Tuesday, January 11, 2005

CBS Tries to Lie with the Big Boys

A Good Example is the Best Sermon.--Poor Richard

I do not believe for a minute that the mainstream media is significantly "liberal." The media have been too easily manipulated by the Bush administration too often for that to be a serious charge for those interested in truth-claims (See Judith Miller, et. al.).

I also recognize the spotlight focused on CBS as part of a right wing strategy the media enables that throws down the memory hole equally egregious and malevolent manipulation when such failures of journalism suit Republican purposes. Atrios-What Liberal Media

But I'm angry. I was very impressed with the Marian Carr Knox interview when it was broadcast. The segment made it appear that Killian's own secretary confirmed the documents reflected his feelings at the time. The report directly challenges this:

"The Panel spoke with Knox on two occasions, and she stated that she did not have any personal knowledge about the content of any of the Killian documents, aside from the fact that she knew Lieutenant Bush had sought to transfer to Alabama so that he could run a political campaign. She informed the Panel that she answered Rather's questions on the assumption that the content was accurate. She made clear in her Panel interviews that she did not have any personal knowledge about the thrust or content of the documents."

This is one of several claims made by Mapes or her superiors that can only be described as willful misrepresentation. While it would be quite impossible for CBS to approach both the quantity and the quality of the daily mendacity characteristic of the Bush II administration (David Corn, The Lies of George Bush; Fritz, et al, All the President's Spin), with this episode CBS certainly gave the White House a run for its money on the quality side.