In his first TV interview since his ignominious departure from CBS News, Dan Rather confirmed to Larry King what many of us have suspected for a long time: When it comes to his discredited story about Bush’s Air National Guard service, he is centrally located in a state of denial where he shares a duplex with the story’s producer, Mary Mapes. Brent Baker has the video and relevant transcripts. The most amazing part — other than when he says he “absolutely” stands by his phony story – is when he expresses the following paranoid delusion:
Reminded by King of how Rather’s CBS News was called “the liberal network,” Rather charged: “They call you names when you insist on being independent.” Rather proceeded to insist, clearly talking about himself, that journalists who are “willing to be truly independent, and fiercely independent when called upon, and dedicated to pulling no punches and playing no favorites have become in recent years a bit of an endangered species.” Rather even resurrected how CBS “took on” Senator McCarthy and “led in coverage of the only President in history who resigned as an unindicted co-conspirator in a widespread criminal conspiracy. Now, when you’re a reporter involved in those kinds of stories on a regular basis, there are…powerful people who say we’ve got to get rid of this guy or…we’re going to damage him up. And that’s when they start hanging the signs around you.”
It couldn’t be that a few bloggers suspicious of his motives stumbled onto an enormous journalistic fraud. That’s far too quotidian for a journalist of Rather’s self-proclaimed importance. It must have been a shadowy conspiracy — the fruition of all the plots and schemes of Rather’s enemies.
Doesn’t he realize that if we were that good, the New York Times would be out of the secrets-publishing business by now?
UPDATE: The Newsbusters link was broken for awhile. I fixed it.