Dan Rather on Reddit: “No One Ever Established the Documents Were Forged”

Clinging to denial
Media • Views: 21,616

Dan Rather went on Reddit yesterday for one of their “Ask Me Anything” sessions, and inevitably, the subject of the faked George W. Bush National Guard memos came up. Reddit user “RadOwl” asked:

Did G.W. Bush skip out on his National Guard duties, as you reported? You really took a beating for covering that story!

Rather responded:

the short answer is yes but i’ll post a short video with more detail soon. EDIT: here is the video

That was followed by a question from “TomSwirly:”

Many people, myself included, wondered if the whole thing was a trap - to discredit you by planting documents that were forged but that contained information that you strongly suspected to be true from other sources.

And here we go again, because Dan Rather continues to insist that the documents he used in his 60 Minutes II story were never proven to be fakes.

Here’s his post:

number 1 - the facts of case are not in dispute. Number 2 - no one had ever established that the documents were forged (those who attack them argued that we didn’t do enough to demonstrate that they were not forged) The whole documents argument was a camouflage - what was described in the documents was factual. As for the trap argument — could have been, might have been but nobody has ever proven that. What I know, all I know, is we reported a true story. Whatever you think of the documents, facts are facts. Fact #1 - a young George Bush was put into a “champagne unit” of the Air National Guard through the influence of his father to ensure he wouldn’t have to go to Vietnam. Fact #2 - once in this “champagne unit” the young George Bush did reasonably well for awhile and then he disappeared - he just took off. No accountability. He was absent without leave for a very long time. Fact #3 - he never completed his obligation the length of service. He got out well before his time was up.

In the video linked above, Rather says:

“Any number of people, powerful people, for their own personal, ideological and partisan political reasons, didn’t like the fact that the story got out, and we were the first to put it on television … and they sought to discredit it.”

I’m flattered that Dan Rather thinks I’m powerful, but he couldn’t be more wrong about my reason for debunking his story. I wasn’t the only one who helped bring the phony documents to light, and I can’t speak for anyone else, but in my case it was not about politics or ideology — it was about exposing a blatant, obvious fraud being perpetrated on the American public.

Facts is facts, and the simple fact is that the documents were indeed proven to be frauds, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Dan Rather is only embarrassing himself by continuing to deny this, and I’m sorry to see it; he’s done some great journalism in his day, and it’s sad that his ego won’t let him admit this mistake and move on.

I won’t go through all the evidence again in this post, but here’s our master index of the story as it happened, in chronological order: CBS Killian Document Index.

I still remember the feeling when I first opened the memo dated August 1973 in Adobe Acrobat, and realized instantly that I was looking at a fake, a document created with a modern word processor and not a 1970s typewriter. When I decided to see if MS Word could reproduce it, I expected to have to do some fiddling around with margins and fonts, etc., and was frankly a little shocked when my very first efforts produced an exact match, using the default tab stops and font settings.

Here’s the infamous “throbbing memo” — the animated GIF I created by typing a copy of the August 1973 memo into Microsoft Word, using Word’s default settings without changing anything, and overlaying the printed copy on the PDF document released by CBS. As you can see, they’re not just similar, they’re identical:

To salvage some credibility from his debunked story, Rather is still clinging to the “fake but accurate” line too. The problem is that without specific evidence about specific offenses, the story that Bush received preferential treatment in the TANG was only borderline interesting.

I mean, a powerful person’s son gets preferential treatment?! Who’s ever heard of that happening?

What might have made Rather’s story an election-changer was the specific nature of the allegations, based on the National Guard memos. And those were faked. Phonies. Frauds. Bogus. End of story.

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-08-02 10:58 am PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
UNICEF: 40 Percent School Dropouts in Mideast Conflict Areas
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Forty percent of children from five conflict-scarred Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children said Thursday, warning that losing this generation will lead to more militancy, migration and a ...

10 hours, 56 minutes ago
Views: 93 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 0
Thanos
Reuters Legal Update: -Kentucky Clerk Seeks Same-Sex Marriage License Reprieve
A county clerk in Kentucky sought an emergency injunction on Wednesday to temporarily block a federal court order requiring her to issue same-sex marriage licenses as she prepares to go to court on Thursday to face contempt charges. Kim ...

1 day ago
Views: 290 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 28 • Rating: 0
Great White Snark
UPDATE-The Now Not So Strange Saga of the MH370 Plane Part
Just when you think this will not get any more weird... The update 9/2/2015 (CNN)Now even French investigators are convinced: The airplane debris found on Reunion Island in July belonged to vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a top French prosecutor ...

4 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 592 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
JmpMaster
Teachers as the Target in Schools and Media
As soon as you mention public education a barrage of soundbites and adages come flying from every corner at dizzying speed. Teachers are underpaid and underappreciated, teachers are all jaded cynics that don't care anymore, teachers are the cornerstone ...

6 days, 9 hours ago
Views: 517 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
VickieHaz
Spice Up Your Home Lighting
When many of us are in need of a new lamp, ceiling light or any other lighting application the first thing we'll do is jump in the car and head off to the nearest IKEA. This is the safest option ...

6 days, 15 hours ago
Views: 590 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 0
Bubblehead II
President Obama Remarks on Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina
In case you missed the NOLA Presidents speech today. President Obama Remarks on Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

1 week ago
Views: 514 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
KiTA
Vester Lee Flanagan Guns Down News Crew on Live TV, Live Tweets and Films himself doing so.
Update: The shooter filmed himself performing the act and uploaded the content to several social media accounts. It was shared thousands of times before Twitter deleted it. Twitter auto-plays the video. Today would be a very good day to close ...

1 week, 1 day ago
Views: 846 • Comments: 4
Tweets: 7 • Rating: 3
Lumberhead
Why the 2016 Republican Nomination Can’t Be Predicted Through History
This election season provides a fascinating frame to see if the polarization in politics, from Washington to the states to the public, is no different than what we have seen in the past; if the angry populism evident especially ...

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 940 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 4
No Country For Old Haters
Unraveling the Enigma of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, 20 Years Later
Twenty years ago, on August 21, 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy in North America. The stilt-legged tabletop gaming console, which offered a unique red stereoscopic 3D display, attempted to ride a wave of popular interest in virtual reality. ...

1 week, 6 days ago
Views: 828 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
EiMitch
Cracked: The 6 Most Ridiculous F***-Ups In The History Of Science
cracked.com There's no doubt that science has made all of our lives much better, as evidenced by the fact that we wrote this article entirely from the men's room of our neighborhood Chipotle. (We'll be living here for the rest ...

2 weeks, 1 day ago
Views: 1,229 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0