Okay, Now It’s A Scandal

Utter jaw-dropper in today’s USA Today, via Powerline:

CBS arranged for a confidential source to talk with Joe Lockhart, a top aide to John Kerry, after the source provided the network with the now-disputed documents about President Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard.

Lockhart, the former press secretary to President Clinton, said a producer talked to him about the 60 Minutes program a few days before it aired on Sept. 8. She gave Lockhart a telephone number and asked him to call Bill Burkett, a former Texas National Guard officer who gave CBS the documents. Lockhart couldn’t recall the producer’s name. But CBS said Monday night that it would examine the role of producer Mary Mapes in passing the name to Lockhart.

Burkett told USA TODAY that he had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS if the network would arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign.

So, let me get this straight. CBS just spent more than a week “protecting” the identity of Burkett, refusing to release his name to the general public–but they did put him in touch with a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign, before their story ran? The same week when the DNC started running ads based on the CBS story, which built on Burkett-supplied forgeries?

That’s the tipping point. This is officially a major political scandal, not just an embarrassment to a dinosaur news outlet.

CBS is toast. Dan Rather is toast. Joe Lockhart is toast… and John Kerry is burned French toast about to be tossed out in le dumpster.

Stick a fork in all of the above. They’re done.

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65 Responses to “Okay, Now It’s A Scandal”

  1. Scott Ferguson Says:

    Will,

    They OUGHT to be toast. But things have changed. People these days seem to have lost their sense of shame.

    I am afraid–REALLY afraid–that all we’ll get is more denials, more bluster from the perps and their fellow travellers on the Lef. The people who don’t want to believe the facts and where they point, simply won’t.

    In an earlier era, the CBS scandal might only be a cynical manipulation by some DNC operatives talented in the black arts of political sabotage. These ops wouldn’t be so divorced from reality to know that the garbage they were peddling was just that — garbage.

    But in this day and age, we find that the underlying story — that Bush “has something to hide about his National Guard service” — is so appealing to the Left, to the DNC, and to shady outfits like CBS News, that they will fabricate the facts to support the “truth”. The early stories by CBS News and the NY Times suggest this is what happening. They declared that the “truth” is true even if the facts are imaginary.

    This shift in culture is disturbing. What makes educated men and women so enraptured by fantasy that they create “facts” to support it?

  2. Mistercalm Says:

    I think it will be up to the blogosphere to keep the pressure and investigation up… you can’t count on the old line media to do it… I think FOX NEWS and MSNBC both are putting pretty good dents into Rather, but these seem like “after the heavy lifting” feats, not them delving into the truth. I am in agreement with you assessment, though… even if it isn’t reflected in actual firings or “early” retirements, CBS NEWS has kissed goodbye its credibility. This isn’t 1992, where the media can grant a campaign a free pass to position a criminal in the White House… nowadays the media cannot get a free pass! A great time for democracy and Freedom of Speech (do any liberals know what that is?)

  3. Mikey Says:

    Sweet Jeebus on a pogo stick.

    I don’t think I’ve heard of a political scandal exploding so quickly. Tells how desperate they felt that they were willing to do something so obviously wrong, and rely on materials that were so obviously bad.

  4. David Blue Says:

    “That’s the tipping point. This is officially a major political scandal, not just an embarrassment to a dinosaur news outlet.”

    Not according to the mainstream media (MSM) which still inevitably dominates reporting and presentation, which is in agreement with the ideological fantasy world that justified these acts, and which has a clear and potent institutional interest in big media (and its pet causes and allies) being as unaccountable or weakly accountable as possible.

  5. Bloodthirsty Warmonger Says:

    Rathergate is like Watergate on fast-forward mode! And I agree that we can’t afford to let up on the pressure, with the election only 42 days away.

  6. Sister Toldjah Says:

    CBS arranged for meeting with Lockhart

    This just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Will Collier speculates.

  7. Mike M Says:

    Isn’t it funny that if CBS had simply retracted the story and issued an apology right away, none of this would have ever come to light?

    CBS is a lost cause at this point, but the rest of the MSM has a choice to make. Do they turn on CBS and start treating this like the shocking scandal that it is? Or do they just ignore it and drive a permanent wedge between themselves and the blogosphere and alternative media (and the truth)?

    The the rest of the media wants to be able to keep functioning as anything more than a tabloid propaganda machine, they *have* to throw CBS under the bus. What CBS is did is not journalism…it was a carefully crafted hit piece using forged government documents against the President of the United States, constructed with the cooperation (and probable participation) of the Democratic party and campaign of the opposition candidate.

    If the rest of the media refuses to investigate or denounce this, the MSM is officlaiiy dead.

  8. slim999 Says:

    I’m just a nobody, but, here’s my take: These folks at CBS thought this was a BLOCKBUSTER story that would change the outcome of the election.

    Bush, a richie, got preferential treatment!!! OH MY GOD!!! the HORROR OF IT ALL! This man CANNOT BE ALLOWED to continue to be our President.

    Give me a break. What tards. And these guys want to run the FREAKIN COUNTRY?

  9. Mountain Climber Says:

    Kerry and the DNC will be pulling a “Clinton”: deny, deny, deny, shift the focus, deny, deny, deny, accuse the accuser, deny, deny, deny, and wait til the story dies. The MSM will have to be dragged along to even report the story. That’s the sad truth.

  10. McGehee Says:

    When will we hear John Kerry say, “Two weeks of Rathergate is enough”?

  11. Hogarth Says:

    Call me a cynic, but it seems to me Bush would have been better off pursuing either of these proven winners in the late 60’s – early 70’s:

    1) flee to Canada with hundreds of thousands of true American heroes, later to be fully pardoned by Jammy Carter

    2) Tap dance along a very thin line between protest and treason ala J Effing Kerry

    Spending 6 to 8 years flying dangerous, obsolete fighter-interceptors was apparently the ONLY unacceptable method for avoiding Vietnam service.

  12. Hogarth Says:

    And, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only difference between CBS, et. al. and 527 organizations is… not a damn thing.

  13. Jim R Says:

    Aaah…schaudenfreude in september.

  14. Nick Says:

    Something seems fishy to me with this whole thing. I know it’s going to sound very conspiracy theory but I’ll mention it anyway.

    Does anyone think that it’s rather (no pun intended) strange that CBS would put Burkett in contact with the Kerry campaign? This seems more like a smoke screen to me. I think that people were afraid that eventually a connection would be made between Burkett and the Kerry campaign regarding these memos, and to they decided to explode the bomb early and in an uninhabited area so to speak. Someone had the brilliant idea to say that CBS put Burkett in contact with the Kerry campaign, instead of the other way around… the Kerry campaign giving documents to Burkett to give to CBS.

    This way the Kerry campaign can say that they heard from him, but of course wanted nothing to do with it. They can say that they told Burkett that they don’t approve of these tactics, and had nothing to do with the memos. He came to us after all, we didn’t go to him. CBS which is already in hot water gets in a little more trouble… but they’re already screwed, and Kerry doesn’t get in any more trouble.

    Like I said, maybe worthy of a tin foil hat… but then again maybe not.

  15. mobties Says:

    John Kerry

    “And you want to be my latex salesman!”

  16. Robert Says:

    Ok, and now it is a “Lucy Ramirez” who gave the documents to Burkett:
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=676&ncid=676&e=1&u=/usatoday/20040921/ts_usatoday/cbsbacksoffguardstory
    What? Was the tooth fairy busy?

  17. Warthog Says:

    I don’t believe for a minute that Rathergate will cause more than a hiccup. There’s an entire generation of left wing journalists running big media in the USA and Europe that will fault Rather only for screwing up delivery of the message. Oh sure, we’ll see a lot of press about ethics and doubling fact-checking efforts but until this generation runs out their string and is replaced by a new breed that has won their spurs in the Wild West of the blogosphere nothing substantive in the MSM will change.

  18. A Small Victory Says:

    memo: the gathering

    Baseball Crank has an long, link filled, quotalicous post, including a link to the video of Rather’s sit down with Marcia Kramer of CBS-TV. Bill asks questions about Lucy Ramirez and has something about….chickens. Rather Biased reports that the Killi…

  19. CroolWurld Says:

    NPR had a guy on this morning claiming that the flap was overblown because the falsified docs only undergirded what we all know to be the truth about Bush’s National Guard service. Well, what kind of “truths” need to be undergirded with falsified docs? Also, what does this say about NPR’s relation to MSM? Isn’t public radio supposed to be the alternative to commercial broadcasting, rather than running interference for it? Geez, we have our very own one-channel BBC.

  20. jay Says:

    Nick,

    The only tinfoil hats are worn by those who continue to deny the Kerry campaign orchestrated this scandal.

    You are exactly right. The Kerry campaign apparently fed the documents to Burkett through a possible cut-out, “Ms. Lucy Ramirez” a/k/a The Kerry Campaign. When Burkett fed the documents to the willing mouths at CBS, they put him in touch with the Kerry campaign. So we have two (failed) layers of plausible deniability.

    Watch Burkett continue to make disclosures about how this happened in an attempt to save his ass. Rather has partially burned Burkett as a source beyond recognition in Step One. As it gets hotter, in Step Two Rather will report with a straight face how CBS has “learned” the true source of Burkett’s documents, someone with links to the Kerry campaign. “Ms. Lucy Ramirez” can’t be hidden forever.

    A month ago if I had written the above I would have expected to see Black Helicopters on my lawn. Now I think this probably is the G-rated version of what is to come.

    The MSM felt this was the last election they would dominate, so they would influence it openly since their credibility already was in tatters. Even the last desperate attempt to be relevant has backfired. Dan Rather will be the face of this debacle, but there are many more that will be attached to it in the days and weeks ahead.

  21. La Shawn Barber's Corner Says:

    Joe Lockhart Returns…And Gets Burned

    Joe Lockhart, Bill Clinton’s former spokesman, poked his hand in the cookie jar once too often. He got stuck. According to USAToday:CBS arranged for a confidential source to talk with Joe Lockhart, a top aide to Democratic presidential candidate John…

  22. Crusader Says:

    Nothing to look at, citizens! Move along! Go back to your homes…..

  23. jp Says:

    scandal of the century!!!

    people have definitely lost their sense of shame. No one seems to give a shit that the president lied about why and how we were going into Iraq. No one seems to give a shit that Abu Graihb happened on George and Rummy’s watch. No one seems embarassed that we have a borderline retarded cowboy as our envoy to the world.

    If you want to make the argument that Kerry’s toast cause someone on the inside made a huge mistake, W should be toast too. He was the boss when Abu Graihb happened right? Last time I checked even Karl Rove admitted that was illegal act of war and international incident of dramatic proportions.

    By the way, even drudge isn’t covering your major political scandal of the century. That sould tell you something.

    Try comparing the two candidates’ plans for the future. Try examing the fact THE DAY AFTER IT IS REVEALED THAT MORE TROOPS ARE GOING TO IRAQ THE WEEK AFTER THE ELECTION, THERE IS A MAGICAL LEAK FROM DEEP INSIDE THAT ALL TROOPS WILL BE PULLED OUT THE MONTH AFTER THE ELECTION.

  24. cube Says:

    i don’t think this story is going to go anywhere.

    rather apoligized, and i think it will end.

    I could be wrong, i don’t think so.

    pursuing it any farther without definate proof (phone records), just makes the one pursing it look like partisian hacks

  25. Dave Weigel Says:

    Crap, I agree with JP.

    The only way this would be a scandal would be if a Kerry official pushed the story, or even – as some LGF posters theorized – created the memos themselves. Didn’t happen.

    No scandal.

  26. McGehee Says:

    JP, the plan to send more troops to Iraq after the election was apparently so secret it was announced by press release in July.

    Damn those diabolically clever VRWC guys!

  27. T. Andrews Says:

    Doesn’t McCain-Feingold make that sort of collusion illegal? I know that 527s can’t coordinate with candidates, but I thought there was also a restriction on media collusion as well.

  28. ArtD0dger Says:

    I wonder how long it took them to scour the archives to find that wide-eyed, gesturing “I didn’t touch it!” photo of Lockhart.

  29. jamesbray Says:

    -CHEAT SHOT WARNING-

    They will probably find Lucy hiding out at a compound in Africa with other Kerry girlfriends.

    -CHEAT SHOT CONCLUDED-

    Resume normal comments

  30. pete Says:

    yippy another scandal- this way we dont have to discuss whats important, hiccup is an understatement cause there will be another stupid story soon that we can drool over and hide even longer from truely deserving matters.

  31. Gary and the Samoyeds Says:

    I don’t think the Kerry campaign created these docs. We are talking the Kerry campaign, after all. They have the motive, but not the brains to do something even this shoddy.

    Now, there are lots of clever unscrupulous people on the left. It’s possible someone from MoveOn or Media Fund coordinated this effort, sending stuff to both C-BS and KE04.

    We won’t know until after the election, and maybe never.

  32. hudson Says:

    Lockhart wouldn’t have personally called a “joe six pack”. Mapes must have intimated what Burkett had.

    Campaign advisors don’t typically call amatures for campaign advice. What made him pick up the phone and dial?

    He told me to fight back harder against the swift boats. Doesn’t that sound lame? That’s like telling Kerry to shave before the debates. Why would you make a CBS story contingent on passing along a useless bit of advice like that? “Oh, and change your socks every day. Watch milk products and get plenty of rest.”

    Methinks it doth smell like poo.

  33. brian perry Says:

    Pete et al,

    If you don’t think that we are paying attention to the important issues in addition to the Rather brouhaha, then you are obviously not a regular reader of this blog.

  34. Scott Free Says:

    Remember that scene in Pearl Harbour when the cook on the USS Arizona looks into the gaping hole in the deck and sees the Jap bomb, fuse spinning, sitting in the magazine in a pile of high explosive shells?

    Yeah, its something like that.

    Dukakis will count himself fortunate.

  35. pete Says:

    brian- Im a fan of steve not the blather that seems a little petty. Love reading the rants, but substance? All Will had to do yeasterday was mention the name michael moore and the comments went on for ever. Substance, no- ranting, yes. Of course there are many posts that mean something, but sometimes you gotta admit its a bitch session gone horribly wrong.

  36. geoffg Says:

    As if Dems illegally operating/ colluding with CBS + 60-59-58-57…Minutes isn’t bad enough, we now learn that KE04 has been colluding with a (some?) foreign intelligence agent.

    http://www.wbay.com/Global/story.asp?S=2326673

  37. pete Says:

    oopps- that was steve with the question- Steve, buddy, get past it. MM was yeasterday, rather today, tomorrow?

  38. Garrett Says:

    “No one seems embarassed that we have a borderline retarded cowboy as our envoy to the world.”

    As many problems as I have with Bush, and they are numerous, statements like this really chap my ass. And they tend to erase any credibility I might have given the writer’s opinion.

    Get this straight: however much you may dislike the man, he ain’t stupid.

    Stupid people don’t fly supersonic jets.

    Stupid people CAN’T fly supersonic jets. Not without thier short piloting career ending in a spectacular hillside explosion.

    So, criticize his decisions, criticize his positions, just criticize something of substance.

    Otherwise, you’re just a hack.

  39. jp Says:

    i can’t believe you’re basing your entire argument on the fact that bush flew a fuckin plane. A plane by the way that was outdated and almost entirle unused in vietnam.

  40. MartiniPundit Says:

    Louisberg Square, We Have a Problem II

    Via Lucianne comes this: A top adviser to John Kerry says he talked to a central figure in the controversy over President Bush's National Guard service at the suggestion of a CBS News producer shortly before disputed documents were released by the…

  41. pete Says:

    youd think they would have taught bush how to pronounce nuclear at the same time, or was that in a different class that he missed.

  42. hudson Says:

    Mapes to Lockhart “you need to talk to this guy right away because he has some advice on how to run your campaign.”

    Lockhart to Mapes “er..o.k. riiight, as soon as I finish this thing I’ve gotta do. this thing, you know. But right after, absooolutely you betcha”

    But he didn’t blow her off, he called him just to get lame campaign advice. Maybe it’s just me changing over to half-caff, but it just doesn’t make sense.

  43. Greg Says:

    jp,

    I think Garrett was asserting merely that stupid people can’t fly military aircraft. Having experience flying military aircraft myself, I would tend to agree with his opinion.

    But please, do continue. Your comments on this site’s threads are absolutely hilarious. Keep up the great work and please let me know on 11/3 how a retarde cowboy keeps beating smart people like you – consistently and thoroughly – for almost four years now. Oh yeah: Rove. Or is it Cheney? Bush is a puppet, he lied, people died, no blood for oil, Haliburton, blah, blah, blah. Never mind…

  44. tom Says:

    There’s got to be a “Deep Throat” lurking somewhere within the DNC who’s desperate to tell the truth. Who will be the Woodward and Berstein of our day? I suspect their names will come from the blogosphere not the MSM.

  45. Hogarth Says:

    A plane by the way that was outdated and almost entirle unused in vietnam.

    What has that got to do with anything, other than point out that Bush apparently has the nads to do something that would have you screaming for your mama?

    Yep, in your eyes he’d have been better off hoofing his way on up to Canada with all the other brave turncoats. Or spreading incendiary lies about the guys still fighting and dying over there after getting 100 days in and running home to momma. John Kerry, American Hero. Riiggghhhht.

    Fact is, the F-102 WAS being flown in Nam, but again, this has nothing to do with anything. Your ilk are just beside yourselves with angst over the very idea that Bush _might_ have missed a single physical. Is that your argument? All I can say to that is BFD. I missed a dental appointment once. So shoot me.

  46. Garrett Says:

    “i can’t believe you’re basing your entire argument on the fact that bush flew a fuckin plane.”

    Yeah, because flying jets is easy. Hell, you don’t even have to pass a test or anything to fly jets for the military.

    Just tell ’em “Yeee Haw, I wanna go fast and blow shit up,” and they’ll strap you in an F-16 faster than you can spew an ad hominem.

    “youd think they would have taught bush how to pronounce nuclear at the same time, or was that in a different class that he missed.”

    I guess you and jp missed the class that taught you how to use an apostrophe, spell ‘entirely’ or capitalize the start of each sentence and proper nouns.

  47. pete Says:

    is that all you got- punctuation- teach bush how to speak- then maybe ill add a period for you
    grammer boy

  48. Alec Rawls Says:

    Supposing Burkett really was not the creator of the docs, the man who passed them to him at the cattle show might have left some forensic evidence behind. He obviously intended for “Lucy Ramirez” to be the dead end, but was he wearing gloves? If not, the envelope might have fingerprints on it. Ditto the forgeries.

    Burkett wants to sue CBS, so he might cooperate at this point to try to clear his name. How well did he see the guy? Could he pick him out of a mugbook of Kerry, MoveOn etcetera operatives? Are there people who took pictures at the livestock show who could show them to Burkett? Was there any video surveillance? Find “Lucy Ramirez”!

  49. Alec Rawls Says:

    Supposing Burkett really was not the creator of the docs, the man who passed them to him at the cattle show might have left some forensic evidence behind. He obviously intended for “Lucy Ramirez” to be the dead end, but was he wearing gloves? If not, the envelope might have fingerprints on it. Ditto the forgeries.

    Burkett wants to sue CBS, so he might cooperate at this point to try to clear his name. How well did he see the guy? Could he pick him out of a mugbook of Kerry, MoveOn etcetera operatives? Are there people who took pictures at the livestock show who could show them to Burkett? Was there any video surveillance? Find “Lucy Ramirez”!

  50. Li Says:

    Isn’t it time to fact check absolutely everything CBS or any MSM outfit has ever claimed regarding Bush’s time in the Air National Guard? For instance this claim that Bush friends or family pulled strings to get him in the Guard. Was there really a waiting list for the particular pilot training enlistment Bush signed up for? So much of the claims about Bush just fall to the ground if he didn’t in fact get preferential treatment getting in etc.

  51. Steve in Houston Says:

    pete, you misspelled grammar.

  52. Robert Crawford Says:

    I guess you and jp missed the class that taught you how to use an apostrophe, spell ‘entirely’ or capitalize the start of each sentence and proper nouns.

    I would bet that “pete” and “jp” are the same person. The horrible spelling and lack of punctuation are identical.

  53. Bill Says:

    Li

    This from Politpundit commenter “Oak Leaf”:

    I am very curious as to what that

  54. jay Says:

    — Are there people who took pictures at the livestock show who could show them to Burkett? Was there any video surveillance? Find “Lucy Ramirez”!
    –Alec Rawls

    ——————————

    You are on to what very well may make this a blockbuster of a scandal, Alec. I think there was a “Lucy Ramirez,” and she is connected to both CBS and the Kerry campaign either directly or through mutual friends.

    The TANG smear was to be co-ordinated and sustained, as has now been established, and Burkett sounds sincere when he says he asked CBS to authenticate the documents. As everyone will recall, CBS indeed claimed they had been authenticated. I bet the DNC is into very, very heavy, down-the-ticket damage control mode at the momement. Burkett also is a man who sounds quite angry at how he has been a patsy at least once and perhaps twice (if you count being burned as the “source”). Look for him to talk a lot more in the days ahead.

  55. Notes & Musings Says:

    CBS Serving As Stringer For Kerry Campaign?

    Yep, no media bias here, no sir CBS arranged for meeting with Lockhart (Kevin Johnson, Dave Moniz and Jim Drinkard, USA TODAY) WASHINGTON

  56. Feste...a foolsblog Says:

    Yes, We Have No Pajamas

    There’s a blog on our screen It’s run by a Geek. Another posts many things he’s seen But you should see this one link! When you ask a question, he never answers “no”. He just mocks you to death, As…

  57. jp Says:

    to the person who said pete and jp are the same, congratulations. You’re probably one of the same experts who originally authenticated the docs for CBS.

    to everyone else on here who seems to be in complete denial of Bush’s incompetence (sp?)- bush win’s for the same reason any politican wins: there are tons and tons of people who want their beliefs and prejudices to be validated so they pick a candidate who validates them. It has nothing to do with competence, intelligence, success in policymaking, etc. It’s the same reason people watch fox’news’- not because it’s quality news, but because it validates their beliefs. It’s the same reason people loyally read this blog- what you read validates your beliefs and props up your desire for a republican win by telling you what you want to hear. That’s how this site brings you back. that’s how bush keeps winning. That’s how john kerry might actually win. to equate that to intelligence or competence is incongruous, it’s a non-sequitor, or as Bush would say, “Shit don’t stick to that gator.”

  58. Robert Thomson Says:

    You can’t spell non sequitur either.

  59. Feste...a foolsblog Says:

    Yes, We Have No Pajamas

    There’s a blog on our screen It’s run by a Geek. Another posts many things he’s seen But you should see this one link! When you ask a question, he never answers “no”. He just mocks you to death, As…

  60. rosignol Says:

    Y’think maybe shooting an email to Will or Stephen asking them to check the logs to see if the IP addresses match would be a good idea?

  61. Garrett Says:

    “is that all you got- punctuation- teach bush how to speak- then maybe ill add a period for you
    grammer boy”

    You mean to say that one’s ability to punctuate correctly and use proper grammar is not necessarily a primary indicator of their intelligence?

    Well golly, maybe that means that one who is prone to public speaking gaffs is not necessarily an imbecile.

    Thanks for making my apparently too subtle point for me.

  62. Garrett Says:

    “I think Garrett was asserting merely that stupid people can’t fly military aircraft.”

    Yeah Greg, that was my point.

    One I’m sure our troll-of-the-week got but refused to acknowledge.

  63. Attila Girl Says:

    Pete/JP:

    I’m going to assume that when Carter was President you found it equally disturbing that *he* couldn’t pronounce “nuclear.”

  64. Infidel Says:

    “youd think they would have taught bush how to pronounce nuclear at the same time, or was that in a different class that he missed.

    Posted by pete”

    And then…

    “is that all you got- punctuation- teach bush how to speak- then maybe ill add a period for you
    grammer boy

    Posted by pete”
    ——————–

    I don’t know…maybe we can call it “the yo..ah, clueless leading the ign’ernt”.

    Let’s guess who completely trashed the public educa…I mean, indoctrination…system.

  65. pete Says:

    it is a pitty that you bush freaks can completely berate someone on how they spell and at the same time try to convince yourselves that your president is worthy of his office, for “even a ‘C’ student can do it”. I do believe those were his exact words. He is not the brightest guy, which is fine. Just quit tring to convince us that he is. It makes you look as dumb as he.

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