Monday, September 20, 2004

Monday, Monday...

...Can't trust that day. Light blogging today, as I have an all day outing to Sevierville, TN tomorrow which requires significant prep time. The weekend was great; fall is starting to creep in, with slightly cooler temperatures and bright, clear skies. Of course, fall is football weather, and the stirring Tennessee victory over the hated Gators was extra sweet.

Is CBS about to admit that they were duped?

After days of expressing confidence about the documents used in a "60 Minutes'' report that raised new questions about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS News officials have grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from, and people at the network said it was now possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air.

But they cautioned that CBS News could still pull back from an announcement. Officials met last night with Dan Rather, the anchor who presented the report, to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before making a final decision. Mr. Rather was not available for comment late last night.

Even now, with the cat totally out of the bag, CBS still feels the need to clutch desperately to the veracity of the forged documents. Why? Other news organizations who have aired false stories (NBC Dateline and CNN's Tailwind story come to mind) have responded swiftly to correct error and give the axe to whomever authorized the airing of the story. Is it possible in this case that the responsibility for airing the TANG story goes higher than originally thought? Or is CBS really that committed to backing Dan Rather to the proverbial hilt? As dismal as his ratings have been for some time now, I find it hard to believe that he has that much stroke at CBS. Rather is due to release a statement shortly, so let's see whether he is still backing this dead horse.

UPDATE: Rather surrenders. Of course Drudge breaks the statement even as I finished typing the previous post.