Staying Behind the Curve

Posted by Peter

Via Power Line :

As expected, Dan Rather has released a statement on the forged documents. This apparently follows his belated interview with Bill Burkett in Texas over the weekend. Here is the key language:

"Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism."

So Rather and 60 Minutes stay resolutely behind the curve. The significant part of the statement--"I no longer have...confidence in these documents"--could and should have been said on September 9. They still can't bring themselves to admit what everyone knows, that the documents are fakes.

And Rather's statement studiously avoids the only question that remains open: where did CBS get the forged documents? Specifically, did they come from the Kerry campaign? As we've noted, an email from Bill Burkett indicates that he gave materials to Max Cleland for use in the campaign. Those materials are presumably the forged documents. So Rather can't go much longer without answering the obvious question: did you get the forgeries from Max Cleland?


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