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.
Way to go, Buckhead. I think you owe it to El CommentDante to send a congratulatory e-mail to CBS News for keeping a leftwing fraud in their prestigious anchor chair long after his ratings sunk faster than an Oldsmobile at Chappaquiddick, proving once and for all that CBS News cared more about propaganda than ratings.
And getting the Urinal-Constipation to run this article should make it doubly sweet.
Since Dan rather was always one of the lowest rated of anchormen
Rather was on top of his game til about 5 yrs ago, when CBS went to #3 rating for network news.
If you had been watching these progressions for long, you would be better informed.
The bottom line is (although I do feel for Dottie and Toto) that it is quite a big deal to have the NBCABCCBS lose their lead in news reporting and to see their house of cards fall.
I do think it is funny to see how important an episode in a movie is that it trumps reality...:>)
Great! Thanks for posting this.
The link below provided by GeorgiaYankee is a great one minute summation of that famous night up to tonight re Rather.
You need to get out more...
Well....either way , it's still a laffer...
Nah, couldn't take the pay cut
Just Damn - a lawyer I can respect.
Dinosaurs never do understand mammals.
Hail Buckhead! One down, many more to go.
You go, guy!
God, I love this place.
I've been a lurker since 97 or earlier, and never posted till ought four. I'm glad I came out of the closet.
RaceBannon for Lunch!
Well, now cut them some slack. What is Free Republic if not a time-stamped posting log. The story itself points to the magic timestamp.
So you've got a log (albeit multiple posters) and it's on the web. Weblog.
FR is a 'blog.
There. I've said it! Flamesuit!
A few GA FReeper pings.
Thanks, I saw this on the front cover of the AJC this morning and couldn't believe it. It was great to meet Buckhead at the W2 ball! (see my Profile page)
Hope all is well for you FP.
Hey, this is the Atlanta "newspaper".
It's a wonder ol' Marlon (a) spelled ANYbody's name right; (b) managed to find his way to the party; (c) wrote an even vaguely accurate article. Usually the AJC (besides getting in the obligatory digs versus Bush, conservatives, and Republicans) will insert all sorts of irrelevant character assassination. This is a remarkably even-handed article for that amazingly biased paper.
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