Monday, September 20, 2004

The 60 Minutes Memos

As I write this I hear Daniel Schorr on NPR pontificate about how Dan Rather and CBS have been had in one of the most famous media spoofs of all times. This makes me wonder why it would be so famous. Consider what Digby has to say about it:

Did anyone ever call Jeff Gerth on the carpet for falling for the Scaife financed "Arkansas project" propaganda on the NY Times Whitewater stories? How about the chinese espionage "scandal" which was also a right wing hack job that proved to be absolutely bogus (aided and abetted by our good friend Rep. Chris Cox and his wholly discredited Cox Report.) Did anybody pay a price for pimping the Vince Foster story for the Mighty Wirlizter? Troopergate? The White House vandalism and stolen gifts stories? The list is endless. Years and years and years of hoaxes and smears and lies that led to tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer money wasted on investigations that went nowhere and NOBODY SAYS A FUCKING WORD about the press's incestuous involvement with those who perpetrated these expensive frauds on the American public. (I won't even mention the elephant sitting in the middle of the room with the words "Saddam and 9/11" tattooed on his forehead.)

Indeed. Some spoofs are famous, some are just the truths that the so-called liberal media will publish with pleasure.

But in fact we don't even now know if the memos are forgeries. This is what New York Times says:

Mr. Howard also said in the interview that the White House did not dispute the veracity of the documents when it was presented to them on the morning of the report. That reaction, he said, was "the icing on the cake" of the other reporting the network was conducting on the documents. White House officials have said they saw no reason to challenge documents being presented by a credible news organization.

"White House officials said they saw no reason to challenge documents being presented by a credible news organization." So good it's worth repeating. But of course they should have seen a reason of criticism if the information in the memos was fraudulent. That they didn't see one seems to suggest quite strongly that the memos reflect the truth. In other words, Bush did exceedingly poorly in his Guardy duty.

It's possible that the memos are forgeries or that they are authentic. It's also possible that Mr. Burkett decided on getting them published on his own. Many things are possible.

But I still think that the theory about Karl Rove being behind the memos is most likely. It follows his M.O., and shows just the kind of sneakiness Rove is famous for. Two flies at one stroke: cast doubt on the contents of the memos by releasing some forged ones and smear more liberal-media-bias goop over the camera lenses of the media. Of course I have no evidence for this (except for the astonishingly rapid response from the wingnuts that Digby documented), but there I'm on even ground with all the other talking heads. (I like that image! My talking head standing next to the keyboard, the jaw going clickety-clickety.)