Skip to comments.AJC: Blogger Sheds No Tears For Rather (Free Republic mentioned)
Posted on 03/09/2005 9:35:35 PM PST by Doctor Freeze
Photo by Billy Smith III
Blogger sheds no tears for Rather
By MARLON MANUEL The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 03/10/05
Amid the wafting smells of spicy meatballs and wine, in front of a Sony projection TV in Sandy Springs, Harry MacDougald clutched a Samuel Adams in his left hand Wednesday night as Dan Rather bid adieu after 24 years at the anchor of the "CBS Evening News."
But MacDougald did not cry in his beer.
Along with 50 guests, including many prominent Fulton County Republicans, the Atlanta attorney cheered the final night of Rather's anchor reign in a basement entertainment room usually used to watch Georgia Bulldog football games.
MacDougald is better known to Web aficionados as "Buckhead," the conservative blogger who first noticed that Rather used forged documents in a Sept. 8 "60 Minutes" story that questioned President Bush's Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War.
"For conservatives, he's been a black beast," MacDougald said Wednesday as a coat-and-tie crowd circulated around a GOP hero. "In conservative circles, Dan Rather has been viewed as an enemy."
Which is why on the night of Sept. 8 at 11:59:43 MacDougald clicked the submit button on the iMac in his bedroom and posted a message questioning the documents Rather used, ostensibly from the 1970s.
He noted that the proportional spacing and typeface of the documents could not have been produced by a '70s-era typewriter, but must have come from a modern-day word-processing program.
Shortly after his post to Free Republic, a hub of conservative viewpoints, other bloggers and news organizations also impugned the authenticity of the documents. Rather, though, defended his reporting a stubbornness that helped lead to his exit from the anchor's chair. The network, and Rather, eventually apologized for the blunder.
"It's satisfying to have been part of a movement to defeat a smear based on a forged document," said MacDougald, 46, an Atlanta native and civil litigation attorney who once defended whistle-blowers in the administration of former Mayor Bill Campbell.
He also helped draft the petition urging the Arkansas Supreme Court to disbar President Bill Clinton after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Cary Ichter, whose law firm represents Gov. Sonny Perdue, offered his home as the Rather farewell spot at the urging of mutual friend Phil Kent, former president of the conservative-tilted Southeast Legal Foundation.
Ichter said he typically watches Georgia football games or boxing in his entertainment room. Wednesday, his guests watched a knockout of a different kind the toppling of a news icon for nearly a quarter-century.
"It was a triumph over the left-leaning media agenda," Ichter said.
Despite the controversy, Rather has had a storied career. The anchor who considered himself a reporter first has been on the scene for big stories ranging from the Kennedy assassination to the Iraqi elections last month.
Ken Auletta, who interviewed Rather for an article in the New Yorker, said his work should stand the test of time, particularly as one of the most aggressive TV reporters covering Watergate.
But none of that mattered to the partygoers, including former Fulton County GOP Chairman Jack Winter and Fulton County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson who munched hors d'oeuvres on napkins and paper plates decorated like the American flag.
"Congratulations, fella," Winter told MacDougald as he entered the party.
MacDougald sees himself and other bloggers as part of band of citizen journalists who have upset the order of corporate media giants.
"The information oligarchy that TV had, that's gone," MacDougald said. "They'll never be as powerful as network anchors once were."
As Rather signed off, the crowed filed out MacDougald with them.
Said MacDougald, "The wicked witch is dead."
News services contributed to this article.
His last broadcast reminded me of the Wizard of Oz -- still bellowing about his power and importance long after the curtain had been torn away.
Buckhead and Howlin, well done!
Hey man, I live inside the Perimeter. An invite would be nice next time. ;^)
But they did:
MacDougald sees himself and other bloggers....
By inference, the article implies that Buckhead (MacDougald) is a "blogger" by virtue of his being a poster at Free Republic.
But Buckhead's post showed the power of the public Internet at its very finest--far more so than the well-funded MoveOn.org effort.
Fine with me. ;-)
I call bullshit. Buckhead, you didn't post what you did because you viewed Rather as an enemy. You posted it because Rather LIED. Rather was NOT TELLING THE TRUTH.
That he was an enemy may have made it easier to spot the bias, but that was not the reason you posted about the fake memos. You posted BECAUSE THEY WERE FAKE!
Howlin for Senator.
And the financial and emotional help that FReepers gave the Swift Vets was essential to the President's victory, imo.
Buckhead can enjoy imagining how big a bête noire he is to Rather and CBS.:)
Big screen TV too! Just damn!! LOL!
Since Dan rather was always one of the lowest rated of anchormen - is this much of a victory? The Oz's Wicked Witch actually was a big deal when DOrthy's house fell on her.
In other news, a little snippet of History:
Rather, 73, is returning to full-time reporting for CBSs 60 Minutes broadcasts.
Check this out!
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my miscellaneous ping list.
The world's changing around us and it behooves us now and then to take a snapshot to remember what was. It was Rather's misfortune to be on the cusp of this particular change. It was Cronkite's good luck to have avoided it. They'll do their best to write a history that glosses the whole thing over. We need to write our own.