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Iím Rather Grateful: You go, Dan! [Jonah Goldberg on Memogate & Rather vs. CBS]
The National Review ^ | September 21, 2007 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 09/24/2007 1:01:01 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

In 2004, at the height of the Dan Rather Memogate story, I wrote in National Review: “Across the media universe the questions pour out: Why is Dan Rather doing this to himself? Why does he drag this out? Why won’t he just come clean? Why would he let this happen in the first place? Why is CBS standing by him? Why ... why ... why?

“There is only one plausible answer: Ours is a just and decent God.”

Well, God has not forsaken us. Dan Rather seems divinely inspired to crash more times than a Kennedy driving home from an office party. The multimillionaire semi-retired newsman is suing for $70 million, $1 million for every year he’s been alive since he was five years old. Which is fitting, because that’s what he sounds like. The gist of his lawsuit is that CBS used him as a “scapegoat” in the Memogate story to “pacify the White House.” The swelled-headed former anchor, who used to brag incessantly about his toughness and independence, also whines in his suit that the network forced him to apologize under duress when “no apology from him was warranted,” and that the former managing editor of CBS News “was not responsible for any such errors.”

Indeed, according to Rather and his lawyers, the only mistakes made were by CBS management, which, in its eagerness to “appease angry government officials,” had the temerity to apologize for passing off fake documents as real ones in a news story intended to sway a presidential election.

Oh, Rather is also crying himself to sleep on his enormous pillow every night over the outrage that CBS “refused” to send him to cover Hurricane Katrina despite the fact that “Mr. Rather is the most experienced reporter in the United States in covering hurricanes.”

Rather used to compare his job to “a very high trapeze act, frequently with no net.” Three years ago, he went splat in the bull’s-eye of the center ring. Now, with the circus long since out of town, he all of a sudden wants a net rolled out.

But you know what? I say, “You go, Dan!”

Frankly, we need this. And by “we,” I mean a grand coalition of people who delight in watching one of the 20th century’s most pompous gasbags fall from the top of the laughingstock tree and hit every branch on the way down. These are dour times, and if Gunga Dan and Hurricane Dan and What’s-The-Frequency-Kenneth Dan want to trade their Afghan robes, yellow windbreakers and enormous tinfoil hats for some baggy pants, bright-orange wigs and floppy shoes, I say let them. I just hope all of the Dans show up at the courthouse in a teensy-weensy clown car.

But we also need this because Rather’s “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” routine will help us get to the bottom of a story that was actually under-covered. CBS News, under Rather’s direction, ran with fake documents - or, to be fair, documents so shoddily verified that no unbiased journalist would have run with them. When confronted with the rank incompetence and bad faith of the team he led (the lead producer tried to coordinate with the Kerry campaign), Rather first allowed three of his colleagues to be thrown under the bus, while he took a few more face-saving laps around CBS before he was quietly escorted out the door like the muttering office old-timer who’s gone off his feed.

But now he’s back like a crazy man who shows up unannounced at the Christmas party smelling like cabbage and old newspapers, wearing a trench coat but no pants. He wants $20 million in compensatory damages and a whopping $50 million in punitive damages. I’m no fancy lawyer guy, but last I checked, punitive damages were awarded to send a signal that “this must never happen again.” So what’s the “this” here? That network news divisions should never again spend weeks selling off their credibility like a fire sale at Wal-Mart, claiming their story was “fake but true,” only to cave in to reality and admit they made a mistake?

The beauty of this lawsuit, which has most legal observers laughing so hard that their neck veins look like one-pound sausage casings with five pounds of ground chuck in them, is that if it goes to trial (shortly after unicorns file my taxes), CBS will be put in the position of having to prove that the story was bogus, while Rather will be forced to look even more like a grassy-knoll theorist, climbing back to the top of the laughingstock tree. So I say again: You go, Dan! I’ll bring the popcorn.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: buckhead; cbsnews; danrather; democrats; dinosaurmedia; election2004; fakebutaccurate; freerepublic; georgebush; gungadan; johnkerry; kinkos; marymapes; media; mediabias; memogate; msm; presidentbush; vlwc
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Good analysis.
1 posted on 09/24/2007 1:01:08 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

>shortly after unicorns file my taxes

LOL!


2 posted on 09/24/2007 1:08:56 AM PDT by ROTB ("Front-Runner" means a sellout rich guy who doesn't hate evil and thus strives to offend no one.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dan has to be truly nuts. Anyone with half a brain could determine that no typewriter from the 70’s could produce such a document - that exactly matches the results of a modern computer using MS Word...


3 posted on 09/24/2007 1:20:23 AM PDT by DB
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To: Buckhead

Ping!


4 posted on 09/24/2007 1:26:42 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (https://www.fred08.com/contribute.aspx?RefererID=c637caaa-315c-4b4c-9967-08d864cd0791)
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To: DB

The documents were such obvious fakes that it is absolutely amazing that anyone at all was taken in by them.

But he might have gotten away with it. All the faker had to do was set his computer font to “Courier”, which in the 1970s was the most widely used typeface for government coorspondence, and that would have solved the problem.


5 posted on 09/24/2007 1:35:01 AM PDT by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Dan is a bitter old idiot, isn’t he.

Take some of that 70 million and buy a fishing rod Dan, you idiot.
Maybe you’ll learn to bait a hook.


6 posted on 09/24/2007 1:37:25 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
If I didn't know this was all true I'd swear I was reading a satire in MAD Magazine.

Damn, just dated myself.

7 posted on 09/24/2007 1:46:40 AM PDT by de meanr (No Amnesty - Thompson/Tancredo '08)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ol’ Jonah sure knows how to turn a phrase. LOL

I’d love to see Goldberg and Steyn team up to provide expert ‘legal’ coverage of this Rather/CBS trial IF it ever makes to trial, their ratings would put all the ‘Idol’, ‘Dancing with the Schmucks’, and other puerile trash programming in the toilet where they truly belong.


8 posted on 09/24/2007 1:57:11 AM PDT by mkjessup (Jan 20, 2009 - "We Don't Know. Where Rudy Went. Just Glad He's Not. The President. Burma Shave.")
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To: Ronin

Wrong. It was the “th” superscript after the squadron number that first jumped out at everyone who has ever received a set of orders in the 70’s.


9 posted on 09/24/2007 2:38:30 AM PDT by mazda77
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I see another tedious Court TV saga involving a baby.


10 posted on 09/24/2007 3:08:10 AM PDT by Thrownatbirth (.....when the sidewalks are safe for the little guy.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

[Why ... why ... why?]

Why Jonah? You have to ask why? Why not ask a pedophile why he does what he does and the simple answer is because it’s what they do, have always done and will always do. They will only stop when they are MADE to stop.

What more evidence does one need to unravel the truth about the MSM? They sow the seeds of lies and deception unabated and without consequence because they have no master, no conscience and no accountability to anyone or anything.


11 posted on 09/24/2007 3:15:28 AM PDT by RetSignman (DEMSM: "If you tell a big enough lie, frequently enough, it becomes the truth")
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To: Ronin

Thank God for stupid criminals...


12 posted on 09/24/2007 3:15:48 AM PDT by DB
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This will never get to trial because of the one word neither Gunga Dan nor CBS wants to hear: Discovery.
13 posted on 09/24/2007 3:39:30 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I still want to know the name of the loser law firm that filed the case.


14 posted on 09/24/2007 4:03:41 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heros have always been cowboys--Reagan and Bush)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Well, God has not forsaken us. Dan Rather seems divinely inspired to crash more times than a Kennedy driving home from an office party.

Oh crap!! That's coffee spewing good, Jonah!
15 posted on 09/24/2007 4:21:10 AM PDT by Clintons Are White Trash (Lynn Stewart, Helen Thomas , Maureen Dowd - The Axis of Ugly)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Rather’s trying to shine up his legacy. But all he is doing is removing more of the silver plating which had once disguised his “base metal” personality.


16 posted on 09/24/2007 4:31:55 AM PDT by syriacus (The Democrats have all bases covered....but no one's pitching the ball.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Frankly, we need this. And by “we,” I mean a grand coalition of people who delight in watching one of the 20th century’s most pompous gasbags fall from the top of the laughingstock tree and hit every branch on the way down”

Quite frankly, this will have me laughing out loud the rest of the day.


17 posted on 09/24/2007 4:52:28 AM PDT by Carbonado
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To: Carbonado

This is interesting. Why is Dan Blather bringing this suit now? The left, of which Dan is a part, ordinarily is well coordinated and goal oriented when it comes to these kinds of things. I think Dan’s ego is taking precedence over the party line. It will be amusing as to how—or if—the MSM covers this story. Dan’s temper tantrum will further undermine whatever shred of credibility the MSM continues to enjoy among those whose only truth is what they want to believe.


18 posted on 09/24/2007 5:10:00 AM PDT by dooltotheend
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To: Carbonado

This is interesting. Why is Dan Blather bringing this suit now? The left, of which Dan is a part, ordinarily is well coordinated and goal oriented when it comes to these kinds of things. I think Dan’s ego is taking precedence over the party line. It will be amusing as to how—or if—the MSM covers this story. Dan’s temper tantrum will further undermine whatever shred of credibility the MSM continues to enjoy among those whose only truth is what they want to believe.


19 posted on 09/24/2007 5:10:00 AM PDT by dooltotheend
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Rather gone, CBS relieved of $70 mil.

This could be a twofer.


20 posted on 09/24/2007 5:11:30 AM PDT by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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