CBS has been blown off stride by its own bombshell, joining several major news organizations that trusted the network's claim that it finally had the goods on President Bush.Now "old-fashioned" (read "liberal") journalism is too busy trying to shovel dirt on its political enemies to do much "simple detective work."
All were essentially bested by Internet bloggers.
Led by anchorman Dan Rather, CBS reported in a "60 Minutes" broadcast Wednesday that it had obtained four old memos asserting that Mr. Bush did not fulfill his National Guard obligations three decades ago — lobbing the claim just as Sen. John Kerry was continuing to sink in public-opinion polls....[The timing is suspicious: ED]
Much of the media had "no reticence about plowing forward and repeating CBS's loaded charges that they proved President Bush received preferential treatment and disobeyed an order to complete a physical," Brent Baker of the Media Research Center, a media monitoring group, said yesterday.
The enthusiasm for "Memogate" paled, however, before the persistence of suspicious Internet bloggers and the increasingly powerful amplification loop of alternative press organizations.
"It was like a 'perfect storm' that put us here," said Scott Johnson, the Minnesota-based lawyer behind www.powerlineblog.com, one of several Web sites that questioned CBS' claims through the kind of simple detective work once common to old-fashioned journalism [emphasis mine].
Sunday, September 12, 2004
The headline at The Washington Times -- "CBS' bomb turns blooper" -- says a lot, but there's more: