Thursday, September 16, 2004

Quote of The Day: The View from Mr. Rather's Planet

Dan Rather in the Washington Post today:

"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that
story," Rather said in an interview last night. "Any time I'm wrong, I want to
be right out front and say, 'Folks, this is what went wrong and how it went
wrong.' "
Now hear this: Mr. Rather has informed us that the story of the forged documents has not yet broken. (Pay no attention to the bloggers behind the curtain.)

"I'd like to break that story." Hello? Here on Earth it was broken last week. Oh, well. Why should we expect Rather to live in our universe?


Blogger Archie Levine said...

Ok, let me get this straight...

George Bush uses a forged document about Iraq purchasing uranium in order to win support for our nation's first ever "pre-emptive" war. This results in the deaths of over 1,000 Americans and over 15,000 Iraqis. When questioned about fact checking, we are told that it was the best available intelligence at the time, he believed his sources, the threat outweighed the need for caution, he made the right choice then and would make the same choice again even knowing what he knows now, which is that the information he based his allegation on was a forged document...he was acting in the best interest of the country.

Dan Rather does the same exact thing, except that the only death which would occur from these documents, even if forged, would be the political career of the President.

Why does George get away with it and Dan Rather is vilified and inspires Republicans to call for a Congressional investigation?

Because the death of Bush's political career means a hell of a lot more to Conservatives than any number of deaths of real people.

Or at least that's what the view looks like from here.

Archie Levine

Thursday, September 16, 2004 2:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, where to begin Mr. Levin? Your anger at George Bush is clearly cramping your ability to see legitimate distinctions.

However inaccurate the WMD reports may have been, the one particular piece of information that turned out to be false was consistent with the consensus of world opinion based on much other information. At no time did Pres. Bush purport to be relying solely on the information you try to equate to the entire CBS 60 Minutes II story!

The problem with Dan Rather's report--and those who should have vetted it before airing it--is that the entire report was based entirely on, and hyped on the basis of, these supposedly newly discovered documents! NO effort was made to round out the story, or even to get views from sources known to and available CBS, but ignored. As the story has grown, Rather and company have exacerbated the problem by trying to stonewall their untenable line, and even prop it up by selective sources and exagerations of the opinions of experts they themselves retained.

The particularly sad thing is that the campaign--including CBS's own decision to become part of it (which is the only conclusion I can reach about why this unfolded the way it did), has come down to such trivia--and relatively ancient trivia at that.

The campaign of both parties should be focused on answering some of the big issues--including the issue of the war in Iraq. You can inveigh as much as you like against Bush's handling of that war or the way we got in it, but the current important fact is that the United State is there now, U.S. soldiers and others are dying as a result, and the American people are entitled to have a basis for determining what course of action is appropriate given the current circumstances, and which candidate is best-suited to an outcome that is in the best long-term interests of the United States of America.

If you believe that Bush "lied" to get us into the war, and doesn't have a plan to get us out, that's certainly reason enough not to vote for him. But I would hope that you won't let the invective exploding from your strongly held views blind you to the fact that the U.S. faces real threats in the world from the very kinds of people who are unwilling to allow democracy to succeeed in Iraq. The fact that people are dying is not, in and of itself an argument against the war in Iraq. The right question is whether those sacrifices--which, contrary to your prejudiced view, conservatives feel all as deeply about as you, and I believe weigh very heavily indeed on all the leaders whose decisions have put them in harm's way--are part of the cost of preserving and defending liberty, primarily for the United States but also as part of its world responsibilities.

Don't you think it's important to know both how Kerry would get us out of Iraq and what he actually plans to do to make the U.S. more secure--rather than simply ranting about how wrong everything Bush has done supposedly is?

Friday, September 17, 2004 10:58:00 AM  

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