Friday, November 07, 2008


When CBS decided to investigate Dan Rather's story about Bush's National Guard service after the authenticity of the memos cited in the story was questioned, the panel chosen to do the report consisted of Dick Thornburgh (attorney general under Poppy Bush) and Louis Boccardi (former head of AP). Rather has criticized the selection of a lawyer connected to the GOP, and CBS has countered that that was necessary to give the report credibility with "conservative critics."

Now The New York Observer, reviewing Rather's court filings in his civil case against CBS, has discovered just how far the attempt to placate those critics went:

...In Exhitit J or the current filing, Mr. Rather's legal team include a list (turned up in discovery) which CBS executives apparently compiled in the fall of 2004, prior to settling on Mr. Thornburgh and Mr. Boccardi.

The list includes Mr. Boccardi's name as well such seemingly reasonable potential candidates as David Gergen, Gene Roberts (former managing editor of
The New York Times) and Dick Wald (former president of NBC News).

Then things get a little bit more conservative. Under the category "others" are the names of potential candidates such as… Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh.

Herein, CBS's full list of "others":

* William Buckley * Robert Novak * Kate O’Beirne * Nicholas Von Hoffman * Tucker Carlson * Pat Buchanan * George Will * Lou Dobbs * Matt Drudge * Robert Barkley * Robert Kagan * Fred Barnes * William Kristol * John Podhoretz * David Brooks * William Safire * Bernard Goldberg * Ann Coulter * Andrew Sullivan * Christopher Hitchens * PJ O’Rourke * Christopher Caldwell * Elliot Abrams * Charles Krauthammer * William Bennett * Rush Limbaugh

At the very bottom of the list, someone wrote in one more name. "Roger Ailes."

I fully expect that, if CBS does a story on President Obama that is believed to be based on dubiuous sources, great effort will be made to be sure the ensuing report is satisfactory to a group that includes Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, Eli Pariser, Katha Pollitt, Randy Rhodes, and Kos.

No comments: