Edward Wasserman: How Dan Rather got thrown under the bus

  • Article by: EDWARD WASSERMAN
  • Updated: November 28, 2008 - 12:43 PM

Challenged on Guard report, CBS convened a Bush-friendly review panel, which nonetheless did not declare the broadcast inaccurate.

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a1batrossNov. 28, 08 1:45 PM

Hey, Beta was superior to VHS, and the WHOLE dirigible industry was scotched because of one unfortunate accident with the Hindenburg. In a discussion of such contemporary, up to date issues as the Dan Rather incident, one can hardly leave out the Betamax scam, or the fate of the Hindenburg...

jmaynardNov. 28, 08 1:46 PM

The documents cannot have been authentic. The superscript th proved that conclusively. Rather based his defense on them. He deserved everything he got: he rushed to destroy the reputation of someone for perfectly political purposes, something the media should never do. For a professor of journalism ethics to defend him is merely an attempt to whitewash the smear job.

dougmcNov. 28, 08 1:59 PM

Is that it allowed right wing zealots to brush back the clear record of Bush having not only not served when it was his turn, of actively avoiding service. Of that the record is clear, and is ONLY important because he tried to make such a big deal of his service and impugning the reputation/patriotisim of those who disagreed with HIS war of choice in Iraq - even though a lot of them served when he chose to hide behind his daddy's friends.

putney1968Nov. 28, 08 2:58 PM

It's an oxymoron. If the prosecution in a criminal case produces fake evidence, the case gets thrown out. Period. Get over it. rather is a hack and deserved what he got.

stolk01Nov. 28, 08 3:16 PM

any takers?

leg620Nov. 28, 08 4:33 PM

wasn't to present a factual picture of G.W. Bush's military service, but rather to show that he was unfit for the presidency shortly before the election. They were so enthusiastic about the manufactured evidence that fit their preconceptions that they ran with it without performing adequate investigation. They wanted it to be true. It wasn't. Now they have no credibility.

jerry_1Nov. 28, 08 5:04 PM

Rather was exactly in the same league as Jayson Blair of the New York Times and Jack Kelley of USA Today despite what the author states. Maybe even worse. Rather, as a mouthpiece for the Liberal Left, tried to take down a sitting President with false information that was never vetted. That's Journalism 101 but he couldn't wait to tell the American public he had some dirt on another Republican. Now we've got the dirt on him. Good Ridance Dan.

jsens3Nov. 28, 08 5:29 PM

Whether Rather wins the lawsuit or not means little. Rather had to go because he offended a huge cohort of viewers by using faked documents to support a political vendetta. Network executives made a rational business decision by balancing the financial exposure of a legal claim from Rather against possible large advertising losses. Rather's situation is somewhat analogous to the Don Imus dust-up in April of 2007. Imus offended many with racial insensitivity and was "thrown under the bus." He sued then settled for a reported $20,000,000. Given the egregious publicity, the network got off inexpensively. (Signficant difference: Imus is back on the air; Rather is likely out for good.)

joeeeeeeNov. 28, 08 6:55 PM

It seems to me that Mr Bush has some explaining to do about his military service. I am not aware that he has explained what he should be easily able to explain. Rather is not an attorney and his report was not made for a court of law. If Rather's information is in fact false then why don't they just show us the documents and testimony from his fellow servicemen that proves that. I am not at all satisfied that Rather's was inaccurate.

k57pulbufNov. 28, 08 7:19 PM



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