James Goodale, the former general counsel of The New York Times, has a simply appalling essay in the April 7 issue of The New York Review of Books. It is, in my opinion, a very deceptive attempt defend CBS and reestablish the conventional liberal wisdom that the original report was substantively fair. Here’s the link to Goodale’s essay: “The flawed report on Dan Rather.”
It got me so agitated that I fisked it at some length, causing me to stay up way past my bedtime. I am, however, rather proud of the job that I did and hope that you take a look at it: “Rathergate: The liberal establishment strikes back.”
We’ve been meaning to turn our attention to Goodale’s article ourselves. Goodale’s article is an inviting target and deserves a thoroughgoing fisking. Goodale seems to leave open the question of the authenticity of the CBS documents because they purportedly “mesh” with the facts regarding President Bush’s TANG service. We don’t think so. (He endorses a forty-page “meshing” analysis performed by Mary Mapes, stating “it is persuasive within the limits she set.”) TigerHawk’s analysis begins the job that should be done on Goodale’s article.
HINDROCKET adds: As we have said many times, both on this site and elsewhere, the fake documents were wrong not just in typography and format, but, most important, in content. Goodale simply ignores the large body evidence that demonstrates that this is so. His discussion of the Thornburgh Report’s “meshing” analysis, the heart of his article, is deeply dishonest. In fact, that analysis, which goes on for some pages, is one of the most persuasive sections of the report. The Thornburgh group’s argument that, contrary to her claims, Mapes’ documents are not consistent with the otherwise known facts, is devastating. But Goodale never even mentions, let alone tries to refute, the evidence advanced by the Thornburgh group in support of that conclusion.