If the document was forged — even if there is suspicion beyond a reasonable doubt — CBS should state it, drop it, and move on. Continuing to stand behind something that has no validity other than your insistence that it does it not seemly; in fact, it’s one of the things that the Bush administration does constantly that pisses me off. Remember the weapons of mass destruction?
But again, we come back to right wing hypocrisy, as always. The Republicans are gleeful at this turn of events, trying to make out that CBS News is a shill for the left. They seem to forget their own mouthpieces. From The New Republic:
Let’s start by taking as a given what conservatives have long assumed about Dan Rather: that he’s a partisan Democrat whose political beliefs infect his journalism. Under these circumstances, Rather could be guilty of a particular kind of bias — namely, not vetting sources that supported his inclinations as closely as he would have vetted sources that contradicted them. At worst, Rather is guilty of sloppily fact-checking the veracity of forged documents because of his political views — and of therefore reporting lies as truth.
If this last offense sounds familiar, it’s because the right-wing media does it all the time. In February 2004, for instance, Fox News broadcasters Brit Hume, Sean Hannity, and John Gibson all showed a photo of John Kerry standing next to Jane Fonda on a podium at an anti-Vietnam War rally in the 1970s. It turns out the photo was fake. Did hordes of media critics demand retractions from Hume, Hannity, and Gibson? Of course not.
In the midst of all of this, may I point out that the Republicans, while making a stink and ruckus about this one document, have not said a word about the main story itself — that Bush got favorable treatment, disobeyed direct orders, and did not fulfill his term of service. They seem to hope that by discrediting one memo, which was simply an opinion piece and was not a direct piece of evidence for the story, that we’ll forget the bigger picture.