Skip to comments.Rathergate, Throbbing Memo: The Battle Fought Four Years Ago Helps Sarah Palin Today
Posted on 09/10/2008 2:15:56 PM PDT by mondoreb
The 'Throbbing Memo':
Dan Rather, CBS News Not the Only Ones Put on Notice
Blogosphere Comes of Age
Blogs Now Watching the 'Watchdogs'
The famous "throbbing" memo at Little Green Footballs [NOTE: Our memo might not "throb"; for that you'll have to visit LGF.]
A battle fought between the blogosphere and the Mainstream Media four years ago helps Sarah Palin's chances today in her battle with an MSM using the same tactics.
"I opened Apples TextEdit word processor, and with default settings typed in the same text from the August 18, 1973 memo as found at CBS News, with the same Times New Roman font at the same 12 point size."
That sentence, posted on Fri, Sep 10, 2004 at 4:40:11 pm PST at Little Green Footballs by Charles Johnson, signaled the beginning of the end for American dependence on the gatekeepers of the Mainstream Media for their news.
As Johnson wrote today, "Four years ago, the Dreaded Throbbing Memo that haunts Dan Rathers fevered dreams was born."
According to Wikipedia--not the best source for current and/or political events; as any who sought unbiased, well-sourced info on either John Edwards' scandal or Sarah Palin can attest:
The Killian documents controversy (also referred to as Memogate, Rathergate or Rathergate) involved six documents critical of President George W. Bush's service in the Air National Guard in 1972-1973. Four of these documents were presented as authentic in a 60 Minutes Wednesday broadcast aired by CBS on September 8, 2004, less than two months before the 2004 Presidential Election, but it was later found that CBS had failed to authenticate the documents. Subsequently, several typewriter and typography experts concluded the documents are forgeries, as have some media sources. No forensic document examiners or typography experts have authenticated the documents, and this may not be technically possible without original documents. The provider of the documents, Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, claims to have burned the originals after faxing copies to CBS.CBS News producer Mary Mapes obtained the copied documents from Burkett, a former officer in the Texas Army National Guard, in the course of pursuing a story about the George W. Bush military service controversy. The papers, purportedly made by Bush's commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian, included criticisms of Bush's service in the Guard during the 1970s. In the 60 Minutes segment, anchor Dan Rather stated "we are told [the documents] were taken from Lieutenant Colonel Killians personal files" and incorrectly asserted that "the material" had been authenticated by experts retained by CBS.
The original throbbing memo can be seen at Another CBS Document Experiment
This episode led to CBS News first stonewalling, then later firing Dan Rather. Rather has never apologized and still insists that CBS' running the story was correct--even though it was false.
Read the rest: Throbbing Memo Anniversary: Blogosphere vs. the Mainstream Media
It was a major victory for the blogsphere vs. the MSM.
Nothing in this article supports the title.
Dissing FR by not mentioning that most of the discovery and fight over that fraud by CBS and Rather was started and carried out here. On Free Republic.
“Nothing in this article supports the title.”
COMPLETELY agree with you! WTH??
Four years....how time flies when you’re watching Dan Rather blow his own head off...
You are 100% correct.
Just over the last week, the media has reported several Palin “facts” that had to be retracted, like book banning, support of Pat Buchanan, etc.
The media hasn’t learned anything at all - they don’t know how to operate ethically.
The sad thing is that they think they are ethical and fair. Just proves that bias trumps intelligence almost always.
I have always thought whats happening with Palin, her media coverage, was a modified version of the Rathergate controversy, except here, its just scandal after mini-scandal, nothing is sticking.
Ho hum ho hum. The media can’t help themselves. Good news for us. Palin is now the single most popular Republican in the country, and the media is even more distrusted (if that is at all possible).
This is strange. Why would someone burn original documents after faxing them to CBS? Why bother faxing them to CBS if you're going to burn the originals? Did CBS ever ask about the status of the originals? If so, did they not think it strange that the originals (which would be absolute proof) were burned? If not, why not (other than the obvious - that they were to juiced up about going after Bush)?
Finally, weren't the originals official documents? Can't you get in trouble for destroying offical documents?
It all goes to show that Memogate was a very sad, blundered attempt to sabotage an election by the "free" press. Someone should be in prison for this!
Perhaps, they only learned a partial lesson.
The MSM is now turning to the blogs to feed them dirt on Sarah Palin. Their reasoning could be that, since FR and the blogs did such an incredible fact-check job on Rathergate, and given the fact that the MSM is lazy about doing its job, here was a chance to put out “verified and vetted” dirt.
Problem was, the Leftists blogs aren’t any better on their fact-checking than the MSM is. Case in point, William Rivers Pitt and “Fitzmas”.
It’s a textbook case of Garbage In, Garbage Out.
The great irony of the assault on Gov. Palin is that it positions Palin in a contest with Obama - thereby promoting McCain to "above the fray" status and demoting Biden to "below the fray" status.
Which should be poison to the Obama/Biden ticket.
Yep, you couldn’t write a better script.
Obama and his Messiah status-— undercut. The politics of hope and change-— undercut.
I suggest you read the entire article.
Thanks for taking the time to read what’s here and to comment.
Just going on what was available in my search. I found one reference to FR in my Google search, a mention in a Kathleen Parker article at the time. That was the only one in the Top 20 results. As I was not at FR then, I would have no first-hand knowledge of that time.
Any links would be appreciated and used in any future updates on the subject, though. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.
The fraud was remarked on during the east coast broadcast on a live FR thread started by Freeper Howlin, then reigning as the mistress of Live Threads. The first post was by TankerKC, a pilot familiar with the Texas Air Guard and its way of doing business. He said it didn't look right.
Some minutes later Freeper Buckhead commented that it looked like a fraudulent document to him because the proportional fonts of that type were not is general use at the time of the purported memo. Buckhead is an attorney who has dealt with cases of document forgery before, so he had the good eye to see the fraud right away.
Thereafter the chase was on, and the blogs joined the fray, with Charles Johnson of LGF doing that beautiful and powerful graphic. Other people did similar graphics around the same time, and some of those may have preceded Johnson's.
There were many lines of analysis on many blogs that night and the next morning and day.
By COB the next day it was obvious to any that a fraud had occurred.
Then post the relevant parts of the article!
Why do we want to hear about the Rathergate memo again?
Thanks so much for the info. I’ve copied it, and it will be a part of any future posts on the subject. No slight was intended!
Thanks again for helping add to the historical record!
Or their mother's basement.
A major media company used its public trust (yeah, I know) NOT to steer the public. Rather and Mapes used fabricated documents and their position of trust to throw the election to Kerry/Edwards. It wasn't a matter of shading or ignoring news, it was their singular attempt to bring down a sitting President.
I think it was the closest our country came to a coup d'etat.
The real danger is that there were limited consequences. Rather and Mapes were fired. Big deal. They are honored as fallen soldiers of the Left.
The Left is scared beyond belief they may lose this election. I expect something this October that will make Rathergate look quaint. And once they get their clowns elected, the means they used will not be examined.