Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Rather Annoyed

How ridiculous is this going to get? CBS is duped by a fake memo, people are discrediting the entire story the memo supports despite claims that the memos were factually accurate and a mound of other supporting evidence, and everyone's pointing at Dan Rather like he's some kind of Satan-spawned minion of evil. This is the most trouble a journalist's been in since Robert Novak did the administration's evil bidding and exposed a CIA operative.
Oh, wait, that's right. Robert Novak NEVER GOT IN TROUBLE for doing the administration's evil bidding and exposing a CIA operative. Forget I said anything.
It's bad enough that CBS got duped by the forged memo. Despite what the right-wing bloggers would have you believe, it wasn't actually as simple as "hey, I can do this in Word!", as evidenced by the nearly two weeks people argued about it. The memos were fishy as hell, of course, because even the Freepers picked up on it quickly, but they were within the realm of possibility, and assuming CBS did its job, they'd know whether to trust them or not.
That's the problem, though. The hallowed halls where Walter Cronkite walked, where 60 Minutes brought down the mighty, are currently populated by modern-day journalists. And like any modern-day journalists, they have modern tools that replace asking questions, finding facts, and THINKING. They asked the guy who gave 'em the memos if they were real. He said he didn't know, but the person who gave them to HIM said they were real. And thus, CBS's job is complete.
Of course, it's not particularly fair to single out CBS for believing what they're told and repeating it. 95% of current journalists are doing that. The only difference is, CBS got caught. Well, actually, the only difference is, CBS got caught by the right-wing machine that can make something like this snowball with the help of a cowed press all too willing to turn on one of its own if it makes them look better to the administration. The administration that controls their access to repeat verbatim what the President says when he says it, a much-too-vital commodity in the current news market.
And now, of course, they're "probing" the "ties" between CBS and the Kerry campaign, which consisted of the guy with the memos asking the guys at CBS to have the guys at Kerry's campaign call him. I suppose we won't know for sure if there was a connection until, say, a campaign staffer and Kerry's lawyer have to resign over their connections to the people who lied. Then they'll REALLY be in trouble.
Oh, wait, that's right. It was the BUSH campaign that lost a campaign staffer and lawyer because of their connections to the people who lied, and beyond that, nobody really got in trouble. I don't know how I keep making these mistakes. It's almost as if my brain were struggling to resolve the cognitive dissonance caused by double standards so huge they trap small planetoids in their gravitational field.
Not to excuse CBS being retarded, of course. It would be better if CBS were not, in fact, frickin' idiots. What I love, though, are the suggestions that CBS was deliberately trying to help the Kerry campaign by lying about Bush. Man, do I hope that's not true. Because if it is, I'm never asking CBS to help me move. They'll break into my neighbor's apartment, take four of his things, break them, and deposit the pieces in the front yard of my new place. Then setting fire to three random buildings in my new neighborhood. That's the kind of "help" CBS offered the Kerry campaign.
Especially since, if a corporate news organization that's been kissing Bush's ass for the past three and a half FUCKING YEARS were to suddenly decide to actively help the Kerry campaign, all they'd have to do to accomplish it would be their JOBS. You wanna help the Kerry campaign? Then don't push forged memos onto 60 Minutes. Just report what's actually HAPPENING. That's damning enough.
But that doesn't happen, because we have apparently reached a point where reporting something negative about a Republican is, innately, a biased, political act, whether or not the negative thing is true. So if you report a negative thing, you have to have friends of whoever fucked up on the air right afterward to explain how this fuckup was actually a pretty flower. And don't think it'll get any better if Ol' Zombiehead gets in in November. The Democrats have seen how effective the Bush press manipulation tactics have been, and they're all set to use them when it's their turn.
So, what have we learned? Let's see. Bush was a pussy who couldn't even manage a few stinking years of cushy, stateside Guard service, and had to get out of about a third of his committment. But that doesn't matter, because someone typed up a fake document that said true things, and since CBS said it was real when it wasn't, Dan Rather is a pinko Commie who should be stabbed in the eyes with knitting needles. Also, we need to stop arguing about the Vietnam War, and who lied about it as recently as last week, and concentrate on more important issues, like how many different news outlets can use the "Oops, I Did It Again" joke for Britney Spears' second wedding.
Luckily, once CBS is investigated, gutted, and its staff sent to Guantanamo and replaced with vat-grown clones of Tucker Carlson, we'll all be safe from journalistic incompetence... forever.