It’s an observation about the content of Corey Pein’s risible attack on CBS News’ critics, which I linked to directly in my piece. The entire thrust of Pein’s column was to (a) toss out the usual MSM complaints about conservative bloggers being untrustworthy scum and (b) defend Rather and CBS with the tired “fake but accurate” defense–despite lacking actual evidence to support such a claim (other than the left wing groupthink that assumes as a matter of course Bush must be lying about his Guard record–after all, he’s George Bush). As many have previously noted, Pein made things worse by scoffing at the detailed findings of Joseph Newcomer, who voted for John Kerry, and also happens to be the father of computer typesetting. Poor decision there.

In the context of today’s discussion, a more notable flaw committed by both Pein and yourself was blowing off one fundamental reason why Rather, Mary Mapes, and CBS News in general ran with a patently-phony story: they wanted to make a political hit on a politician they couldn’t stand. You had to ignore the public ideological histories of both Rather and Mapes to come to a different conclusion, but as I noted earlier, MSM dishonesty is as much due to omission as commission.

The fact that you and Pein won’t admit your own ideological biases makes my point once again. If you can’t be honest with your audience about where you’re coming from on a story, why should you be trusted when it comes to the content of the story itself?

For the record, I didn’t mention you,* or Mike Hoyt in the post–but since we know you can’t be bothered with minor details like the difference between Andrew Sullivan and Andrew Ferguson, I’m not terribly surprised at the accusation. I have read the unsigned editorial that ran above the letters column after Pein’s piece; I assume from your note it was written by Hoyt.

Not unlike the article it defends, I found its arguments decidedly unpersuasive. But then again, for people who can look at the “Rathergate” documents and say with a straight face that they’re not obvious forgeries, I suppose an extra layer of subjectivity ought to be applied.

* Whoops, yes I did, but not in the context of the Rather articles.