We’ve been making so many enemies lately, we’re starting to get a complex. First it was Jim Boyd, then Scott Lindlaw and the Associated Press, next Dan Rather and CBS News. Now we’ve added another: Democratic Underground. Their web site has a list of “The Top Ten Conservative Idiots.” (I guess this must be a continuing feature, since the current edition is Number 170.)
My heart leaped when I saw that we were getting referrals from the DU’s “Top Ten” page. Could it be that we made the list? Are all three of us on it, or did we place as a group? The bad news is that we didn’t make the list. The good news is that we figured prominently in DU’s disgust with “Idiot” number four–The Media:
The media certainly had a huge story last week – and promptly decided to drop the ball. The day after CBS’s bombshell revelations, three wingnuts suggested on their blog that their documents might have been forged. Suddenly the Drudge Report picked up the story, and the media was off and running. At this point the story was being concocted out of whole cloth: the blog reported that the documents might be fake. Drudge reported that the blog was reporting that the documents might be fake. Drudge reported that CBS was holding an internal investigation. The blog reported that “it had been reported” that CBS was conducting an internal investigation. Dan Rather announced that the documents were genuine. Ergo, Dan Rather must be the culprit. [I]f you’re a Republican and the public record overwhelmingly supports the fact that your dad got you into the National Guard, you skipped out on your duties, you ignored direct orders from your superiors, and you didn’t finish your six-year obligation, it only takes three Republicans with a website (and a lazy, complicit media) to turn the story on its head. Next thing you know the media is taking the word of “experts” who say things like, “These sure look like forgeries.” Amazing how it all works, isn’t it?
Amazing indeed. And I can proudly confirm that we are the “wingnuts” in question.
I don’t think we’ve ever agreed with Democratic Underground about anything, but placing the media on this kind of list might be an issue on which we can find common ground. The American Spectator reported today on the frantic activity at CBS News as Dan Rather and his colleagues tried to keep their careers from going up in smoke as their forgery scam unravelled:
“There are rumors here that if there are any real documents, they are hand-written notes from Killian that someone like Burkett was holding, and that instead of using the hand-written notes, someone typed them up to look more official,” says the CBS News producer. “They would look better on TV and posted on line if they were typed, but on a number of levels, that story just doesn’t hold up. There are too many inconsistencies factually with what is in the memos.”
Remarkable. But this is even worse:
Over the weekend journalists from around the country were attempting to track down the original source of the documents. “We’re having a hard time tracking how we got the documents,” says the CBS News producer. “There are at least two people in this building who have insisted we got copies of these memos from the Kerry campaign by way of an additional source. We do not have the originals, and our sources have indicated to us that we will not be getting the originals. How that is possible I don’t know.”
How it is possible that CBS News ran the story without insisting on seeing the originals, I don’t know either. But I think I could give CBS a hint as to why it is that the documents’ source has no intention of turning the “originals” over.