Skip to comments.RNC Demands Answers From CBS, Democrats About Forged Documents
Posted on 09/22/2004 5:50:35 AM PDT by ConservativeMajority
WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Republicans stayed on the offensive Tuesday in the battle over President Bush's service record. The focus of the controversy has moved away from questions about whether Bush fulfilled his obligation to the Texas Air National Guard and now rests on the conduct of his accusers.
Joe Lockhart, an advisor to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, admitted that he spoke with Bush antagonist Bill Burkett at the request of CBS producer Mary Mapes. Burkett claimed that he refused to turn over documents to CBS that "proved" Bush received preferential treatment and skipped a required physical until he was able to speak to someone at the Kerry campaign.
Lockhart was not the only member of the Kerry campaign who spoke with Burkett. Former Sen. Max Cleland had a conversation with the embittered former Guardsman prior to the "60 Minutes" broadcast where the forgeries were featured.
Republicans raised questions about coordination between the network and the Kerry campaign to undermine Bush's credibility. Forty-eight hours after CBS aired a segment featuring former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a Democrat who claimed that he helped Bush get into the Texas Air National Guard, the Democratic National Committee launched its "Fortunate Son" ads that made the same argument. The DNC ads even used clips of the Barnes' interview with CBS anchor Dan Rather.
White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said, "The fact that CBS News would coordinate with the most senior levels of Sen. Kerry's campaign ... raises serious questions."
He added, "It's time for the Kerry campaign to come clean about their involvement in this growing scandal and for Sen. Kerry to immediately hold accountable anyone in his campaign that was involved."
Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie echoed Bartlett's sentiments. He said that both CBS and the DNC need to explain the nature of the conversations they had with each other and with Burkett. He pointed out that the suggestion of coordination is evidenced by the fact that the DNC built an entire ad campaign around the documents that were only recently revealed.
Gillespie said, "This is an incredibly tangled web."
Joe Lockhart downplayed his conversation with Burkett, saying that they did not discuss the documents.
"The Kerry campaign had nothing to do with these documents," Lockhart said, "This is a gutless political attack."
DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe tried to turn the scandal back onto the GOP. He issued a statement suggesting that a Republican operative might be a source of the forgeries.
He said, "In today's New York Post, Roger Stone, who became associated with political `dirty tricks' while working for Nixon, refused to deny that he was the source of the CBS documents."
McAuliffe called on Gillespie and the White House to explain what they know about Stone's relationship with the forged documents. On MSNBC, McAuliffe wildly blurted out the names of other Republicans including Karl Rove and Ralph Reed that he said have "a known history of dirty tricks."
CBS issued a statement about the Lockhart connection in which it said, "It is obviously against CBS News Standards ... to be associated with any political agenda."
"As to what actually happened here, it is one of many issues the independent review will be examining," the statement added.
But public pressure on the network continued to build. In Washington, DC, a group of activists from FreeRepublic.com rallied outside CBS's office, calling for the resignations of Rather, Mapes, and CBS News president Andrew Heyward.
Kristinn Taylor, Co-Leader of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com, made a statement in which he said the network needs to "follow the example of The New York Times ... and clean house."
The newspaper fired Howell Raines, Gerald Boyd, and Jayson Blair when faced with revelations of fraudulent reporting.
Taylor also said, "Apologies should be made to President Bush, the Killian family, and Gen. Staudt, all of whom were unjustly smeared by CBS."
Cliff Kincaid, Editor of the AIM Report for the watchdog group Accuracy in Media, also read a statement at the rally.
He said, "It appears that CBS wants to "forge ahead" with the disgraced and discredited anchorman, who relied on forged documents and once said that Bill Clinton was an honest liar."
Kincaid continued, "We want to say this personally and directly to Dan Rather: We're sorry, but you have to go."
He said that President Bush and the American people were victimized by a partisan liberal "news" operation working with the Kerry campaign to bring down the president.
CBS News did not respond to a Talon News request for comment about the employment future of the trio or the meeting that was said to have taken place on Monday to discuss that and other related matters.
Copyright © 2004 Talon News -- All rights reserved.
Joe "Lumpy" Lockhart will cave if the lawman comes with Q's. Lumpy is such a girly-man.
"Bill Clinton made me do it."
Has anyone checked into the possibility that Burkett has had contact with any 527 groups? Wouldn't this represent collusion between the the Kerry Campaign and the 527's if Burkett was a liason between them?
>>>"We want to say this personally and directly to Dan Rather: We're sorry, but you have to go." <<<<
What I havent heard form any of the other news networks is any sign that they will miss Dan Rather. I havent heard anyone say he was a nice guy I hate to see him go, I believe they have had their belly's full of Dans arrogance too.
If CBS is in anyway involved in the presidential debates, they should now be barred from participation.
Question to the RNC: Why is CBS involved in the debates ?
In "Splash" Kennedy's words...CBS and DNC...lie after lie after lie after lie after lie.........
I can't believe they are actually doing this. McAuliffe is a gift that keeps on giving.
"McAuliffe is a gift that keeps on giving."
Yep! We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Clintons for selecting him as head of DNC.
An effective antibiotic against his type of microbe has yet to be found.
If they actually pursue this "Republican conspiracy" idea, it will demonstrate to everyone how truly off their rockers the Democrats are. I love McAuliff.
Burkett claims in his lawsuit that CBS only spent 3 days authenticating the docs.
CBS said they had them for six weeks.
Which is it?
Did someone pass the docs to CBS earlier then flim flam Burkett into "making the drop" as a cover by passing him the docs via an anonymous source?
Last night on MSNNNNNNNBC on Hardball they played a clip of Lockhart saying that CBS received the documents on friday and called him on saturday. I thought that Burkett wanted CBS to have the Kerry people call him before he sent the papers. Either way Lockert knew the existence of and the contents of the docs before he called Burkett. This I believe is why the dems were up and ready for their assault on thursday morning.
I should think the WH would follow CBS's suggestion that they, the WH, did not thoroughly vet the documents ( in the three hours they had to do so...lol..on the day DAN LIED to America-once again ) and should immediately contact the FBI to help them uncover the person or persons RESPONSIBLE for forging a federal document.
This might help the CBS panel greatly. And since CBS apparently wishes the WH would authenticate the article, who better than the FBI to do so?
Some people may be taking this (comparatively) aggressive approach from the RNC as a sign that someone over there has finally sprouted a hair on their gonads, but I am not so sure. This is an obvious tactical approach to making sure that the debates are staffed by nonpartisan "journalists", but I'm not expecting that the RNC will finally show a spine and keep hitting back like this for good. I wish they would, but I have been disappointed before.
So what happened to the "Teaxans for Truth" ads? Did they even get shown?
Great job! Actually they ought to fire Dan Ratherbiased and have him jailed for fraud.
Perhaps the Leatgue of Women Voters should be FReeped. Aren't they the sponsor of the debates?
N. Theknow -
All-American 1st Pajama Expeditionary Force
I'm pretty sure the content of these documents has been circulating for a long time. Perhaps in draft form.
My guess is that when CBS called Burkett, he got in a hurry, printed them without thinking about the font, and the rest is history.