Special to WorldTribune.com
Old liberal media liars never fade away. They just rage, rage against the dying of their dinosaur industry’s light.
I’m looking at you, Dan Rather.
After years of trashing alternative media, which exposed the veteran CBS News reporter’s monumental Memogate fraud in 2004, Rather has joined the ranks of pajama-clad online broadcasters. The 86-year-old grandfather of fake news now uses Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to stoke the Left’s anti-Trump resistance — all while clinging bitterly to the vestiges of his defunct “legendary” newsman persona.
Consider Gunga Dan’s comments on the House Intelligence Committee’s release of the four-page Nunes memo alleging domestic surveillance abuses by politicized FBI brass working with Democratic operatives.
“Most respectable analysts,” Rather asserted, “have determined that the contents of the memo are thin.”
Who determined that these unnamed analysts are “respectable”? Dan Rather. Why are they “respectable”? Because they confirm Dan Rather’s opinions. Why are Dan Rather’s opinions more valid than others? Because he’s Dan Rather, the veteran teleprompter reader America must trust.
“With the release of the memo,” Rather railed, “the goal of the White House and its willing enablers is to make what is really the truth into a forgettable sidebar.”
He lambasted “cherry-picking” and taking things “out of context.” And, Rather fretted, “what will be the endgame if a big segment of the public confuses what they hope to be true with what turns out to be true?”
This “disgraced former journalist” fraudster’s got more gall than a bladder bank.
Document Dr. Dan is the man who fronted the notorious “60 Minutes” propaganda hit piece on George W. Bush based on fake documents about his Texas Air National Guard service in the 1970s and nonexistent sources upon whom Rather’s team relied to verify these documents.
(If that self-validating circularity of bogusness sounds eerily similar to what the Nunes memo revealed, you’ve been paying attention.)
Rather and his CBS team perpetuated journalistic fraud of the highest order. Conservative bloggers and alternative media called out Dan Rather and his con artist producer Mary Mapes for their malpractice. CBS denied this and delayed addressing the hoax. The mainstream media tried to shoot the messenger and discredit critics of CBS/Rather.
The evidence of bias was overwhelming — forcing CBS to appoint an independent review panel that concluded that the network “failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece,” was “rigid and blind” in its defense, and demonstrated “myopic zeal” in its manufacturing of the Bush/National Guard fraud. After the report was issued, Mapes and three executives were fired and the editorial practices at CBS were revamped.
The New York Times infamously coined the phrase “fake but accurate” to describe the Left’s stubborn defense of the four manufactured memos attributed to Texas Army National Guard commander Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Less remembered are the scathing conclusions of the independent panel who identified these worst defects of Rather’s work in 2004:
“1. The failure to obtain clear authentication of any of the Killian documents from any document examiner;
“2. The false statement in the September 8 Segment that an expert had authenticated the Killian documents when all he had done was authenticate one signature from one document used in the Segment;
“3. The failure of 60 Minutes Wednesday management to scrutinize the publicly available, and at times controversial, background of the source of the documents, retired Texas Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Bill Burkett;
“4. The failure to find and interview the individual who was understood at the outset to be Lieutenant Colonel Burkett’s source of the Killian documents, and thus to establish the chain of custody;
“5. The failure to establish a basis for the statement in the Segment that the documents “were taken from Colonel Killian’s personal files”;
“6. The failure to develop adequate corroboration to support the statements in the Killian documents and to carefully compare the Killian documents to official TexANG records, which would have identified, at a minimum, notable inconsistencies in content and format;
“7. The failure to interview a range of former National Guardsmen who served with Lieutenant Colonel Killian and who had different perspectives about the documents;
“8. The misleading impression conveyed in the Segment that Lieutenant Strong had authenticated the content of the documents when he did not have the personal knowledge to do so;
“9. The failure to have a vetting process capable of dealing effectively with the production speed, significance and sensitivity of the Segment; and
“10. The telephone call prior to the Segment’s airing by the producer of the Segment to a senior campaign official of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry — a clear conflict of interest — that created the appearance of a political bias.”
Fourteen years later, after courts laughed his $70 million lawsuit against CBS out of court, the blog-blaming fake news forefather has the audacity to hold forth on truth, trust, accountability.
Sit down, Dan Rather. Be humble.
Michelle Malkin is a columnist for WorldTribune.com and the author of the new book “Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.