Monday, September 13, 2004

Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on the Forged Documents

Both the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have opeds on the forged documents presented by Dan Rather and CBS last Wednesday. John Fund takes a look at how the blogosphere led the charge in the discrediting of the memos, and William Safire presents a laundry list of reasons the memos are fake and issues a challenge to Dan Rather:

It may be that CBS is the victim of a whopping journalistic hoax, besmearing a president to bring him down. What should a responsible news organization do?

To shut up sources and impugn the motives of serious critics - from opinionated bloggers to straight journalists - demeans the Murrow tradition. Nor is any angry demand that others prove them wrong acceptable, especially when no original documents are available to prove anything.

Years ago, Kurdish friends slipped me amateur film taken of Saddam's poison-gas attack that killed thousands in Halabja. I gave it to Dan Rather, who trusted my word on sources. Despite objections from queasy colleagues, he put it on the air.

Hey, Dan: On this, recognize the preponderance of doubt. Call for a panel of old CBS hands and independent editors to re-examine sources and papers. Courage.

Bad news for Mr. Safire however. It appears that Dan Rather's desire to take down the president trumps his integrity and his courage.

What's the point size, Kenneth?

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.