Thursday, November 10, 2005

Truth and Duty--Why hold Mapes and Rather to a higher standard than the President and the CIA?

Ok, I'm glad that Tim Kaine won Virginia...at least as glad as I can be when a Democrat gets elected who ran on a platform of keeping gays single, guns in everyone's hands, abortion restricted, and the Death Penalty Killing Machine in operation in spite of personal religious beliefs. Hey, this is Virginia, and Tim Kaine is as liberal as we can get...ask Leslie Byrne.

I also don't think Rush and Company are right that Tim Kaine won because Bush wasn't conservative enough to energize his base. I know several conservative Republicans who didn't just stay home on election day, they voted for Kaine. They actually told me that there was no real difference between the candidates, except that Kaine had helped put the state on the right track and that mattered.

Wow...Meritocracy? It just might work! Let's try it, America!

Which brings me to the story that all the conservative radio mouths are going after instead of dealing with the collapse of the Bush administration. The release of Mary Mapes' new book, Truth and Duty. The book deals with her story, run by Dan Rather, about Bush's National Guard service during the Viet Nam War. You may remember how liberals were perplexed at warmonger support of a man who used his influence to get into the Guard instead of going to war and earning a few combat medals like his opponent in the election, John Kerry. Then to add insult to injury there has never been any actual proof that George W. Bush didn't go AWOL during his time of duty to serve on a political campaign in Alabama. There is a picture of W. hanging in his father's Presidential Library with a medal on his chest that he didn't earn...but no actual proof of service during the controversial period in his "service" record. Then, Mary Mapes came into possession of documents which seemed to disprove Bush's claims of service. The authenticity of those documents was called into question by a blogger....here is a snippet of an interview with Mapes on the Limbaugh show, followed by his comments.

[transcript]

ROSS: This seems remarkable to me that you would sit here now and say you still find that story to be up to your standards.

MAPES: I'm perfectly willing to believe those documents are forgeries if there's proof that I haven't seen.

ROSS: But isn't it the other way around? Don't you have to prove they're authentic?

MAPES: Well, I think that's what critics of the story would say. I know more now than I did then, and I think -- I think -- they have not been proved to be false yet.

ROSS: Have they proved to be authentic, though? Isn't that really what journalists do?

MAPES: No, I don't think that's the standard.


RUSH: No, she doesn't think that's the standard! Do you understand what you just heard? Mary Mapes, Dan Rather's producer, 60 Minutes II: no, the standard is not on us to prove they're authentic. What she's saying is the standard is on critics to prove that they're not. She can take anything she wants, put it on the air, without authenticating it, without verifying it, and it's up to critics to disprove it. Now, I think what's going on here, I don't think she's that far out when it comes to all these people in the mainstream press. I think this is the way they look at things. I really do! It's up to the critics to prove this is not true. That's why Rather is out there still saying he wishes he could pursue the story. He still believes it's true even though the documents may be forged.

[end transcript--see below link for full transcript]

Here's what I don't get. Why on earth are people angrier about Mary Mapes' use of documents which have not yet been conclusively proven to be forgeries to address what ought to be a legitimate concern never adequately countered by the White House...that of the actual military service of the Commander in Chief during a time of war...than they are about that same President's use of documents...that have since been proven to be forgeries, and known to be at least of dubious merit by the CIA at the time...to garner support for an invasion of a country that had not attacked us?

Even though the president had been cautioned against using that potentially faulty intelligence, that information was given to Congress and to the American People in the State of the Union Address in order to garner support for a war in which, at most recent count, over 2,000 American service men and women have died, at least tens of thousands of Iraqis have died, and we have spent nearly $300 billion with an addition cost of $6 billion dollars a month.

The only things Mape's documents cost us was her reputation and Rather's career.

At a time when the Democrats are forcing the issue of Phase 2 of the report on the intelligence leading us into the war, we can only wish for a meritocracy where someone with the power and influence of Rush Limbaugh might instead ask this:

ETHICAL RUSH: No, Bush doesn't think that's the standard! Do you understand what you just heard? George W. Bush, our President, the pinacle of democracy and freedom in the world: "No, the standard is not on me to prove the intelligence is authentic." What Bush is saying is the standard is on critics to prove that they're not. Bush can take anything he wants, Give it to Congress, put it on the air in the State of the Union Address, without authenticating it, without verifying it, and it's up to critics to disprove it. Now, I think what's going on here, I don't think Bush is that far out when it comes to all these people in his administration. I think this is the way they look at things. I really do! It's up to the critics to prove this is not true. That's why Cheney is out there still saying he wishes he could pursue the WMDs, the Iraqi Nuclear Program, and the stockpiles of chemical weapons. He still believes it's true even though the documents have been proven to be forged.

Let me make this absolutely clear....I have grave doubts about Mary Mapes. The document she used as the basis for the story might, in fact, be forged...but I do believe that she wanted to believe it, that it suited her agenda to go forward after what she believed was due diligence in authenticating the information knowing that there would be a backlash over the story and she would be vilified by the opposition. I am confident that she honestly believed her fears that the information was true outweighed the risk of going forward and discovering she was wrong.

Didn't George W. Bush do exactly the same thing?

Somebody....Please tell me...Why in God's name do we hold Mary Mapes and Dan Rather to a higher standard than the President of the United States?

Wouldn't it be great if, instead of destroying the reporters and the critics, our White House could offer a shred of proof that the story itself...not the documents supporting it...were false?

Why do reporters have to prove what they say print is true beyond a shadow of a doubt and backed up with incontrovertible proof....but the people we elect to govern us, and who have the power to send us to war, don't?

Americans is the craziest peoples.


Sources:

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLICANS


Mine Eyes have seen the bungling of that stumbling moron Bush;

he has blathered all the drivel that the neo-cons can push;

he has lost sight of all reason 'cause his head is up his tush;

the Doofus marches on.


I have heard him butcher syntax like a kindergarten fool;

There is warranted suspicion that he never went to school;

Should we fault him for the policies - or is he just their tool?

The lies keep piling on.


Glory! Glory! How he'll Screw Ya'!

Glory! Glory! How he'll Screw Ya'!

Glory! Glory! How he'll Screw Ya'!

His wreckage will live on.


Oh, a trumped-up war is excellent; we have no moral bounds;

Should the reasons be disputed, we'll just make up other grounds;

Enraging several billions - to his brainlessness redounds;

The Doofus marches on!


Glory! Glory! How he'll Screw Ya'!

Glory! Glory! How he'll Screw Ya'!

Glory! Glory! How he'll Screw Ya!

THIS...DOO...FUS...MAR...CHES...ON!

10:06 AM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...

Saw a great editorial on LewRockwell:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/gaddy/gaddy20.html

11:50 AM  
Blogger R said...

Love love love the battle hymn.
Here is my take on Ms. Mapes from a journalist point of view. She is fucked. You CAN NOT have a story that you are unable to "disprove". The standard is proof. Now I agree with her that the content might have been correct. Hell, we all know he skipped out, drunken useless bastard. But she ruined hers and Rathers career by being what she is still proving to be..unobjective. And a little too zealous. That does nothing for the cause and earns us nicknames like "moonbat" We have too much on this guy WE CAN PROVE to em-bare-ass ourselves on the rest.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Archie Levine said...

I agree with you 100%, I'm in no way defending Mapes here. I'm going after the hypocrisy of the conservatives who would rather a news story be more accurate than a presidential daily briefing or the State of the Union address.

Is it wrong to want BOTH my newspaper and my President to tell me the truth?

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys would be nothing without the left leaning MSM to fill it's readers and watchers with their beliefs and their negativity.
VET

1:30 PM  

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