Skip to comments.Mary Mapes: In Defense Of Dan Rather
Posted on 06/07/2006 8:58:30 AM PDT by MindBender26
(NOTE TO FReaders. I would not normally alter the basic article, but it so full of delusional thoughts and outright lines that direct attribution is needed so FReader will see what is being references, much like DUmmie Funnies from PJ Comix)
By Mary Mapes
My first thought when I read the NY Post's latest Page Six item on Dan Rather was that Dan must have missed a hush money payment or something. Reading on, I realized this was actually an opening publicity volley for a new book, one that is probably guaranteed a small but ready readership. (IT WILL PROBABLY BE A BEST SELLER)
Hardcore conservatives will rush to buy it (YOU BETCHA!)since it apparently echoes their deeply held biases (NOW HISTORY AND REALITY ARE "BIASES"?) about Dan. CBS employees will buy it, as well, just to see who is mad at whom. Of course, that is not necessarily great news for the author since so few people are still working at CBS News.
I know. I used to be one of them.
For 16 years, I produced reports for the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II. I was the producer on Dan's team when we broke the story of prison abuse at Abu Ghraib, an investigative piece that won the Peabody last year. A few months earlier, I had been fired for my work on a report about George W. Bush's military record. (NO, ACTUALLY YOU WERE FIRED FOR LYING TO THE TASK FORCE SET UP BY CBS TO INVESTIGATE THE REPORT AND YOUR INCREDIBLY SLOPPY WORK ON THAT REPORT, OR IN THE ABSENCE OF SLOPPY WORK, A DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO LIE ABOUT W AND ELECT JOHN KERRY)
Page Six restates the conservative canard that our report "was found to be based on forged documents." That is just not true, no matter how many times Page Six or the Washington Times or some bitter conservative blogger repeats it. (WELL, IT SEEMS THAT CBS AND EVERYONE ELSE AGREES THAT THEY WERE FORGERIES.... BUT OF COURSE, YOU ARE RIGHT, MARY)
The Bush National Guard story is a fascinating and terribly under-covered topic, full of Texas-style intrigue, privilege and political skullduggery. I mean, talk about selective service. At the height of the Vietnam War, the future president was able to select where he served, how he served and when he served. He even got to select his departure date. (THAT OPTION WAS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE. IT WAS CALLED THE ENLISTMENT OPTION)
When our story aired on September 8, 2004, it was savaged in an unprecedented outpouring of political vitriol. (ACTUALLY, IT WAS SAVAGED BY AN UNPRECEDENTED OUTPOURING OF TRUTH FROM PEOPLE WHO DID THE HOMEWORK YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE) The Bush administration was then at the height of its ability to summon a terrifying whirlwind of criticism from right wing bloggers, hate talk radio yackers, FOX News "reporters," conservative columnists, and those hollering people whose heads always appear in little boxes on cable discussion shows. (AH, YES.... IT'S ALL SO ROVIAN) None of these critics cared anything about the facts of the story, (FACTS? DO THE TERMS "FORGERY" AND "TRUTH" RING A BELL?) only about their politics.
They (AND THE REST OF AMERICA) claimed that CBS used forged documents and they repeated that lie (TRUTH) so often that it stuck. The mainstream media picked it up, repeating bloggers' criticisms without making any serious effort to investigate the story. (IT WAS INVESTIGATED BY HUNDREDS OF "QUESTIONABLE DOCUMENT" EXPERTS, ALL OF WHOM ADREED THEY WERE BS. WHY DIDN'T YOU GO BEYIND THE FEW YOU USED, AND EVEN THEN, THEY SAID THEY COULD NOT CONFIRM THE DOCUMENTS)) But then that would have required real legwork, something that very few were willing to do on this subject. (SO HOW COME "THEY" GOT IT RIGHT, AND YOU GOT IT ALL SO WRONG... AND MARY, I'VE SEEN YOUR LEGS. NOT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO BRING UP HERE.)
As for document analysis, it is a mind-numbing and arcane discipline, an imperfect undertaking reserved for courtroom use, not for headlines (YOU WERE THE ONES WHO HEADLINED IT!) or Internet political battles. Document analysis is certainly not meant to be done at 11 o'clock at night by someone with no training or experience sitting in front of a glowing computer nursing a grudge and spoiling for a fight. But that's precisely how the right's attack against Dan Rather and CBS News was launched. (ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING. TOO BAD FR'S "BUCKHEAD" WAS 100% RIGHT)
That first anonymous analyst (who turned out to be a Republican activist lawyer) raised questions about the memo using only a single shot of a faxed document digitally transmitted to his computer screen. (TOO BAD, WHEN YOU HAD THE ORIGINALS, THAT YOU COULDN'T SEE WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WHO HAS SEEN THE ORIGINALS HAS SEEN..... THAT THEY ARE FORGERIES!) Those kinds of transmissions radically change the way a document looks. His analysis was worthless (IT WAS CORRECT, THOUGH, WASN'T IT? DOES ACCURACY MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?)
The laundry list of problems that critics claimed they saw in the memos has turned out to be bunk. (GEE, MARY, ALL THE EXPERTS SAY THEY ARE FORGERIES... IS THAT "BUNK?") There never has been any definitive proof that they were forged or falsified in any way, despite a multi-million dollar investigation into the story by Viacom. (MARY, YOU ARE DELUSIONAL)
The reasons we put them on the air remain valid: (TO TRY TO DESTROY THE PRESIDENT) the content of the memos was corroborated by people familiar with Bush, his unit and his commander; the dates, times and details intricately matched what we know of the record; and two experienced and respected document analysts, who examined copies that had not been faxed or digitally recreated, concluded that the papers showed every indication of being real. (YOU ARE DELUSIONAL.... AND LYING)
I don't believe we will know the truth about the memos until after the Bush team is out of office and people with information are no longer afraid to come forward. (AH, THE ROVIANS AGAIN... OR IT THE JEWS AND THE BICYCLE RIDERS?)
Viacom, CBS's parent company, (ACTUALLY, YOU, MARY)never did care whether the story was true or not. They just wanted rid of it. Among other things, they had multiple issues pending before the FCC and various other arms of the administration and our story was no help to the company in its quest to squeeze every last dime out of what used to be the public airwaves. Firing longtime employees (LIARS LIKE YOU) in an attempt to get back into the administration's good graces was simply a business decision. (AH YES... THE ROVIANS AGAIN) It had nothing to do with journalism or the crucial role that critical reporting is supposed to play in American democracy. (sT. MARY SPEAKS)
The whole incident also opened the floodgates on criticism of Dan Rather, inside and outside of CBS. (LONG OVERDUE)
In this upcoming book, Morley Safer recounts a 40-year-old anecdote in which Dan reportedly told a group of Marines that Morley "should have been shot dead" for his controversial reporting on the burning of a Vietnamese village. I have no idea if the story is true, but it doesn't sound right to me. Of course, I have no real insight because I was in grade school at the time. What amazes me is that apparently Morley doesn't know whether it is true, either. He says he has never talked to Dan about it. (CAN'T YOU SEE THAT CONVERSATION; "HEY DAN, DID YOU TRY TO GET MARINES TO KILL ME?) But he has been steaming over this since the days when women wore go-go boots. Still, he describes his relationship with Dan as "polite". Apparently this kind of public sniping is what passes for "polite" in certain corners at CBS News.
This is what I know. There are decades-long blood feuds still going strong there, ancient hatreds triggered by big egos, big salaries and sometimes, big emotional problems. 60 Minutes Sunday is not only an important news broadcast, it is also something of a comedic cross between a retirement home and a small town high school cheerleading squad. There is a lot of hair tossing and skirt flipping, along with brutal competition and vicious gossiping. (TRANSLATION: YOUNG WOMEN AT 60 MINUTES TRIED TO GET AHEAD BY SLEEPING WITH THE BIG NAME REPORTERS AND PRODUCERS0 The squad members are self-absorbed and self-obsessed. When one girl falls or trips, the others snicker with delight. There have been resentments left simmering for so long in the CBS News offices that they have become part of the furniture.
Frankly, I loved working there. It was entertaining as hell. But I don't miss it.
My own theory about why Dan seems to drive some of his colleagues so crazy is pretty mundane. I think he is a hard-working, ambitious, driven individual who committed the great sin of reaching the peak of his profession. Dan wielded his influence and made decisions in ways that some didn't like, but then that happens in every workplace in America. Only at CBS do high profile employees turn up constantly in public openly attacking someone who has for years had the grace to keep from answering in kind. You never see this kind of internal fighting explode at ABC or NBC or even FOX. It's a shame that no one in leadership at CBS has ever had the guts to tell these guys to grow up and shut up. (ACTUALLY, IT IS OTHER EMPLOYEES FED UP WITH YOUR USING AIR TIME TO LIE AND PROMOTE YOUR PERSONAL LEFT-WING CAUSES)
Sadly, CBS has a tribal ritual of making a rough transition from one anchor to another.
Rough, that is, on the anchor being replaced. Even old Uncle Walter was "disappeared" for years after leaving the anchor chair. At least he didn't have to dodge spears as he left the village. (OH, POOR DAN!)
The political types who have treated Dan Rather as their own personal voodoo doll for decades are just as bad. To them, Dan is the personification of big media and they resent everything from his coverage of the civil rights movement to his work on Watergate. They still seethe about his attempt to get then-Vice President George H.W. Bush to answer a question during a live interview that dissolved into a shouting match in the late 1980s. (bs, RATHER LIED TO GET THE INTERVIEW THEN HAD A HISSY FIT ON THE AIR) To me, that was a fascinating face-off between a hardnosed reporter and an evasive politician. (YES, MARY, WE REALIZE THAT THAT WAS WHAT IT WAS TO YOU. THAT VERIFIES MANY THINGS!)
To his political enemies, the confrontation was further proof that Dan was a Communist. Good grief, he's from Texas. (SO WAS LEE HARVEY OSWALD)
For what it is worth, here is my take on Dan Rather, after years of dragging our tired selves through hurricanes, war zones, prisons and political battles.
I have never seen Dan Rather behave in a cruel way. I have never heard him trash a fellow reporter at CBS in anything approaching the way he has been talked about publicly. I have seen him work his butt off in terrible conditions, stay up all night to get the facts right, and help younger, greener reporters struggling with tough stories. (SAINT DAN!) I have seen him give away his coat in freezing weather to someone whose teeth were chattering. (SAINT DAN 2.0 TOO BAD HE DIDN'T CARE THE SAME ABOUT GETTING THE STORY RIGHT) He is a good guy and a great reporter, simply one of the best, as tireless and true blue as this country has ever seen. (MARY, OH MARY. BACK ON THE THORAZINE!)
To me and to many, many others at CBS News who have worked with him over the years, Dan Rather is a kind and honorable man. We are not the Morley Safers, Don Hewitts, or Mike Wallaces. We are just a bunch of producers and cameramen, associate producers and editors, researchers and soundmen, lighting directors and makeup people who worked with Dan rather than competing against him. Frankly, I would hate to compete with him. He's tough. (MARY, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW OBVIOUS IT HAS BECOME THAT YOU WERE ONE OF HIS MANY CONQUESTS, BUT DIDN'T KNOW A ONE NIGHT STAND WHEN YOU HAD IT?)
CBS News is filled with wonderful and talented people who take their jobs rather than themselves seriously. Then there is this handful of boldface names quoted repeatedly in tabloids, always taking a swipe at someone. It is sad. (TOO BAD YOU YOU DIDN'T FIT INTO THE FIRST CATEGORY.... OR DON;T RECOGNISE THAT YOU HAVE DEVOTED YOUR CURRENT CAREER TO TAKING SWIPED AT THE PRESIDENT)
A quote many at CBS News attribute to Charles Osgood sums up the sometimes brutal atmosphere in the news division. Years ago, he supposedly described the tension there by saying that "things have gotten so bad, people are stabbing each other in the chests". (FELL FREE TO SELF INDULGE, MARY)
Reading the New York Post's snarky item from this new book, all I could think of was how little things have changed. Good luck, Katie. (WOMEN OF THE WORLD ARISE!)
LOL! I can't wait to see an op-ed by Jeff Skilling entitled: "In Defense of Kenneth Lay" - a column that would be infinitely more credible than this.
Commentary such as this should accompany all TV newscasts.
This woman is beyond delusional. She's living in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass! Apparently in her world, criticism isn't worth two cents if it isn't from a "professional" of her calibre. She's not only gone off the deep end, she's doing a "Dan, this is for YOU!" ala Damien's nanny.............
If you tell a lie long enough, it will become the truth.......unless everybody already knows it's a lie, then it becomes pathetic.
This lady is obviously off her anti-depressants or she was drunk when she wrote this. It is beyond my comprehension how someone like her rose so high with so little talent.
Somebody said CBS plans to run a laugh track under their new anchorette this fall.
Ever hear of Al Gore?
The experts that she hired to look at the documents told her they were fake before she went to air based on the proportionally spaced fonts and the superscripted "th."
Her response? "F**k the 'th'!!"
Goebbels defended Hitler, too.
"Whenever I fool the people I fear, I fool myself as well."
Why is this discredited liar given space to write an article?
There comes a point at which denial drifts into delusion, and Mary Mapes has crossed it.
LOL, Mary Mapes is still on the rag about this? It is funny how awful it is that a 'activist Republican lawyer' should automatically be dismissed no matter how persuasive his arguments were, but some activist Democratic politician with an ax to grind must be trusted 100% no matter how flaky his evidence is.
Mary is tecnically correct about one thing- the documents were not forged at all, ever.
A forgery is a false representation of an actual, true, existing document.
What do we need, to have it on videotape of they guy making these forgeries? I got $1,000,000 bill that I don't have any definitive proof that it was forged.
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