Credibility? What credibility? - Jay Maynard

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Tuesday, 21 September 2004


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0736 - Credibility? What credibility?

USA Today reported yesterday that CBS arranged for the source of the now-discredited Rathergate memos to talk to the Kerry campaign. So much for any notion of journalistic integrity.

Were it not a major media organization, the perpetrator would be liable for heavy fines and prison time under the McCain-Feingold campaign "reform" act. However, that act gave the media the ability to act with impunity, even, as we see here, when they act with obvious bias in a blatant attempt to influence the outcome of an election. Why should CBS be able to throw its weight behind a candidate so blatantly with no penalty, while the NRA's hands are tied? What's fair about this?

current mood: [mood icon] irritated

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000
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Each campaign finance "reform" has bombed abysmally. Political action committees were originally thought to be good things, but they turned into villains that the latest round of "reform" was supposed to take care of. Now we have the "527" organizations as ways around McCain-Feingold, and almost immediately there is a call to make them illegal. Does anyone actually think that things have improved?

Campaign finance reform is a joke, and an attempt to prohibit the very sort of speech that the First Amendment is supposedly there to protect. The way to keep politicians from being bought is to make them not worth buying, by restricting government to its legitimate functions.
[User Picture]
From:wakkowarner
Date: - 0000
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So much for any notion of journalistic integrity.

Where was this sentiment when every major news organization was running with the Swiftboat Vets story? Is it okay if "your" side does it?

- A.P.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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Every major news organization was running with the Swift Boat Vets story not because they thought the allegations were true, but because the story was getting widespread mindshare even though the media had studiedly ignored it.

Back at you: Where's your outrage over Texans for Truth being funded by big Democrat contributors? You were plenty outraged at the funding for Swift Boat Vets.
[User Picture]
From:wakkowarner
Date: - 0000
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Every major news organization was running with the Swift Boat Vets story not because they thought the allegations were true, but because the story was getting widespread mindshare even though the media had studiedly ignored it.

It's all well and good to say they all picked up on the story simply because its inertia forced them to do so. This statement, however, absolves them of their responsibility to provide the public with as fair and accurate a representation of events as possible. A negligible amount of investigation, had it been done before the story broke, would've prevented the situation from getting out of hand.

Back at you: Where's your outrage over Texans for Truth being funded by big Democrat contributors? You were plenty outraged at the funding for Swift Boat Vets.

Although not germane to this discussion, I'll bite: I think it's cowardly and underhanded for either campaign to funnel money through covert channels to smear groups. But, see, SBVFT set the precedent. (Actually, the "Arkansas State Troopers" folks set it in 1992.) However despicable, it's not unreasonable to expect the same tactics to be used against Bush.

- A.P.
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
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I find it fascinating how little media attention is being paid to the fact that there are several people involved who have said that though these specific memos are fake, they bear a great likeness to the true documents of the day. That is, people are authenticating the story itself but not the documents.

And traditionally, that's how you verify a document in journalism; not by putting the document through forgery and fraud testing, but by getting sources that back up the document itself. In this case, CBS did that. And they got legitimate sources to back up the documents. Those sources still stand, even if the documents themselves are fake.

As a whole, this whole thing feels like a setup of CBS.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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So, in other words, it's okkay to create documents out of thin air if you can get people to say they resemble the real thing? Pfaugh. If you could depend on people's recollections, you wouldn't need documents in the first place.

Without the documents, it would have been more of the same old unsupported allegations. The documents were fabricated to make it more of a story than it was.

What I really find appalling was that CBS put the faker in touch with the Kerry campaign! This is clear and convincing evidence that CBS is actively working on one side of the presidential race, and completely destroys any shred of credibility they may have when it comes to being impartial reporters of the facts. You write off anything Fox News has to say as being biased; why am I not more justified in doing so with CBS now?
[User Picture]
From:truthmaker
Date: - 0000

Or Maybe It's the Other Way Around

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The Kerry staffer who talked to this guy stated on the record that they only spoke for about 5 minutes and that the memos didn't come up until the end of the call. When this all hit Kerry Campaign did not condemn Bush over these memos, simply stated that they should be investigated independently. This hardly seems like the work of a fellow conspirator.

Now lets look at this from another angle. If someone in the Bush camp really wanted to make Bush's war record a dead issue (or at least too hot to touch) what would be the easiest way to do it? Forge some documents, establish some contact with the Kerry campaign so it could be claimed that they were involved (not provable mind you, just claimed), and release the documents early enough that would be plenty of time before the election to both (1) disprove the documents themselves and (2) get the public to question the Kerry campaign's involvement in their creation. And hey, if we can silence a respected and trusted newsman like Dan Rather in the process so much the better.

I don't know if that is what happened or not, but you must admit it has been quite convenient for the President, so far.
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
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CBS didn't create the documents out of thin air, though. They obtained the documents, and went about the standard process of verifying them. If you want to blame someone for this--blame whoever forged the docs, not the news corporation that managed to verify the information in them was accurate enough to run a story on.

Only two of the documents, as far as I'm aware of, were being contested as forgeries, anyway.

And again, it's lovely how the press is ignoring the repeated statements by those involved that the information contained within the documents is still true, even if the documents themselves are forgeries. You're ignoring that, as well, since you keep condemning CBS for running with "forged documents", when they weren't aware the documents were forged, and the story otherwise appears to have merit.

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