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Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate

Mary Mapes, fired for her role as producer of the Dan Rather segment on President Bush's National Guard (non) service, has issued this statement in response to both her firing and the independent report commissioned by CBS.

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  • Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#1)
    by Darryl Pearce on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 08:27:04 PM EST
    I read The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk and enjoyed it. I wonder if Mary Mapes will write a book that includes this event.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#2)
    by Rich on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 09:31:13 PM EST
    Once again fellas, there is no mystery here. The British government and media demonstrated this phenomenon in the Galloway affair (accused journalist later exonerated) and Lord Hutton Inquiry of the David Kelly affair (BBC chief Gavyn Davies' head on the ceremonial pike) in the past year all over contemporary lies regarding PM Blair's support of the Bush-Iraq War. This phenomenon, conformity with the ruling elites program, is best described in Chomsky's "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies" and summarized with an extracted quote from the same reference.
    "As in the case of eighteenth century doctrine on seditious libel, truth is no defense; rather, it heightens the enormity of the crime of calling authority into disrepute".
    Indeed, what did anyone expect from an investigation with Richard Thornburgh as its putative head? Governemnts, governmental officials, and former governmental officials will lie on behalf of the government. That's what governments do, always. rich

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 09:31:52 PM EST
    Darryl, Thanks. It's a true profile in courage. At least when the media makes bad decisions based on false information, they have the guts to purge the people involved. I wish that were true of the current administration.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#4)
    by Rich on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 09:40:09 PM EST
    I just read Mary's statement, eloquent, and it seems her position and defense were ignored. Or Thornburgh et al. drew conclusion either diametrically opposed or not supported by the facts. This situation reads exactly like Lord Hutton's official opinion on the David Kelley affair which exonerated Blair and his cabinet despite a mountain of evidence to the country. Even the competitors of the BBC including the UK Spectator, Guardian Unlimited noted the fecklessness of Lord Hutton.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 10:01:00 PM EST
    A charade from beginning to end. Where are the severed heads in the NYT (and many other media outlets) over the missing WMDs? Pretending to be concerned about accuracy in reporting while this elephant (along with many other beasts) is in the room is preposterous.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 10:07:30 PM EST
    Another con job by the propaganda king, Karl Rove. And Dicky T. been covering up for the Bushs for the last 20 years or so. He did it for Bush 1 too and Iran-Contra and dozens of other shady deals, (Iraqgate in 1990, remember?). The truth here is that Bush Deserted his post during time of war. There's little dispute that he never completed his obligated time in the TX Air National Guard, and was happy to do so See: Kevin Drum over at the Washington Montly covered the dispute fairly well last year, as did the Columbia Journalism Review very recently. Here's another one: by David Nyhan from November 28, 2004: This is Bush's the RNC Amerika now. The facts don't matter, only the party. If it does not advance the interests of the Party above all, it Must be destroyed or discredited. It's as simple as that. Propaganda 101. I fully expect a Continuing stream of Stalinist show trials to...well continue well into our dark future.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Jan 10, 2005 at 10:16:42 PM EST
    [OK Let's try that again and see if I can get the HTML ref. to work, right?] Another con job by the propaganda king, Karl Rove. And Dicky T. been covering up for the Bushs for the last 20 years or so. He did it for Bush 1 too and Iran-Contra and dozens of other shady deals, (Iraqgate in 1990, remember?). The truth here is that Bush Deserted his post during time of war. There's little dispute that he never completed his obligated time in the TX Air National Guard, and was happy to do so See:AWOLBUSH.Com = AWOLBUSH.com Kevin Drum over at the Washington Montly covered the dispute fairly well last year, as did the Columbia Journalism Review very recently. Here's another one: by David Nyhan from November 28, 2004: EagleTribune.com = EagleTribune.com This is Bush's the RNC Amerika now. The facts don't matter, only the party. If it does not advance the interests of the Party above all, it Must be destroyed or discredited. It's as simple as that. Propaganda 101. I fully expect a Continuing stream of Stalinist show trials to...well continue well into our dark future.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#8)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 01:05:16 AM EST
    I liked Tom Tomorrow's take on it. (from my recollection) Right-wing blogger: "These memos, apparently scribbled on a napkin, say that Bush was drinking on this night while at Yale - but he wasn't! I think this proves that there are no bars in Connecticut!" Bush: "Strange - it's almost like it was planned all along!" Karl Rove: "Yes, well, we musn't question our good fortune, sir."

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 03:41:35 AM EST
    I have to say that, while we're all fascinated with this (even the tinfoil hat people) it's all inside baseball stuff. -C

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#10)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 04:43:58 AM EST
    Too bad the stuff you're all so sure about has no evidence to back it up. Not that that's a surprise. She worked on that story for five years and came up with forged documents. Lame. The report accuses her of affirmative misstatements, which you don't do by being sloppy. It's deliberate.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#11)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 05:01:32 AM EST
    I'm sure that meeting between CBS and WH Director of Communications 2 weeks ago had nothing to do with their firing, yeah right

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#12)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 05:10:38 AM EST
    Well, Soc, as the offended party, the admin might have the right to some input. Oh, that's right. Defense lawyers don't like victim impact statements. Anyway, the meeting was said to be some kind of cross between an apology, a promise not to do it again, and a plea not to be cut out of WH news. Might be right, might not. But if the WH had anything to do with the firings, it was to commmend mercy. More than four folks needed to go. What annoys me on a personal level is the complete amateurishness, the lack of care, in the forgeries. They figured they could get away with peddling obvious crap and the rest of us would be too dumb to spot it. That's how you know the gang was liberal.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#13)
    by scarshapedstar on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 06:18:01 AM EST
    How many times did Fox News push the demonstrably false claims of the Swiftliars? Just asking.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 06:21:34 AM EST
    et al - Trying to rewrite history at the very end. She neglects to mention that: She was cited for apparent conflict of interest for her telcon with Joe Lockhart. General Hodges states he did not say the the memos wete true, in fact he said the opposite. And the Left blames Carl Rove. I an lol. That is about as paranoid as it gets. SD - The WH should have made CBS crawl on its news to a mike, issue a public apology, and fire about a dozen more.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 06:24:53 AM EST
    scar - So what is your point? The Left could not prove them wrong, or they would have. The MSM would have loved a story like that, but they couldn't do it. Get over it. The memos were fake, Kerry lost and based on the lack of ability to figure out why, the Demos will lose in '08. Shame, but stupid actions, in the real world, are not rewarded.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#16)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 06:47:56 AM EST
    am. Demonstrate the demonstrations of falsehood. You could, for example, claim that Kerry's slander of the US soldiers was a put-up job and it was an actor. Stuff like that.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 07:13:57 AM EST
    I don't get it: Are the liberals on this site saying it doesn't matter that they were forgeries? That they didn't go through the proper fact checking, but it's ok? That the preeminent news service in this country rushed to judgement in order to do a hack story on a sitting president during an election cycle, but were dead wrong? You know what's amazing? If I did this when I was in college I would have been kicked out of my journalism class. And rightfully so. If we want to regain the political edge in this country we must be able to stop defending the indefensible. Otherwise we are just as hypocritical as those we loathe.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#18)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 07:26:33 AM EST
    I don't get it, are the right wingers saying that whatt is in the memos was false. And where is your outrage about Limbaugh and O'reilly lying through their teeth. You guys are such freaking hypocrites its funny. The right never makes a mistake.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 07:29:47 AM EST
    Imagine if Fox News had come forward with an "investigative report" in late October 1996 claiming to have videotape evidence that President Clinton was having an affair with an intern. Imagine that this videotape was than proven to have been created by Richard Scafee using actors, and peddled to Fox News as the real thing. Imagine that Fox News had gotten some experts to check the tape, and they had told Fox it was a fake, but that Fox had gone forward with it anyway. Would anyone here now adopting the "Fake but Accurate" logic stand up and say Fox was right to run this report because Clinton was in fact having an affair with an intern? Or would this be denounced as a politically inspired hatchet job and an attempt to affect the outcome of an election? The fact that they knew the documents were false does matter. Mary Mapes should never work in journalism again.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 07:40:46 AM EST
    Once again, Mary Mapes' ego gets in the way!!

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#21)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 08:07:47 AM EST
    Soc, I may have been wrong. I really thought you were smarter than that. But, either to educate you on how it goes, or, as I am usually doing, explaining that what you are saying is known by all to be crap and you aren't fooling anybody, Limbaugh and O'Reilly do not call themselves impartial news divisions of a national network. Limbaugh does not claim to be an objective, non-partisan purveyor of just-the-facts. In addition, they have not been shown to use fake documents.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#22)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 08:16:23 AM EST
    RA well done skated around the issue nicely. Of course you have lots of practice being a torture and death squad apologist. So is your point that since they are not objective journalists its ok for them to lie?

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#23)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 08:17:26 AM EST
    OK, it seems to me there would be one way to end the debate on the authenticity of these memos....Vet the originals....D'oh.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#24)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 08:29:31 AM EST
    Soc, you may not be very bright, but you must be a lawyer. The point about Limbaugh and O'Reilly is that, since they are not purporting to be straight journalists, they are held to different standards. CBS, purporting to be straight journalists, are held to the standards for straight journalists. They failed. It looks very much as if they failed on purpose, but whether or not that is accepted, the fact is they failed to act in accordance with straight journalism. Pointing that out seems reasonable. If Limbaugh lies, he's being an entertainer with a loose grasp on the truth, but we all knew that already. It's not okay, but it's not the same as CBS, because CBS claims to be straightforward.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 08:49:27 AM EST
    Lora - The debate is over. CBS knows they are false, else they would not be issuing the mea culpa and firing people. Why do I say that? Because the memos have almoost destroyed them. They have lost audience and ratings. That translates into millions of dollars lost in advertiaing revenue. If they thought they were true they would be fighting like a banishee. Instead they are the dog that did not bark.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:05:50 AM EST
    For Facts, I watch MacNeil-Leher. I grew up thinking that network news reports were unbiased but have become increasingly disillusioned over the years. I'm old enough to remember Ted Knight as Ted Baxter the news anchor on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and therefore don't blame the talking heads (i.e. Rather) for running with a hit. However when news editors kowtow to ratings and partisan CEO's and start salivating at the thought of pre-empting bloggers, or the line between the news and entertainment departments washes away one can only expect total crap in the news...which is what we usually get. An interesting experiment for some of you to try would be to pick a news story - hot, partisan or blase. Then examine 3-5 versions of the story by reading several newspaper articles and listening to coverage from three sources - Fox news, major network news and Public television coverage. Prepare to be shocked at the selectivity and slant, even in the intonation of reporters brought to everyday news. By the way, I never knew Rather was a liberal. Also by the way, it seems that some of you are confusing covering the memo with actually forging the memo and then bemoaning a liberal lack of integrity. Please don't proselytize and then state your position as fact and those who disagree as evil. That's how facism starts.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#27)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:15:00 AM EST
    Poker Player -- Just because someone says or doesn't say something doesn't make it true. Evidence alone does. There could be plenty of reasons why CBS is firing people and not fighting. I agree that there is something to hide. On both sides. To date, the argument has been that the memos couldn't be proven authentic or proven false, because they have been working with copies. What I want to know is, why hasn't either side asked the 64 million dollar question? Where the heck are the original documents? For those who actually believe in reality in the form of hard evidence, that should do it. Ink could be analyzed. Age of paper could be determined. Forensic experts ought to be able to tell pretty readily if they were typed on an IBM Selectric or not. Unless both sides have something to lose by the truth coming out, I can't think of a reason not to demand the originals and put it to rest. (And as for outing a source, puh-lease...that source has been shown to be false...unless of course any of the documents are real...or perhaps planted specifically to draw attention away from the actual issue...) Let's take a look and see.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#28)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:24:35 AM EST
    Where the heck are the original documents? um, i think the point is that there are no original documents

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#29)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:33:18 AM EST
    OK, if these memos were forged, there still were original pieces of paper with a forged signature etc. that the copies were made from. These need to come to light so they can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are forgeries. I'm saying it is mighty suspicious that neither side is calling for them.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#30)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:42:47 AM EST
    RA - the old "they're entertainers" gambit. You truly are morally bankrupt, but thats old news.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#31)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 10:43:23 AM EST
    Lora, the right called for them as a kind of taunt. "You don't have them, do you, morons." It became obvious that CBS wasn't going to come up with the originals. Analysis of the context by people familiar with military issues and especiall TANG demonstrated contextual errors. There was, for example, no reason to order Bush to take an exam whose last date for doing so was three months later. The reg cited was not correct. Nobody could remember Killian doing such memos. The typist for the group said she hadn't done them. By this time, the orginals were kind of irrelevant. Still, CBS can find them some place and redeem themselves. No reason why they shouldn't and plenty of reason they should. The left and CBS doesn't call for the originals because they know the things don't exist. The right doesn't call for the originals because they know it's a waste of time because they, too, know the originals don't exist, and, besides, they tried that earlier. It's not possible to embarrass CBS any more than they are by making noise about originals. It would be cruel and pointless.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 11:17:36 AM EST
    I was very sceptical about those memos, but the big question still remains: Where was Bush in 72? Surely a bunch of people could come forward tell that Bush was on Ellington AFB at the time, couldn´t they? I mean, how difficult could it be to get a bunch of witnesses? Or did everybody get amnesia, what´s up with that? btw, ex girlfriends and people working for the republicans don´t count as credible witnesses.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#33)
    by soccerdad on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 11:27:30 AM EST
    What constantly amazes me, although I should know better by now, is the sheer hypocrisy of the right. We have Rathergate now and the jason Blair incident which have been ridden to death by the right. But who knows these names in the same context. Jack Kelley Jeff Gerth Lisa Myers Chris Vlasto When member of the right pull the same crap or worse where's the outrage. See LINK for more info.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#34)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 11:30:00 AM EST
    OK, to continue logically...if CBS fell for a forgery in their excitement to get the story out, it must have been a) extremely well done, b)extremely cleverly presented, or c) they were extremely stupid. a) Now, if the forgeries were extremely well done, how come they were discredited almost the moment they were aired? And how did so many blogging experts get to be so extremely knowledgable about the forgeries in such short order? Doesn't add up. So they weren't extremely well done, or the discrediting was extremely clever. b) If forgeries, I vote for extremely well presented. By who and for what reason? That is why we need the originals. Who made them? For what reason did they intend to defraud CBS? c) Extremely stupid...well there is always that possibility, lol, but with all the people backing the story and vouching for it I doubt it. Stupid, yes, but not extremely so. Cleverly fooled, perhaps. Which brings me back to b). I think it is worth going there. Not to embarrass or not embarrass CBS - I'm not cruel but it's irrelevant. It's the reason behind the scam in the first place that is important, if indeed scam it is...and I do think it is likely although without the proof it is not iron-clad. Who brought CBS down and why?

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 11:36:53 AM EST
    "Where was Bush in 72? Surely a bunch of people could come forward tell that Bush was on Ellington AFB at the time, couldn´t they? I mean, how difficult could it be to get a bunch of witnesses? Or did everybody get amnesia, what´s up with that?" Do we really want to advocate a situation where the accused has to prove their innocence? If these documents exists, find them. If Bush wasn't on the base, find a sufficient number of credible people who were and who are willing to say he wasn't. Or better yet, get over it. Forget about what W may or may not have been doing 33 years ago and worry about what he is doing now.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#36)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 11:40:04 AM EST
    Interesting point, Lora. There is a theory that the forged Niger documents were done to discredit the real thing. In other words, if somebody's about to catch you up to something no good, you forge documents--clumsy ones so they'll be discredited--and every time somebody asks you about the real thing, you scream about forgeries. It appears the Niger piece was done by French intelligence. Still, if it was the evil Rove, he used existing pieces on the board (Burkett, Mapes, and other obssesed individuals), and he knew, absolutely knew that CBS was so anxious to bust Bush that they would eat this stuff up with a spoon and screw themselves. He had to know that beyond the remotest doubt. If this is so, he was right. How's that explained?

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#37)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 11:46:58 AM EST
    IM writes "btw, ex girlfriends.. don´t count as credible witnesses." That's cute. Is that why Monica kept the dress? You may enjoy this. And this. And this too. Lora - Give up. CBS was brought down by the people they just fired, plus Rather. You are just making yourself look dumb in trying to spread the blame. But again. Don't you understand that CBS has lost millions of dollars. Don't you understand that they would absolutely love to prove the memos true?

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#38)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 12:32:07 PM EST
    Or better yet, get over it. Forget about what W may or may not have been doing 33 years ago and worry about what he is doing now. hear, hear justpaul. as someone else said on the 'legalize cocaine' thread, i used to enjoy the back and forth about this issue. now i realize how utterly pointless it is - and how much energy it pulls away from concerns about what gw is doing right now.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#39)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 12:36:40 PM EST
    Lora, when the document experts CBS had told them the docs were chancy, CBS fired the experts. Do you think Rove could predict that?

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#40)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 01:23:19 PM EST
    Poker Player - stay away from the personal attacks please and just stick to the facts. CBS lost hugely it's true. People who have been considered fine journalists messed up. Why? Bad luck? Just incredibly stupid? Possibly..or maybe they were set up. Kelite -- the nat'l guard issue is old; the deception of the media and public is fresh. RA -- I'd have to look it up but if I remember correctly CBS fired the docs experts when they turned out to be not as expert as they were presumed to be. And...well, CBS is part of the so-called "liberal media" and, even though Mapes and all were found to have behaved in a non-partisan fashion, it's quite possible that personally they were very partisan and would have dearly loved to bring Bush down. Rove is a very smart guy. I wouldn't put it past him. I'm not saying he did it or that's what they were trying to do but I'm saying it does fit. I'm saying that an attack on CBS seems to fit what we do know better than sheer greed and stupidity by seasoned and respected reporters. (That's not impossible of course; I just think the other is a better fit and worthy of investigation.)

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 01:44:17 PM EST
    Rove could have done it. Rather could have done it. RoveRatherRoveRatherRoveRatherRoveRather I'm so confused. I want to make a joke about this being a bad reality series but can't decide if "wifeswap", "the nanny" or "desparate housewives" deserves the honor. I'd PPV to see the two of them in any of these venues. Obviously if CBS had access to the purported originals they would use them. I must admit that I did want that news report to be true very badly. I have enormous disgust for Bush's "service" record as it stands, however, and don't need disclosures of "illegal" activity from someone who has covered their ass so well to think less of him. I am guilty of hubris only in thinking that progressives could beat Republican operatives at their own game. The fact that CBS issued a Mea Culpa and took action shows that we are not capable of stooping to their level of party first, country second. For this I am ultimately glad.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 02:23:17 PM EST
    No need to let the facts interfere with a good dogma, eh, mfox? The real story here is, of course, just where DID the memos come from, and why did Dan fall for it so easily, and of course, where is the REAL investigation by the "news" media of what really happened? Newsflash, Rich, Tony Blair was exonerated by Lord Hutton.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 02:32:32 PM EST
    mfox, I'm very much interested in your reasoning. Could you please explain: When was it that progressives started believing in the honor of active military service to the country? Does this mean we no longer support the decision of all those who fled the country rather than fight in "Nixon's" war? Does this mean we no longer defend Bill Clinton's flagrant dodging of the draft or his statements about how much he loathed the military? Does this mean that we can now broach the subject of whether John Kerry deserved those purple hearts, since there seems to be a quality of service issue at stake? Or are we still just bashing the president for an unverified (and probably unverifiable) accusation? If we spend the next four years arguing about what happened 33 years ago, and whether or not CBS knew what it was doing when it tried to pass off a lie as the truth, we are all doomed.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 03:03:56 PM EST
    Okay JustPaul. I'll give it a shot...
    When was it that progressives started believing in the honor of active military service to the country? Does this mean we no longer support the decision of all those who fled the country rather than fight in "Nixon's" war? Does this mean we no longer defend Bill Clinton's flagrant dodging of the draft or his statements about how much he loathed the military?
    I cannot speak for all progressives but only for myself. I am by nature a pacifist who thinks all war is a failure of civilisation. I understand, however, that sometimes we have to fight to defend our culture, freedom, way of life... whatever you want to call it. I very strongly feel, however, that it is my sworn duty as an American citizen to advocate for our military by ensuring that our legislature does not abuse the privilege of commanding them, as has been the case in so many countries for so many eons. Some may argue that once my elected representative has voted yea or nay in my name it is then my job to shut up and accept their decision. I feel, however, that if my rep has made an error in judgment or the circumstances in which the vote was taken. I still have the right to provide input to the legislature to act to rectify their wrongdoing. THEREFORE, if I am not yet enlisted in the military, I believe in my right to question without obeying. If I decide a war is morally wrong and that our soldier citizens are being put in harms way for political gain - there's NO WAY I'm sending my son, who I have raised lovingly to have a future to die in deserts for oil or jungles for an elusive democratic ideal. Therefore the Canadian evaders and Clinton have my vote as a mom. If, however, enemies of the Republic sail into Boston Harbor, or someone tries to hijack my plane, I know my way around a few firearms and will fight to the death. BTW - a relative of mine was on 9/11 flight 175 so please spare me from "revenge for 9/11" justifications.
    Does this mean that we can now broach the subject of whether John Kerry deserved those purple hearts, since there seems to be a quality of service issue at stake?
    I don't think ANY of us, right, left, middle of the road have any right whatsoever to question the valor of a decorated serviceman. I never questioned the service of Bush Sr. and only critisize GW for his hypocrisy. I can't imagine anything more insulting to any vet than to have their valor questioned - purple heart or no and think everyone serving in the Meekong Delta (is that right?) deserves immense gratitude. Further, Kerry didn't agree with me, instead enlisting to fight in a war he didn't believe in to share the burden of his peers and because he thought it was the right thing to do. Aside from politics, that makes him a hero in my book.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 04:26:20 PM EST
    My mistake, mfox. I thought your use of the royal "we" was referencing progressives, I dind't realize you were an employee of CBS. Or were you in fact speaking for all progressives? Eitherway, thank you for the well reasoned response.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#46)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 05:35:37 PM EST
    mfox - Let me sum that up for you "I won't fight but I will complain a lot." You wrote: "The fact that CBS issued a Mea Culpa and took action shows that we are not capable of stooping to their level of party first, country second. For this I am ultimately glad." What nonsense. CBS got caught cheating and had to pay the price. Hubris? You are soaked in it. Lora - You act as if you have no knowledge of this before yesterday. The forgeries were given to CBS by a fellow by the name of Burkett who lives in Texas. He is, and was, a known hater of Bush. He faxed the memos to CBS. He claims to have gotten them from some woman named... sorry I draw a blank...help anyone? Anyway, that should settle the "original" issue. Within hours of their release many people were calling them false for a variety of reasons. As time went on CBS stoutly defended them until they finally admitted they were not able to conclude they were not forgeries. Rather apologized, and announced he was leaving in March. CBS launched an internal investigation. The report has come out and CBS has fired four people and issued this statement. Now, some of the highlights of the CBS statement: "We deeply regret the disservice this flawed 60 Minutes Wednesday report did to the American public, which has a right to count on CBS News for fairness and accuracy,” said CBS President Leslie Moonves." That is an admission of guilt, and an apology. "The producer of the piece, Mary Mapes, was also faulted for calling Joe Lockhart, a senior official in the John Kerry campaign, prior to the airing of the piece, and offering to put Burkett in touch with him. The panel called Mapes’ action a “clear conflict of interest that created the appearance of political bias.” "A key factor in the decision to broadcast the piece was a telephone conversation between Mapes and Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, Killian’s commanding officer during the period in question. Mapes told the panel Hodges confirmed the content of the four documents after she read them to him over the phone. Hodges, however, denied doing so. Now who should we believe? A retired Major General who knew all of those involved, and has no reason to lie, or a producer whose actions in calling a Kerry worker, Joe Lockhart, has just been described as an apparent conflict of interest? "He (Hodges)also told the panel he had given Mapes information that should have raised warning flags about the documents, including his belief that Killian had never ordered anyone, including Mr. Bush, to take a physical. Hodges said that when he finally saw the documents after the Sept. 8 broadcast, he concluded they were bogus and told Rather and Mapes of his opinion on Sept. 10." Note that the show was broadcast on 9/8. Hodges told them his opinion again, two days after it ran, yet Rather and company continued to defend them for 10 more days. Now, I hope that is factual enough for you. And, if you think me saying that your continued attempts to raise doubts and place blame is making you look dumb is a personal attack, I am sorry. But that is the truth.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#47)
    by Lora on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 07:52:11 PM EST
    Poker Player, Thanks for your response. If I have the facts wrong I am happy to be corrected. However, when I learned about any of this is irrelevant to the issue. I freely admit that there is plenty I don't know and I am happy to get the facts straight. If you think this makes me look dumb, that is your problem, not mine. Just a couple more things. First of all, as far as I know (which as you've pointed out is limited) CBS has never actually said the documents were forged. Second of all, if they were forged, and I am not insisting otherwise, who forged them? To me this is the missing piece of the whodunit. I'm not impressed that a Bush-hater gave them to CBS. Who gave them to him and why, and who created them in the first place? I really don't think CBS and Dan Rather and Mapes and the rest would have gone out on a limb like that without being awfully sure they were right. It would have been too risky and it makes no sense. For Mapes to lie about what Killian told her makes no sense either. If Killian had misgivings, it would have been suicidal to go ahead with the story. And it was. So unless she had a wish to be fired, she wouldn't have done it. In the end, opinions don't really mean squat. Only evidence and proof, which we don't have. We don't have the memos/forgeries, we don't know who made them and we don't know why. So for me the case isn't closed. BTW, Thanks for taking the time to look up the quotes. However the investigators did conclude "that there was no evidence of a political agenda."

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#48)
    by Richard Aubrey on Tue Jan 11, 2005 at 08:23:24 PM EST
    Lora, Killian didn't tell Mapes anything. He was dead. Some think that's why the docs were forged as if from him. What's he gonna say? The docs are so full of errors, starting with having been done on Word, and said to be bogus by, among others, the woman who would have typed them, not to mention Killian's wife and son, and full of contextual errors as well. Anybody who wanted to plant these would have had to be absolutely certain that everybody who would probably and everybody who might accidentally come into contact with the story would act exactly as they did. Otherwise it would collapse, and, with the resources of CBS, the scheme would inevitably be tracked back to its source. It would have been a horrible risk to take unless one (Rove) was absolutely certain that CBS was so intent on getting Bush that they'd swallow the whole thing without one, single quibble. How on earth could anyone be certain of that? If you want to push the Republican plant theme, you have to accept that CBS was as bad as Rove thought they were, and so obvious at it that Rove had no hesitations at all. I don't know if those pushing the republican dirty tricks theme have thought it all the way through.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#49)
    by Lora on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 05:38:30 AM EST
    RA and Poker Player -- Sorry I meant Hodges. RA -- CBS was after a story (for whatever reasons) and it would have been a bombshell story if correct. They wouldn't necessarily have to be out to get anybody, just out for an amazing story -- that's what they are supposed to do. And, apparently, with all of CBS's resources, they weren't able to track its source, or else they know and aren't telling. I just find it odd that the investigative commission didn't ask for those details. I mean, if you're investigating something, you would want to track back to who, what, when, why, where and how. We don't really have any of that. And all those people who said they are bogus never actually saw them. It's not tidy, people are being protected and for what reason? Embarrassment? Come on, the forgerer just pulled the wool over the eyes of a major network, fooled bunches of people, caused a national disgrace, got 4 people fired, and I don't want to embarrass that person by calling him/her out? If I were CBS I'd be screaming for blood. It was probably a criminal action. Things still just don't add up.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#50)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 06:38:05 AM EST
    Lora - One last time. CBS has fired four people, Dan Rather is in disgrace and the head of CBS has issued an apology. If you don't think that means CBS knows the documents are forgeries, then there is nothing that can be said to you. Please, just a small amount of logic. CBS News has lost about 2.5 million viewers for its nightly news show. That show alone accounts for 10% of the revenues of CBS News. That means millions of dollars have been, and are, being lost. I have no idea of your background, or if you are familar with corporations and business. So let me put it this way. You own a business. An event happens that costs you a huge amount of money, makes your whole business look bad and causes you to fire four employees. Would you issue an apology and establish new methods of operation within your business unless you were absolutely certain? I wouldn't. You wouldn't. CBS wouldn't.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#51)
    by Richard Aubrey on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 06:47:17 AM EST
    Lora, the investigation is odd, but the point may be that the forgeries were forged by Burkett and there's no point bugging a known whackjob about stuff you can't prove. CBS' claim now is that they're not crooked, they're stupid. And, now that they've proved that, they tell us we can watch them in confidence. However, the changes made seem to be aimed at preventing more crooked.

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#52)
    by Lora on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 08:27:32 AM EST
    RA and Poker Player -- This has been an interesting discussion and thanks to both of you for your comments to my original post of vetting the originals. This'll be my last post on the subject. To sum up the more glaring oddities of this case: 1. No one has seen the original memos -- be they forgeries or not -- and no one on either side has seriously asked for them. 2. The most that has been officially said about them is that CBS didn't verify them. The investigators didn't chastise CBS for using forged documents and CBS didn't apologize for using forged documents...only for running ahead with the story without being able to confirm whether the documents were authentic. 3. No charges have been filed (I think. I haven't double checked so I could be wrong). You don't take that kind of damage without suing someone or charging someone. If a whack job cost me millions and tarnished my reputation immeasurably, I'd get him. They had no trouble axing their own, but Burkett gets off without a scratch. so...call me Colombo (just one more thing... :) Thanks again, --Lora

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#53)
    by Richard Aubrey on Wed Jan 12, 2005 at 09:26:51 AM EST
    I have no idea of the law in this case, Lora, but if Burkett continues to insist he got the docs from somebody else, and CBS can't find that person, you either prove Burkett is lying and made them up himself, or you forget it. And how would you prove Burkett is lying, that he made them up himself? If he dumped the so-called originals, he'd probably be smart enough to clean up after himself in other ways. His story of how he got these is absolutely beyond tracing. Anyway, with all this crap going on, it would be embarrassing for CBS to have to admit, again, that its staff were so anxious to bust Bush that they totally ignored every possible caution they've used in the past some hundred years of combined experience. If they want, they could say that such failures aren't all that rare, so this is no big deal. That's not a confidence builder. Or they could say this was a one-timer, which leads to inevitable questions of how come with this issue and not one of the hundreds of others they do?

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#54)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jan 13, 2005 at 01:27:08 AM EST
    The list of lies and liars in right-wing media is so large it is a ubiquity. The wingers veer back and forth between advocating racist pogroms on innocent people for their religion (and supposed ties to acts committed by Bush's former business associates), to the pretense that they are chosen to judge and throw into jail, no evidence needed, just a good prosecutorial spin. And there those issues are supposed to stay, behind bars, off limits, get over it. It's the sports mentality, the poker players, with their idiotic and demented idea that 'winning' in the spin of facts is equivalent to convincing people, especially when the echo-chamber applauds every asinine act. It's all bullying -- it bears no relationship with facts in their real context. Your little president Caligula is the shame of all real Americans. --

    Re: Mary Mapes Issues Statement on Rathergate (none / 0) (#55)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Jan 22, 2005 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    Its called Rathergate because Rather was the man. Fire dan