Bad Election for Old Media
Michael Barone is one of America’s most knowledgeable political pundits, and it’s a delight to see him recognize Little Green Footballs (along with PowerLine and “FrontPage” — I think he meant Free Republic) as one of the prime movers in the debunking of CBS News: A bad election for old media. (Thanks to all who emailed this.)
At two crucial points in the campaign, Old Media used leaks from dubious sources to run stories intended to hurt the Bush campaign. The first was Dan Rather’s Sept. 8 “60 Minutes” story on Bush’s Texas Air National Guard record based on documents supplied by Texas Bush-hater Bill Burkett. CBS, admirably, posted the documents on its websites, and within 14 hours bloggers — led by frontpage.com, powerlineblog.com and littlegreenfootballs.com — had demonstrated that these purported 1972 documents had been produced on Microsoft Word. CBS’s document experts, it turned out, had refused to authenticate them. Not until Sept. 20 did Rather acknowledge the documents were dubious. The story hurt Rather and CBS, not Bush.
However, the story is not over yet; CBS News has arrogantly refused to suspend the people who perpetrated this fraud, while they conduct an “internal investigation” that will almost certainly, judging from their shameful history of stonewalling and denial, result in a complete whitewash. They’ve gone back to business as usual.