"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Rather Finished

I must say, the denouement of the CBS Guard memo controversy was rather unsatisfying. Gunga Dan couldn't bring himself to admit that the memos were forged. He was just unable to "vouch for them journalistically".

The Chicago Tribune quoted him saying, "Do I think they're forged? No. But it's not good enough to use the documents on the air if we can't vouch for them, and we can't vouch for them."

The only logical explanation for such stunning cluelessness is this: Dan has never used Microsoft Word. He must be like his colleague Andy Rooney, a Luddite who thinks it's very quirky and "old school" to use a typewriter. (As Jonah Goldberg has said, Dan is like a dinosaur after the meteorite fell, wondering why it's so cloudy and what happened to all the tasty shoots and leaves.) The only other explanation for his clinging to the story is that he was, and is, blinded by partisanship. But that can't be it! He's the guy who upholds the "CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism".

Dan will probably hang on until retirement, but what little credibility he had is in the toilet. Dan's producer, Mary Mapes, however, is going down. Her little ethical lapse of putting Bill Burkett in touch with Kerry aide Joe Lockhart will lead to her downfall. According to an unimpeachable source, CBS News' own web site, "Mapes, 48, was described by colleagues on Tuesday as a dogged and talented journalist who made no secret of her liberal political beliefs." Oh...now I understand Dan's statement. He's saying that CBS carries on its tradition "without fear" of making its liberal bias known and "without favoritism" toward conservatives and Republicans.

Referring to the Burkett/Lockhart matter, CBS spokewoman Kelli Edwards said, "It is obviously against CBS News standards and those of every other reputable news organization to be associated with any political agenda."

Indeed.