Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-30 last
To: 2ndDivisionVet
"CBS will be put in the position of having to prove that the story was bogus, ..."

Ahhhh pure beauty of poetic justice!

21 posted on 09/24/2007 5:22:50 AM PDT by avacado
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dooltotheend
"This is interesting. Why is Dan Blather bringing this suit now? "

He can no longer cope with being treated like a leper at libtard cocktail parties.

22 posted on 09/24/2007 5:31:40 AM PDT by avacado
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: dooltotheend
I think what you say is pretty much spot on.

As to why he is bringing suit now, my speculation is that he has been making the rounds of the Leftist cocktail parties and having meetings with MoovOn types, and they have been blowing sugar up his a**, inflating his self-righteous anger at having been caught manufacturing the “news” to fit a certain script. His real anger now though is at his former bosses for not closing ranks with him and giving him the “our anchor right or wrong” kind of support he thinks he is entitled to, so he conflates their willingness to cut him loose with some sort nebulous right wing effort to “get him”.

Yes, it’s all about ego.

23 posted on 09/24/2007 5:38:14 AM PDT by Carbonado
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: syriacus

I think Dan is out for an easy 15 to 20 million or so plus a little kicker that CBS may shoulder more of the blame for his downfall. He’ll probably take the money and build some kind of a shrine in his backyard.

24 posted on 09/24/2007 5:38:25 AM PDT by my right
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

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

He already knows how to take the hook.

Guppy bites again...

25 posted on 09/24/2007 5:52:58 AM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
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.


26 posted on 09/24/2007 6:00:50 AM PDT by Drawsing (The fool shows his annoyance at once. The prudent man overlooks an insult. (Proverbs 12:16))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carbonado

Lots of keepers in this one! LOL!!

27 posted on 09/24/2007 6:46:59 AM PDT by Cuttnhorse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: yldstrk
The "loser law firm that filed Rather's case?"

Dewey, Cheatum and Howe.


28 posted on 09/24/2007 6:53:08 AM PDT by MinuteGal (Hooray For the FRed, White and Blue !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: dooltotheend

Sometimes I think the “left is coordinated” is more of a fear than a reality.

But I’m seeing a great example of the coordination in a local race here in Virginia.

In a primary, one democrat apparently took to making up stuff about the other democrat — so much so that when he won, a major democrat operative and member of the other campaign wrote what he really thought of the guy, in a diary sarcastically named “Vote for Rex Simmons”.

In that diary, the writer, Nate De Petrio (sp?), who is also the Executive Director of a major democratic organization Next Generation Democrats, told his fellow democrats to “vote for Rex”, but not provide him ANY other support at all. He said Rex lied, and ran a false negative campaign.

So now in the general election, Rex’s republican opponent took Nate’s quotes and used them in a TV ad. He included, as you always do with quotes, a citation for where you could FIND the quote.

The blog where they were found, which is also a blog for a major democratic PAC, got really mad about this. But rather than complaining about the democrat writing this stuff, they decided to try to use it against the Republican.

So they started a misinformation campaign about how citing their web site was tantamount to falsely claiming THEY wrote the quotes.

Which was funny at first, seeing a bunch of left-wing blogs rant about being quoted.

But then a funny thing happened. The Washington Post, who otherwise ignores blogs, did a FRONT PAGE story, mostly parroting the liberal blog position, which included misrepresenting the facts. They got 3 “experts” to denounce the use of “anonymous comments” from blogs, when in fact the quotes were neither anonymous, nor from comments. And the experts were all involved in the democratic party, but only one was so identified.

Then major national blogs picked up the story. And it appeared on the Stephen Colbert show.

I expect Keith Olberman will make the Republican one of his “worst people of the week” soon.

So it’s been amazing to watch how the left can call on all these resources to make something look wrong, and to make it look like everybody thinks it’s wrong.

This is the same bunch who brought us “macaca” last year.

29 posted on 09/24/2007 7:03:42 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: my right
He’ll probably take the money and build some kind of a shrine in his backyard.

I think you're right.

30 posted on 09/24/2007 7:12:13 AM PDT by syriacus (The Democrats have all bases covered....but no one's pitching the ball.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-30 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson