Saturday, September 11, 2004

CBS Does Itself No Favor

CBS mounted a pathetic defense of its documents last night on the Nightly News, and judging by the reaction of the rest of the media they did not manage to convince anybody, except of course the New York Times and the Boston Globe, who would have been convinced had Dan Rather simply looked into the camera and said, "They are real because I say so". As a matter of fact that is almost what he did. He failed to address the major questions about the documents and introduced as an "expert" a hand writing analyst. Kerry Spot has a transcript of the segment. As I said yesterday, CBS will never admit the documents are fake, despite the many experts who now say they are. They have nothing to gain by such an admission and everything to lose. If they stay the course, no matter how laughable, they allow the Democrats to keep up their attacks on the President, which was the point to the whole thing anyway.

A round up of information can be found at Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, Kerry Spot, Drudge Report, Instapundit, and The Corner.

What will the effect of this whole thing be on the campaign? It will not be good for the Kerry Campaign. There is only a certain percentage of the population that knows about this story. From that number there is a smaller percentage who even care. This is anecdotal, but of the many people I know who only mildly pay attention to politics, most have still not heard about the story. Of those who have, an even smaller percentage care. They do not care what happened 35 years ago to either candidate. The next group is the group that matters politically, the group that knows of the story and cares about it. Of this group the only ones who believe the CBS story at this point are the people who are predisposed to believe anything bad they hear about the President. Those who are undecided don't seem to believe CBS, in fact, CBS has already become a joke because of the story. This by itself will not have an effect on the campaign, but when the Democrats continue to attack the president based on documents so many people believe to be forged, it will be seen as dirty pool, a cheap shot. The Democrats will be seen for what they have become, a pathetic party with no vision for the future who's primary motivation is smearing the President, even if it means they have to rely fake documents to do so.

Dan Rather is a man who is soon to retire. CBS News is consistently third among the three networks in ratings. The relatively few people who watch CBS faithfully for their news do not need to be convinced of the authenticity, they most likely believed Dan Rather when he first displayed the documents because they wanted to believe him. Dan Rather and CBS is a laughing stock among the new media and among a new demographic that increasingly gets their news from sources other than the networks. Rather and Co. are undressed, and all matter of on air contortions will do nothing to convice thinking people that the documents are anything but frauds and that CBS is anything but a spin machine for the Democratic Party. Mr. Rather, you may not have officially retired yet, but your career was over long ago. So long, Dan.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.