...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 16, 2004

Updated Thoughts On E-mailing CBS News

On Friday, i began my crusade to get people to e-mail CBS News and ask for Dan Rather's resignation. i also think it's a good idea to demand that CBS release the name of the person who gave them the forged memos.

The issues that arise from this scandal are too big and too far-reaching to ignore, and that is why i'm so passionate about this. Thank you for the sincere concern of those of you who e-mailed me, reminding me not to neglect the demands of my first year law courses. i know you are right. But i also know that i have built a small reservoir of goodwill among the few readers of this blog, and if i can multiply that goodwill for this important purpose, i see it as my duty to do so.

My own e-mails to CBS have evolved with the story, and as CBS's stonewalling has progressed. Here is my latest version, which i sent after reading CBS News President Andrew Heyward's long awaited, and anti-climactic press release:

I eagerly awaited CBS News President Andrew Heyward's press release regarding last week's 60 Minutes II program and the Killian memos. When the three sentence statement was finally released, I was left with the impression that CBS's news division is in disarray.

It is now beyond doubt that all of the memos disclosed by CBS News on the 60 Minutes II program are forgeries. It is also beyond doubt that Dan Rather, his producer and the staff of 60 Minutes II failed to exercise even the most rudimentary journalistic neutrality or judgment concerning the use of these forged memos.

Accordingly, I cannot see any reason for Dan Rather to remain employed as anchorman of the Evening News, or in any capacity at CBS. His continued evasions and denials contradict reality and reflect badly on your organization's public image.

Every day that Mr. Rather remains as the face of CBS News brings further lost credibility to your once great news department. Please forward this message to the appropriate person, as my request that Mr. Rather resign immediately.

In addition, there is no longer any reason to protect the identity of the person or persons who transmitted the forged documents to CBS News. In fact there is ample reason to disclose that information immediately.

I'm sure you will agree that manipulation of a presidential election through deceit and fraud is a serious matter. I'm sure you will also agree that CBS News should not appear to be tolerant of such acts, and certainly should not be seen as an abettor to fraud. Yet, unless CBS News discloses the name of the person or persons responsible for the forgeries, your organization will suffer a loss of prestige and credibility that may take generations to rebuild.

CBS is still entrenched. The emergence of the secretary will probably prevent Rather from being fired, which is unfortunate. But one thing is clear. CBS News has no intention of doing the right thing. They had plenty of chances to do that already, and they went in the opposite direction. i think their lawyers may have had something to do with that, and Rather probably begged them to give him one more chance to buttress his story. He outfoxed everyone with this latest coup, but it doesn't change the fact of his egregious breach of journalistic ethics. Nor does it absolve the mysterious forger of any wrongdoing.

Regardless of whether Rather resigns, or CBS discloses the forger, i remain convinced that people should continue to e-mail CBS News with their opinions. If there are Congressional hearings, someone is going to ask the CBS representatives how many complaints they received concerning this whole scandal. And i want their response to be as large a number as possible.

Contact CBS News by clicking here.

See also: Kevin at Wizbang has background on how CBS developed the National Guard story. And Val Prieto at Babalu Blog has a link for you to contact your local CBS affiliate too.

Posted by annika, Sep. 16, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


Be careful what you wish for. Every Democrat I talk to has no interest in any of this b.s. that distracts everybody (voters, press, bloggers) from the real issues that need to be addressed in this election. From everything I read it's the Republicans that stand to gain by the release of this memo.

Be careful what you wish for. This could be very embarrassing for the G.O.P.!!

Posted by: Dave Diamond on Sep. 16, 2004

Dave Diamond,

with a name like that you should go into the moives ....pron movies.

I am just kidding.

If CBS is baised and the souces of the memos would hurt the GOP, i would think that they would have been released a long time ago.

So i have to conclude the oppiste of what you conculded, the release of the source can only hurt the democrats

Posted by: cube on Sep. 16, 2004

Hey Annika, http://rathergate.com has a link to contact all of CBS' sponsors at once. FYI.

Posted by: Johnny Walker Red on Sep. 16, 2004

I'm sorry, I misstated it - it's not the sponsors, it's the shareholders.

Posted by: Johnny Walker Red on Sep. 16, 2004

Hey Dave Diamond,
Oh contraire monfrair......ol' Hillary has something to gain from the Dems losing this election: she doesn't have to put on her sh*t-eating grin and smile for the next (potentially) 8 years while she supports other people running for the presidency :) I know, conspiracy theory....the Clintons would never keep a secret.

Posted by: Pete on Sep. 16, 2004

I emailed CBS and my local affiliate. Strangely enough, last night the local affiliate ran an editorial on Kerry and the Winter Soldier Investigation from a website www.newscentral.tv It's been so long since I watched anything on network tv that I was shocked that they ran a conservative piece.

Posted by: irishlass on Sep. 16, 2004

Has anyone had a response from CBS? Me, neither. So I typed up a note, congratulating them on "finding proof of the President's dereliction of duty." Yes, I had my fingers and toes crossed while I typed that up because I recall seeing on another blog how notes of support are getting responses. The blog included a cut-and-paste of CBS's response. I'll let you know what happened.

Posted by: LCVRWC on Sep. 17, 2004

That is a fantastic idea, LCVRWC! Let us know what happens.

Posted by: annika! on Sep. 17, 2004

Your wisdom astute
Deserves a tribute
On source revelation
We have a peroration
On Nakedvillainy.com
It won't take you long
To laugh at amateur verse
Of our Dan Rather curse

Seriously, the poetry is bad but I think you'll be amused.

Posted by: smallholder on Sep. 20, 2004

Actually, it is rather amusing.

Posted by: annika! on Sep. 20, 2004