We probably should have looked back at Rathergate ten years on this past September. The miscreants are loose. The details are hazy. We are inundated with BS courtesy of the Democrats and their mainstream media adjunct. It is amazing how little has changed. From inside CBS News itself, we now have the testimony of Sharyl Attkisson in Stonewalled and elsewhere.
It’s hard to measure these things. However bad it was in 2004, I would say it’s even more so now. They are getting it down to a science.
Howie Carr draws on the Rathergate saga to illuminate the bogus rape stories peddled by Sabrina Rubin Erdely/Rolling Stone as well as Lena Dunham/Random House:
[Rolling Stone’s] UVA fiasco is what happens when they try to write something other than a mash note to a heroin addict.
Ten years ago, “60 Minutes” ran a fake story about President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service. Turned out the memos were utterly bogus. It took bloggers about an hour to figure that out after the piece aired. For more than a week, CBS (also known as See B.S.) refused to retract the obvious hit piece on the GOP president in the heat of his re-election campaign.
See B.S.’s ultimate excuse was immortalized in a headline in The New York Times (another member of the Rolling Stone-CBS media make-it-up conglomerate). The Times quoted another Democrat as describing the memos as “Fake But Accurate.”
Fake but accurate. You can’t make this stuff up — and you don’t have to! Memo to Rolling Stone: Truth really is stranger than fiction. All those Globe columnists didn’t have to pipe it, or lift stuff from the WBUR website. There’s this amazing new invention, and I’m not talking about the Internet. I mean the telephone. It’s amazing, the stuff you can turn up with a phone, and most of the time, all it takes is one or two more calls to see if it’s true….
But now, in a decade we have gone from the “60 Minutes” fake but accurate story to Rolling Stone’s scoop, which turns out to be fake and inaccurate.
I would adjust this slightly in one significant respect. The CBS memos were not fake but accurate. They were fake and inaccurate.
As Carr correctly recalls, the fake but accurate line was peddled by the New York Times. The Times peddled it in the story “Memos on Bush are fake but accurate, typist says.” Let it be noted that the Times threw two reporters at the story, published on September 15, 2004.
Having broadcast the story on September 8, 2004, CBS did not get around to retracting it until September 20, twelve days later. The “fake but accurate” line proved to be a temporary fallback. It was laughable even at the time, but when CBS retracted the story it cut the limb out from under its friends and fellow Bush haters at the Times.