Beldar on Noonan on Rather

Beldar reviews Peggy Noonan's column on Dan Rather. While Beldar seems to appreciate her efforts—at first—but I think his appreciation of her ability to write did not disguise the message she was delivering.

This is very gracious and generous. It reflects well on Ms. Noonan. But it's far, far better than Dan Rather deserves.
The Rathergate forged documents scandal was not just an aberration as part of a long and otherwise distinguished career. It was simply the capstone of a long series of incredibly biased and dishonest incidents. This one was deliberately timed and intended by Mr. Rather and his co-conspirators, upstream and down, to change the outcome of a crucial presidential election. Mr. Rather and CBS News ignored—nay, brazenly flouted, and then tried to cover up their breach of—practically every fundamental written principle of journalistic ethics. Was he alone is this conspiracy? Of course not. Does that in any way excuse him? Of course it does not.
Dan Rather and his cohorts didn't just make a mistake. They didn't just have a lapse. They didn't just let their biases color their reporting. They didn't just make an error in judgment. Instead, they conspired together with should-be felons, with forgers, to pass off as genuine, as truthful “news,” a set of bogus documents that defamed the record and the integrity of the President—and in so doing, they fundamentally betrayed the entire reason for their profession's existence. They actively hid the fact that their own hired experts were telling them—before the first broadcast—that the documents were fakes. Then they tried to demonize those (including me and my fellow bloggers) who'd helped expose their ploy, and to justify their lies as “fake but accurate.”

(Emphasis in the original)

I agree. Rather's lapse here is almost as egregious as his predecessor Walter Cronkite's assertion that we did not win or lose the Tet Offensive, and that we did not hit back very hard and prevent the strategic goal of that offensive, and he claimed the war itself was a stalemate. I feel that Cronkite lost Vietnam for us by spearheading the war on the morale of the country. For a detailed analysis, check out Digger History, but here's the summary:

The people of the South refused to rally to the cause as the NVA leaders had hoped and the whole thing was a military disaster. NVA General Giap was devastated. He felt that the gamble was a total waste.

Josh Poulson

Posted Friday, Dec 3 2004 08:23 AM

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