The characteristics of the documents were consistent with Microsoft Word, not a typewriter in the early 1970s, and whoever wrote them made basic mistakes, like referring to an officer who had already retired. CBS had no choice but to summarily fire Mapes and ease Rather out of one of the most prized seats in journalism. This wouldn’t seem to be natural material for spinning a tale of reportorial glory, but the revisionist machinery of the Left has done more with less.
Last week, the New York Times hosted a TimesTalks with the actors and the lionized journalists that was like a dispatch from another planet. In their telling, the implosion of the National Guard report is a story of corporate cowardice (Viacom, the owner of CBS, couldn’t take the heat) and of politics triumphing over the facts — never mind the actual facts. Dan Rather actually says that the focus on the documents in the report being a forgery is a distraction.
In a better world, the bloggers who exposed the malfeasance of these seemingly untouchable mandarins of the media would be the ones to get the feature-length film. Not only did they uncover the truth — to borrow a term — they were plucky underdogs whose exertions to prevail against a broadcasting behemoth signaled the beginning of a new, more democratic era in the history of the country’s media.