If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.
You probably remember hearing that piece of advice, but Dan Rather is now paying a heavy price because he never learned it.
He triumphantly slammed President Bush’s National Guard service record this week on 60 Minutes using falsified documents.
It now appears that the documents may have come to him from the Kerry campaign. The document may have started out as a prank, because there are several things that are blatantly out of place in a 1973 document. However, it appears that the opportunity of giving President Bush a hard time was too sweet for Dan to resist.
Dan has a long history of using false reports to slam undeserving targets. He used to get away with it before blogs appeared on the scene. Today, we have a different environment for news reporting. Almost before 60 Minutes was over, bloggers were uncovering the truth behind Rather’s smear attempt.
Within a few days, major media outlets realized that the story would not die and like sharks, tore into their wounded comrade unmercifully. Anything to improve ratings.
CBS execs may be fiercely partisan, but they are not dumb. They will disavow and disassociate themselves from anyone connecting them to this embarrassment.
I believe Rather is toast, and it couldn’t be happening to a more deserving guy.