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« on: September 16, 2004, 06:59:07 PM »

Bush-Bashing Broadcaster Needs to Come Clean, Critics Say

by Bill Fancher, Rusty Pugh, and Jody Brown
September 15, 2004

(AgapePress) - Evidence is mounting that CBS News' Dan Rather used a forged document in an attempt to discredit President Bush's National Guard record. One media analyst says the network needs to take responsibility for the report -- and deal with Rather accordingly.

While other news entities such as Time magazine and the Washington Post are retracting their stories about the memo, CBS anchorman Dan Rather continues to declare the document -- which says George W. Bush did not fulfill his National Guard duties -- is factual. But several Internet investigative sources continue to claim to have found evidence that the memo was manufactured recently by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. (See related commentary by AgapePress columnist David Sisler.)

Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough says Rather, a seasoned journalist, has some decisions to make. Scarborough wonders how the anchor is going to explain why he allowed a forged document to have such prominence in his broadcast in light of an earlier decision.

"They ignored the Swift Boat Veterans advertisement [questioning Kerry's Vietnam War accounts] for four days ... made them feel dirty. They wouldn't even talk about that until John Kerry brought it up himself," Scarborough observes.

Scarborough is not alone in his criticism. Congressman Chris Cox of California has called for a congressional probe of the network's use of the documents. The Republican lawmaker says there is a "growing abundance of evidence that CBS News has aided and abetted fraud."

In addition, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri has called on CBS News to retract the story. He has asked the network to reveal the identities of those he says used CBX "to deceive [its] viewers in the final weeks of a presidential election."

Three Things
Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center is convinced CBS has an agenda -- and that the whole situation is making the network look pretty bad. CBS, he says, has still refused to acknowledge the fraud, even when its own experts proclaimed the documents to be fakes.

"This [has] CBS just tied up in a pretzel with their defense games here," Bozell says. "This is just terrible. This just goes from bad to worse."

The MRC spokesman says if CBS ever wants credibility again, it must do three things. "I think it's quite simple," he says. "Number one, not only apologize to the American people [but] first and foremost, an apology is owed to the president of the United States. This was a smear campaign on him. Number two, they have to have an investigation on this -- an independent one, not [one by] the fox guarding the henhouse."

The third step, Bozell says, involves Dan Rather himself. The network, he says, needs to "suspend Dan Rather and everyone else involved this while they are doing this investigation because no one can believe a word Dan Rather says."

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