Perhaps having learned from the Swift Boat Vets controversy, the mainstream media quickly picked up the Bush documents controversy. Three cases in point:
NYTimes -- Commander's Son Questions Memos on Bush's Service
Washington Post -- Some Question Authenticity of Papers on Bush
ABC News -- False Documentation? Questions Arise About Authenticity of Newly Found Memos on Bush's Guard Service
And of course --
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX THU SEPT 09, 2004 22:45:32 ET XXXXXBut then there's this (from Captain's Quarters) -- Is The Chicago Tribune Cleansing Its Archives Of The CBS Scam?
CBSNEWS LAUNCHES INTERNAL INVESTIGATION AFTER SUSPICIOUS BUSH DOCS AIRED
And this (also from Captain's Quarters) -- The American Spectator column claims that the forged documents came directly from the Kerry campaign (The American Spectator's site has been crashed by traffic.)
Now Dan Rather is in denial (from Drudge Report):
RATHER DIGS IN: THE DOCUMENTS ARE AUTHENTIC
CBSNEWS anchor and 60 MINUTES correspondent Dan Rather publicly defended his reporting Friday morning after questions were raised about the authenticity of newly unearthed memos aired on CBS which asserted that George W. Bush ignored a direct order from a superior officer in the Texas Air National Guard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: I know that this story is true. I believe that the witnesses and the documents are authentic. We wouldn't have gone to air if they would not have been. There isn't going to be -- there's no -- what you're saying apology?
QUESTION: Apology or any kind of retraction or...
RATHER: Not even discussed, nor should it be. I want to make clear to you, I want to make clear to you if I have not made clear to you, that this story is true, and that more important questions than how we got the story, which is where those who don't like the story like to put the emphasis, the more important question is what are the answers to the questions raised in the story, which I just gave you earlier.
Is this the end of Rather? The end of Kerry? Well, Rather is retiring, anyway, and Kerry's cause was looking lost before this brou-ha-ha. But I can hardly wait to see which donkey the tail gets pinned on.
Now we hear from the daughter of ex-Texas governor Ben Barnes:
AUDIO - Daughter of Ben Barnes Disputes Father's Claims as Political
The Former Texas House Speaker Ben Barnes' recollections over how he helped President Bush get into the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War have evolved over the years from fuzzy to distinct.
Barnes, who once claimed he did not help Bush enter the National Guard, reversed his story and told CBS News 60 Minutes that he in fact did help Bush.
Mr. Barnes daughter, Amy Barnes Stites called the Mark Davis Show and spoke with guest host Monica Crowley on WBAP September 9th dismissing Barnes' claims as political and opportunistic....
Excerpt of Call:
BARNES: I love my father very much, but he's doing this for purely political reasons. He is a big Kerry fund-raiser and he is writing a book also. And [the Bush story] is what he's leading the book off with....He denied this to me in 2000 that he did get Bush out [of Vietnam service]. Now he's saying he did.
CROWLEY: Did he tell you, Amy – and I'm glad I have you on the line with me – did your father tell you that he was prepared to do this on behalf of John Kerry – go after President Bush like this?
BARNES: He told me he was going to do it. In fact, I talked to him a couple of months ago. He told me he was writing the book. He told me that he was going to be talking about this. And he knows that I – we have very diverse political opinions. He knows my opinions and we get into this debate every time I see him. But, you know, he said that he was going to be talking about it.
CROWLEY: Now you're saying, Amy, that he has had two separate stories on President Bush's Guard duty during the Vietnam era?
BARNES: Yes, yes. This came out in 2000 and I asked him then, at the time, if he [helped get Bush into the Guard]. He said: "No, absolutely not. I did not do that." -
CROWLEY: So, I hate to put you in this position, but I will ask you, do you think your father, Ben Barnes who was on "60 Minutes II" with Dan Rather last night – do you believe that he lied on the air to the American people last night about President Bush?
BARNES; Yes, I do. I absolutely do. And I think he's doing he's doing it for purely political, opportunistic reasons – trying to get John Kerry elected and trying to make Bush look like the bad person....Like I said, he's going to be trying to promote his book that he's got coming out.
See my earlier post here.