In Depth

Koppel on Rather Suit: Squeezing Out of Newsman was a ‘Travesty’

Calling the ouster of Dan Rather from CBS News in 2006 a “travesty,” newsman Ted Koppel said today that he hopes the $70 million suit filed by Mr. Rather against CBS and Viacom will bring Mr. Rather “relief from his [emotional] pain.”

Mr. Koppel said he “hurt” for Mr. Rather, whom he characterized as a friend. Addressing the “60 Minutes” report about President George Bush’s National Guard service that preceded Mr. Rather’s departure from CBS, Mr. Koppel said the story was “much more correct than incorrect.” Mr. Koppel said that those responsible for the incorrect parts of the report deserved to be chastised and punished.

It is a “travesty” that “Dan Rather was squeezed out” with such little class from CBS News, Mr. Koppel said today at a forum at Fordham University in New York City that was put on by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The academy tonight presents its annual News and Documentary Emmys. During this evening’s ceremony, Mr. Koppel, the former ABC “Nightline” newscaster who now works for Discovery Communications, is scheduled to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award from NATAS.

Mr. Koppel also spoke about the difficulties that network news departments face as parts of media conglomerates. Speaking of his former employer, he said, “ABC News is a pimple on the elephant’s behind”—the elephant being ABC parent Walt Disney Co.

Explaining the remark later to TelevisionWeek, Mr. Koppel said he first realized how small ABC News was in relation to Disney as a whole some years ago when he was flipping through the annual report and saw that he was many, many pages into it before ABC News received a mention.

The dilemma stems from the fact that the media giants are primarily entertainment companies and thus have to make money, Mr. Koppel said. He cited the birth of “60 Minutes” on CBS in 1968 as a watershed moment that became a double-edged sword: It was a serious news product that was embraced by viewers, which was good. Unfortunately, it also made a lot of money and proved to the owners of the broadcast networks that a news division could be—and in their view should be—profitable.

Mr. Koppel also explained why the White House has not let him have a one-on-one interview with Mr. Bush at any time since Mr. Bush has been president.

When Mr. Bush was running for president, Mr. Koppel asked then Governor Bush what qualified him to be president. Mr. Bush cited his experience as governor of Texas, his experience running the Texas Rangers baseball team, as well as the fact that he was a loving husband and father.

Mr. Koppel replied that those qualifications would seem to be good qualifications if one were running for president of the Kiwanis Club, but not for president of the United States.

Ever since then it’s been the big freeze for Mr. Koppel from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

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Comments 312

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Whoever stands up for that left-wing pinko Dan Rather is really showing his own bias and true colors. Dan Rather only got his job at CBS in the first place because LBJ put pressure on them to hire him.
I have been very critical of CBS in the past (having been fired twice by them myself;)
but this time they called it right. Too bad they didn't get the right replacement, but that's another story.

Jennifer

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It's too bad Chuck Long took such liberty with Mr. Koppel's comments about the Dan Rather affair. Mr. Koppel simply expressed sympathy for the manner in which Mr. Rather, "an old friend," was forced out of CBS. Further, Mr. Long failed to mention some other very interesting topics discussed during the forum, ranging from the effect of cable and satellite media on the scope of broadcast news, the impact of the Internet and how it expands the selection of news-worthy (and especially non-newsworthy! events), and the dwindling number of truly news-focused programs on air.

Mark

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I remember it taking over six months after Dan Rather's report before he left. He admitted error at the time. He claimed control. He appologised for the errors made to the public, but as far as I ever saw, he never appoligised to the person he libelled with his report.

From my viewpoint, I saw a man that had taken the "Tiffany" network to last place during his tenure. His report started with a conclusion and tried to tell a story that made his point. His employers did a thoughough review of the facts and after six months, to the chagrin of the affiliate body, and finally offered him positions on the CBS Newsmagazines with an opportunity to redeem himself. Perhaps he had lost his drive or objectivity, but he failed at this opportunity.

If he would have been fired imediately after the bogus report, perhaps then he could have made a case for a rush to judgement. As it was I think that the network was more than fair to Mt. Rather.

Daniel

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I also attended the Ted Koppel presentation today. I am surprised to see that a single sentence can be taken out of context and made into an entire article. Kudos to the author.

When Mr Koppel discussed his concern with the news and its ability to be fact based but not truth based, he must have been speaking about this.

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What CBS did to Dan Rather was disgusting. He was an extremely talented and informed newscaster who occasionally let his bias show very clearly. If CBS was right in letting Mr. Rather go, then every newscaster on FOX News should be let go because they are openly biased. Yes, Dan Rather obviously does not like Mr. Bush, most people don't, but to be shoved out of the anchor position because of a story with some inaccuracies was uncalled for. But it's just another sign of the ruination of broadcast TV and Radio by the big companies. Again using CBS as an example, they encouraged Don Imus to be controversial but when NOW and others with a lot of clout at the checkout counter protested, he got fired. And fired for one of the least harshest comments he has made in his career. I personally don't condone Imus's comments and didn't listen to him because of them and I'm glad to see him gone but CBS was wrong for firing him for that comment and it was only because the people with the big bucks protested. Had it been just the NAACP and Al Sharpton, Imus would still be there. The article says, " When Mr. Bush was running for president, Mr. Koppel asked then Governor Bush what qualified him to be president. Mr. Bush cited his experience as governor of Texas, his experience running the Texas Rangers baseball team, as well as the fact that he was a loving husband and father. Mr. Koppel replied that those qualifications would seem to be good qualifications if one were running for president of the Kiwanis Club, but not for president of the United States." Maybe not very tactful but extremely true as has been sadly proven by Mr. Bush's incompetence and his ability to be feed so much misinformation, i.e. Weapons of Mass Destruction. I could go on but I think you all get the picture.

Bob North Smithfield

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What comes around, goes around.

I never forgave rather for orchestrating the "early retirement" of Walter Cronkite. (at the age of 65 and still #1 in the ratings)

Sorry, dan, you got what you deserved.

You took over and ran the Evening News into the ground.
They should have fired you years ago.

Bill

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I keep reading these lies about reporters on Fox News being biased, "biased" now apparently meaning "not leaning heavily to the left."

I also enjoy people who confuse the COMMENTATORS on Fox News - Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Brit Hume - with the reporters.

Further there still hasn't been much of an uproar about CNN's self-censorship during the rule of Saddam Hussein to maintain their Iraq bureau - it's much more important that Fox News be attacked should one of their reporters inadvertently not say something virulently anti-Bush.

Mr. Koppel neeed to get a clue as does Mr. Rather. Mr. Rather was not just an innocent drone reading news stories on CBS, he had final editorial approval. Approving a story based on provably false evidence doesn't sound a lot like "journalism" to me, even if you do hate the subject.

ABC News a "pimple" on the butt of Disney because it was several pages into the annual report before they were mentioned? Boo hoo, I hope Koppel's ego wasn't hurt too badly.

Guess what, guys, the world doesn't revolve around YOU and what stories you present any more. Get over it.

Of course I'm also reading the same old canards here about Bush and his "misinformation" about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, despite the fact:

1) WMDs WERE found in Iraq, unless you call millions of metric tons of Uranium and nerve-gas filled shells to be mere nuisances.

2) The same evidence was viewed by the Clinton Administration and Congress, and they both came to the SAME conclusions regarding Iraq and WMDs prior to the war. Boy, the GOP's misinformation campaign really must have been in high gear to have kept Billy in the dark during HIS Presidency!

Tim

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Sorry Bill. You can make up facts all you want, but anyone who actually paid attention to what was going on in Iraq during and after the invasion knows that there were no WMD found.

The so-called "millions of metric tons" of uranium was actually 1.8 tons and it was yellowcake uranium, milled uranium oxide that is the first step toward enriched uranium, but it's a long way from being weapons-grade.

Yellowcake is not considered a WMD by anyone who knows anything about the subject. All literate people know that Saddam once had "nuclear weapons facilities." They also know that these facilities had not been used in years and at the time of the invasion could not possibly have been used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Nobody considers the "partially enriched" uranium found in Iraq to be a WMD. To be useful in a WMD, this uranium would have to be enriched using technology that did not exist in Iraq in 2003. Further, the enriched uranium would then have to be machined, and Iraq did not have facilities to machine uranium for a bomb.

You can bet that if this was in the least bit significant, both the Bush administration and their propaganda arm, Fox News, would have bombarded us for months to let us know how successful their "Liberation Action" in Iraq actually was.

GWJones

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The media as a whole has distinguished itself as spineless to the point of complicity with the hype ed build-up to the invasion of Iraq, the sanctimonious posturing and glorified victimization around 9-11 and most of all, the degradation of legal and human rights in the USA today which makes McCarthyism and COINTELPRO look amateur by comparison.

The lack of any perspective beyond national jingoist chauvinism or of history shows thru almost any program offering "news".

The only positive aspect of this phenomena is that the media has lost credbility with a wide swath of the American public, who trust it no more than the politicians they no longer bother voting for.

Bugsby

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Dan Rather's timing on his lawsuit is brilliant.

George W.'s dwindling diehard supporters need to be reminded about our hapless President using his rich Daddy's connections to get pansy duty in the National Guard. And going AWOL on party binges when he had the chance to serve.

His military record is especially damning considering how he's pushing our troops to the breaking point, extending tours of duty to 15 & 18 months, sending these men and women back to war again and again, without rest between deployments.

The story Dan Rather reported was true. Some of the documentation was forged, but there are enough witnesses to the facts that the paperwork was/is beside the point. And it's a crying shame that the forgeries became the story and ended up providing Bush cover for his shameful service record.

MisterJones

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Bugsby's got it right. The essential facts of the Rather story were true and well known for years. The new part of the story, the documentation, was suspect, which tainted everything.

Hawaiiangecko

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"All literate people know that Saddam once had "nuclear weapons facilities." They also know that these facilities had not been used in years and at the time of the invasion could not possibly have been used to manufacture nuclear weapons."

Sorry Tim, but unless you were on Hussein's payroll, you had no clue what Iraq had or didn't have. You're simply a dishonest pinhead.

redblanchardisadumbass

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Red, someone needs to tell you to your face how incredibly pathetic and stupid you are. Go away. Or stay, because obviously you are so incredibly vapid that you don't matter. To anyone. What a joke.

redblanchardandbillarebothridiculouslystupid

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Oh, and Bill? Tim so made you look even dumber than you made yourself look with your ignorant comments. He's your daddy. you too are a joke.

rain39

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I have a lot of respect for Dan Rather and hope that this law suit breaks the story open in a more favorable climate. We all know that Bush didn't serve his time. No one has come forward to say that they served with him in the disputed time period.

Does it matter now? Not so much because Bush has acted out the character he showed then, on the international stage in the past few years. So, he has already proved the piece's point. Too bad people didn't get that a whole lot earlier and we might have saved ourselves a lot of grief with Iraq, the economy, our respect in the world, housing and the American dollar sinking everywhere in the world...

Those of us up close and personal in Texas and were NOT in the GOP already knew that his character was not so great before or into the first term.

J. Webster

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If anyone still buys anything coming out of this republi-con administration they need serious psychological counseling, you have almost drowned yourself drinking the Kool-Aid. Open your mind and eyes to logic and truth, not just talking points. And quit believing anything that faux news preaches, they have actually won a lawsuit regarding their ability to LIE about the news or anything they want. Why would a corporation do that? Unless they have an agenda.

Richard

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"""I also enjoy people who confuse the COMMENTATORS on Fox News - Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Brit Hume - with the reporters.""""
Freudian slip there fella?
Hume is an anchor and "journalist" by FOX's claim.

Richard

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"""Whoever stands up for that left-wing pinko Dan Rather"""..?
How old are you guy?? Pinko?
Let me make a point here...this is Thomas Jefferson's America..and in that one you can be who you want to be. You can be a Left Winger..and its OK..really. You can be a Pinko...OK as well. What you can not be is a person that calls someone such things and has absolutely no proof to back it up. That is what Americans call 'chickenSh*t' and rightfully so.

Gustogirl

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I had been concerned about the conglomeration of the news media into huge entertainment/communications corporations, but when Dan Rather got fired, my concern became outright alarm.

Rather's firing has Rove's fingerprints all over it. All the major news media had become propoganda tools for the Bush Administration. CNN went along with the staged toppling of Saddam's statue, and the mouthpieces were appallingly biased - even in the "news" rather than commentary sections.

I hope Rather wins this suit and good. These huge profit mongers need to get a little lesson in what America is supposed to be about.

As for the Fox addicts who have commented: you guys are so far away from reality, your attachment to Fox is written all over you. You never have original arguments - you just repeat the lies a Florida court gave Fox permission to disseminate as "news". You need a wider perspective.

Mike

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"""Whoever stands up for that left-wing pinko Dan Rather"""..?

Boy, you sure proved your point. Nice argument. Let me guess: You're not much for thinking, are you? If that's the best you can do, you're not in the same ballpark as Dan Rather either intellectually or ethically.

Crawl back in your hole and wait for the NeoCons to tell you what to be wrong about next... Like maybe where Shrub was for that lost year he was supposed to be serving our country.

DallasNE

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Jennifer, you wrote: "Mr. Koppel simply expressed sympathy for the manner in which Mr. Rather, "an old friend," was forced out of CBS.".

No, Ted Koppel did not express sympathy. He expressed regret. Surely you know the difference.

Rather's suit should be prime time news next summer -- just in time for the 2008 election. My bet is that CBS will attempt to kick the can down the road until after the election, however.

rockyroad

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Dan Rather is an icon in journalism.

America has benifitted from his historic reporting, from Viet Nam, the Democratic National Convention in 1968 right up to today.

Without knowing it, he has served as a mentor, role model and stellar example of the best of worldwide reporting for generations of aspiring journalists.

Frankly, I am in awe of the man. He is a legend.

Back in the day, before consolidation, CBS, The Washington Post, CNN, et al, were beacons of freedom and demons of government wrath. Today, government and media are one and branches of the same. We need Rather and more of his ilk.

Shame on CBS.

Love you Dan.

Johnbo

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Mr. Koppel said the story was “much more correct than incorrect.”

Um, what part of the story was "incorrect"?

FACT: Bush got into the TANG using family connections jumping ahead of thousands of other applicants. His test scores - the lowest possible to qualify as a pilot - and DUI offenses that would have disqualified him were overlooked.

FACT: Bush didn't complete his obligation to the TANG. He failed to take his annual physical even after being directed to do so by his commanding officer and was consequently removed from flight status - an evevt that would have warranted disiplinary actions for someone less politically connected. His attendance record at the guard unit that he transfered to was spotty and poorly documented but, at any rate, he ceased flying - the skill that the TANG had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars developing.

FACT: Bush was able to leave the TANG and go to graduate school before his time obligation was complete.

FACT: Karen Hughes oversaw a cleansing of Bush's guard records when Bush was govenor of Texas.

The only question regarding the 60 Minutes report - which Rather was only partially involved in producing - was the possibllity that the documents might be forged. People directly involved in the unit at the time testified to the accuracy of the events the documents reveal. Curiously, the Thornburg report never ruled that the documents were forged. While chastising the CBS crew for rushing the story to deadline and not adequately vetting the documements, the commission, with an unlimited amount of time, couldn't state that the documents were forged. Go figure!!

Give the right-wing spin machine and the compliant MSM for keeping the spotlight on Rather and CBS while missing the real story - a war time president who had used a guard unit to avoided the Viet Nam war and then failed to even complete his service.

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"Dan Rather is an icon in journalism.

America has benifitted from his historic reporting, from Viet Nam, the Democratic National Convention in 1968 right up to today."

Amen to this. Rather is heads above the anchors of today. News has been in a downward spiral towards Newsertainment since Rather and Koppel have departed.

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Red Blanchard said:

>>Whoever stands up for that left-wing pinko
>>Dan Rather is really showing his own bias and
>>true colors.

a quick perusal of your web site, red, reveals you to be an old-time radio guy - emphasis on old time. pejoratives like "left-wing pinko" went out of the lexicon around the time of your last firing from CBS. let me guess: you were a big fan of eugene mccarthy, weren't you?

you should stick to your fond reminiscing about "i love lucy" and other 50s-era entertainment milestones. the fact that your political brain is still mired in that backwards-thinking, xenophobic, authoritarian-craving era is truly pathetic. i'm sure the hippies got your knickers in a knot during the 60s, but isn't it amazing how right they were about vietnam, the environment, and civil rights?

the folks that actually questioned "authority" back then ushered in an era of openness in government. nixon tried to quash it and paid the price. bush has done everything possible to destroy the notion of truth. thus, we've been subjected to conscience-deprived schlubs like armstrong williams, jeff gannon, mitch mcconnell and general petraeus—all trotting out half-truths, mangled statistics and outright lies all the while presenting them as truths. blind little sheep—like the aforementioned and you—do nothing to improve this great nation. instead, you help keep dangerous, power-hungry criminals like bush and cheney in power at the expense of the rest of us and at the peril of this country.

here's a hard fact: george w. bush was given preferential treatment to avoid real service during vietnam and he didn't even have the balls, decency, or integrity to complete his taxpayer-funded service. if you knew half of the facts about this case, you could have spared yourself the embarrassment of posting your ignorant drivel. instead, you've bought into the lies the right wing foisted upon you. what a sad and silly little man you are for allowing that to happen.

being old doesn't give you a free pass on being ignorant. wise up, red; it's never too late.

bighead

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johnbo is right on. we all wondered why the relevant facts got torpedoed via possibily forged docs. yet back when i was on the street for a CBS competitor, there was talk of Roger Mudd being the annointed one. Were it mudd in the evening chair and all things being the same, would the firing still have happened? I dunno! Yet i do know, Dan got iced by a timid CBS. ask Roger Mudd.

Jared

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"Whoever stands up for that left-wing pinko Dan Rather is really showing his own bias and true colors."

This, ladies and gentleman, is how the mind of the average Republican lemming works. If you wonder what kind of nitwit makes up the roughly 25% of Americans that still support this disaster of a President and the lies that put him into the White House!

Deep Goat

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(Where can I sign up to be a "pinko"?? SOMEBODY needs to oppose this administration's culture of Dumb... if the wingnut commentary here is any indication!)

You can blast CBS and CNN all you want. I just want to know why, every time a Karl Rove "rat***" occurs, it's like a virgin birth of a brand new phenomenon, that someone just discovered under a lettuce leaf somewhere?

As the 2000 presidential campaign got underway, there had been rumblings that W's cocaine use were going to surface. Meanwhile, author J.H. Hatfield had written a tell-all book about W, which was not in the least bit flattering to a potential presidential candidate. They did not include Bush's drug use.

Along came a "mystery man" who, as Hatfield's book was preparing to go to press, presented him with a ton of evidence about such drug use. Hatfield checked it out, and included it in an appendix to the book.

But before the book could be published, all of a sudden, information surfaced all over the MAINSTREAM MEDIA about Hatfield HIMSELF... ex-con, attempted murder, blah blah blah. True stuff, too. The guy was fried. St. Martin's Press BURNED printed copies of his upcoming book. Hatfield ultimately committed suicide.

If you do not already know the punchline... the "mystery man" who outed Bush, according to the publisher who eventually put out "Fortunate Son", turned out to be Karl Rove himself. By dumping all fatal evidence into the hands of one messenger... and then sliming the messenger... he shorted-out all the information the messenger had to deliver. And no one touches the nasty information, ever again.

In Donald Segretti-speak (Rove's mentor), this is called "rat****ing". And every damned time it happens, we all act like such shocked Pollyannas.

In the Rather case, Rove brought "rat****ing" to the next level. Most people are not aware of this, but to this day, those documents have, in fact, NOT been "proven" to be forgeries (whenever the Rather story is mentioned in the news, you will invariably hear, "... documents PROVEN TO BE FALSE". False! But, accepted fact nonetheless). Rather and Mapes only copped to not having AUTHENTICATED them... for which they were fired.

The right-wing blog attack which allegedly "proved" them to be forgeries was orchestrated bunk. In a subsequent document dump by Bush's White House, some TANG memos were released, which contained one of the elements that the right-wing bloggers had claimed did not exist at the time of Bush's Guard service... "superscript". Thus, negating their entire campaign. Rather and Mapes were, by this time, long canned.

Meaning that this time, Rove managed to do the poisoned evidence thing with docs that were not even proven to be poison. And the conventional wisdom to this day, even when reported in newspapers, TV or radio, is that they WERE.

The man is Satan.

Mercy

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Easy for Kopple to comment after the fact. As for Dan, hope he wins and all the crap that comes out in discovery will make for great reading.

martin

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So being a two term successful Governor of one of the biggest states in th USA only qualifies for running the Kiwanis club? Koppel has an obvious hatred for Bush. No serious minded person would say something like that unless it is motivated by hate. The underlying reason is that Bush is a Bible believing christian.

oldtree

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There was once fairness in broadcasting. Decades ago you could afford a radio or television station to help your community. It has been a pretense for decades that there might be any community service that isn't a part of advertising for revenue. So don't look for any public service ads from the public. They are far too expensive to create and air as a commercial.
and do try to remember, everything they let you see is a commercial

DumbyaTheNazi

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spoken like a true right wing wacko RepubliNazi!!

The facts are as follows....

Dumbya did not finish his air guard duty.
Dumbya was given preferential treatment to avoid REAL military service .
And lastly , there has never been a falsehood proven by Rathers crtitics.They say ONE document out of 100's was false. Proof??

Nope.

Fascist, right wingers arent big on facts, or due process, or the constitution.

typical fascists, hide behind nationalism while undermining democracy.

DumbyaTheNazi

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"So being a two term successful Governor of one of the biggest states in th USA only qualifies for running the Kiwanis club? Koppel has an obvious hatred for Bush. No serious minded person would say something like that unless it is motivated by hate. The underlying reason is that Bush is a Bible believing christian."

Posted by martin | September 25, 2007 10:13 AM

yeah its certainly not the whole lying his way into war.

or failing at everything he has ever done.
or being a chickenhawk.

no no, its casue he love s jesus!!
yeah thats it.

its not cause he stole the 2000 election.
nope.
ted koppel hates jesus!

.....u right wing nut jobs sure are reachin nowadays.

B-Man

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Dan Rather got his original story right. The disgraceful Bush went AWOL while other brave men and women were dying in Vietnam. I hope his lawsuit goes to court, I hope he gets full discovery privileges, and I hope the whole truth about AWOL Bush comes out into the light of day.

Dan Rather is one of the best journalists alive today. He is everything FOX news is not, which is a journalist with integrity and the balls to go out and get an important story. When has FOX News ever broken a major news story? Ever.

Steven P. ARIZONA

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Boo Hoo for Dan Rather. His new reports and stories have been biased for years. I say good riddance to an overpaid old hack...Time for new blood.

kulshan

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they broke the stroy about Obama being educated at a madrasa!!

remember???
the "story".

like a bed time fable, told from one RepubliNazi to another RepubliNazi.

all that info checked out right REpubliNazis??

cause otherwise they would have had to fir Hannity, O'really,Brit Hum-r and all the rest of the White House Propoganda Wing of the Nazi party.

Dan

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Yet when the same story was run by the BBC a year earlier, no objections were made to it because no one in this country pays attention to the BBC.

http://www.gregpalast.com/dan-rather-tased-and-confused/

The fact is that Bush got special favors at the request of his congressman father to get into the Air National Guard in the 60s and gave improper favors amounting to millions of dollars as governor to keep people in the know quiet.

DumbyaisANazi

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His new reports and stories have been biased for years. I say good riddance to an overpaid old hack...Time for new blood.

u talkin about Brit Hume or Dan Rather?

Ones a journalist, the other is press secretary to be....

Steven P. ARIZONA

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DumbyaTheNazi: I think you should change your handle to "LEFTWINGWACKO". I can't stand BUSH either and think he is one of the most arrogant and stupid Presidents we have ever had, right along with Carter and Nixon. You Left Wing Socialist NAZI's keep forgetting we do not live in a democracy but live in a republic. If we lived in a true democracy the majority of votes would win the presidential election which has never been the case.

Dan

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Fact

....Dan Rather took CBS news to dismal ratings...the American people tuned him out over time...he know looks wimpy and petty....seems he wanted to be some icon when in truth he was a card reader informing America...Dan Rather was a last place news anchor, simple as that..

Steven P. ARIZONA

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kulshan, B-Man, Are you on drugs? Did you take your med's today? Nobody cares about that Bush story except leftwing wacko's. I thought you morons were going to move to Canada or out of the country. I wish you dolts would and take you hero Bush with you.

DC Proud

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Bill writes: "I also enjoy people who confuse the COMMENTATORS on Fox News - Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Brit Hume - with the reporters."

From Fox News Channel's Web site: "Brit Hume is FOX News’ Washington, D.C. managing editor."

I don't enjoy people who confuse the RIGHT-WING TALKING POINTS on Fox News with the REPORTING that is supposed to be done by a news organization.

sherlock

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FACT: Bush got into the TANG using family connections jumping ahead of thousands of other applicants.

AN ACTUAL FACT: You don't know the difference between a college grad qualified to attend Officer Training, and physically able to pass Flight Training, of whom the TANG could not find enough of to fill their airplanes' cockpits, and the "thousands" of high-school grads trying to avoid the draft by enlisting in the TANG. To fly in the USAF / TANG, you had to be an Officer, and still do. To be an Officer, you have to have an undergradute college degree, and still do. Those are facts.

Those "thousands" could not qualify to be an Officer, only Enlisted grades, and therefore could not fill those Pilot seats. Period.


Dan Rather is an icon in journalism.

Yeah, I see his icon in the upper left corner of my screen. Looks like he needs to be emptied.

nutty4tahoe

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Dan Rather got railroaded by the Repuglican Sumner Redstone, chief of Viacom which owns CBS. That's what happens when your irresponsible fratboy president gets too close to being exposed for the lying fraud he is. That's why Katie Couric is toeing the Repuglican line, she knows which side her bread is buttered on. To Dan Rather I cheerleadingly say: GO GO GO! And please ask your lawyers dive headfirst into the "discovery" portion of the case and get the documents once and for all. It's time for all the Repuglican boo-bears to finally get a dose of reality.

Karen

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Red Blanchard has shown himself to be a flatheaded right wingnut in his posting. It is not whether Rather was a pinko or who got him hired. I didn't like him as an anchor so I never watched him but his politics are not in question here. I believe the story -- that Bush evaded service and has no business being commander in chief or anything more consequential than a cub scout troop -- but the whole affair was horribly mishandled.

CBS was ham-handed in its managment. If I recall, they also screwed up the story about the man who let the obscene behavior by the cigarette manufacturers. It is a long way from Ed Murrow, that is for sure.

martin

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yeah its certainly not the whole lying his way into war.
or failing at everything he has ever done.
or being a chickenhawk.
no no, its casue he love s jesus!!
yeah thats it.
its not cause he stole the 2000 election.
nope.
ted koppel hates jesus!
.....u right wing nut jobs sure are reachin nowadays.

Martin Responds:
Listen to your hatred. george bush is barely center-right politically and you spew such hatred. Oh it's all about Jesus alright. The Bible is correct and true about the worlds hatred for the Bible.
It was Clinton's CIA, not Bush's that propelled us into war.
Counting college electoral votes is simple math. Or maybe you don't realize the presidents are elected based on that system. Better yet, you probably think Carl Rove changed it to the college electoral system by a supreme court edict the night of the election. Yeah, that must be it.
Go plant a tree! it will make you feel better.

Natalie

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"The lousy damn coward [Bush]. He went and hid in a unit, one which had active service members actually in Vietnam, one where the death rate in training and peacetime from accident alone was damn nearly the same as active service in Vietnam for all troops. Sheesh." [Link]

The mortality rate for pilots training in the F-102 was high.

Higher than U.S. Army Journalists who never went in the field (Gore).

Probably higher than Swift Boaters that get three quick Purple Hearts (but never miss a day of action due to any actual, you know, wounds) and then check out after a few weeks.

And damn sure higher than Rhodes Scholars who risk paper cuts while sealing the envelope of their letter to their ROTC Commander trying to beg off of their draft.

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I can only say I feel sorry for the posters who hide behind an inane "usernane" rather than admit who they are.

martin

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I think all you lefties out there are a bunch of weenies. You remind of the taser boy. He cried like a little baby. He is no man , he is a baby. I think this why you little lefties hate Bush so much. He is a real man, no nonsense, kills the murderous enemies of the USA, fighter pilot(evil military guy), real man throw back. As opposed to you girly men raised by your hippy parents(so how are you feeling right now)
Go plant a tree, it will make you feel better.

rockyr9ad`

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Red,

You may not hide, but, unless you have something to say, you may as well. Isn't hiding your voice while announcing your name the most hideous act of arrogance?

Dan Rather has enriched the conversation merely by his fallibility. In searching for the truth, exposing the fallicy of a "free press."

He has exposed the unmitigitated bond between the free press and the administration. For every one of his critics, don't we see a little "swiftboat" silencing of the truth through smash mouth destrustion of the Constitution, a la Rove?

Speak freely and suffer for it . . . but enjoy! God bless Dan Rather and all of the other misbegotten messengers.

Support our favorite CSU editor.

Tom Rickenbacker

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Red Blanchard wrote: Whoever stands up for that left-wing pinko Dan Rather is really showing his own bias and true colors. Dan Rather only got his job at CBS in the first place because LBJ put pressure on them to hire him.

I have been very critical of CBS in the past (having been fired twice by them myself;)
but this time they called it right. Too bad they didn't get the right replacement, but that's another story.
==================================================

I presume that if Mr. Blanchard had done a better job of cleaning CBS toilets, he wouldn't have been fired twice for doing a poor job. As for Dan Rather, he deserves a LOT better than Blancard's name calling.

The report in question was essentially correct though the document is in doubt. The same secretary who denied that the document was legitimate also marveled at how well it captured the facts and feelings of the base commander.

Dan Rather's defense of the document itself went on for too long, but the story was essentially correct and the body of his work at CBS -- though irritating to the Right at times -- was done with great integrity, skill, and care.

I wonder what "Red" thinks of the Fox "News" team.

youngharry

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TIM,
Do you understand that nuclear weapons can be kicked around and wont go off. They need a delivery system. So, please tell me the delivery system Saddam had to drop a bomb on the US. He had no navy, no air force and no missles that could reach the US. I guess he could just GO ABRA CADABRA and wish and atomic weapon on us, RIGHT?

martin

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I just realized something. have you ever noticed why Moveoners leave such long messages on blogs,etc? It's because they have so much time in their gov't or gov't funded jobs while conservatives are running the world.

Mike

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The documents that were used in the Rather report have Rove's fingerprints all over them.

These document are word for word and format for format identical to the real documents. They were recreated on a modern computer, and copied multiple times to look authentic.

These real fakes, faked out CBS, and they ran with the story in a fever pitch. It was a big risk by Rove, but it sure paid off big time.

Bush's checkered history in the National Guard was thrown off the table. and Rather got canned.

Pinko-here!!

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Where do I sign up? I fully support Dan Rather and wish him all the very best!!!

rockyroad

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Loo dee loo . . .

Just looked ole Red up on Google. He's an ole la tee dah of the ass fart class. No one light a match.

John Ashcroft might want to enlist him as a high soprano.

Good grief. If there are no gay men in Iran(no meanness intended to our gay cohorts), but, let's send this flake to Iran and show them what it's all about.

He's a flamin' happy Repug and would be an extraordinary good will :> ; . . . "No, of course you've got no gays, like you, we want no journalistic integrety and want a flamin' good time." Oooh-wweee! It's not gay . . . as Paris Hilton would say, grab a muffler . . . "It's HOT!"

How could a nutcase resist?

Meanwhile, another soldier is blown to pieces. No reporter present. No objective report. Yeah, the embedded reporters were covering McCain's latest shopping spree in the market.

Why are we here? Iraqi's want to know, the dead soldier's mother doesn't know yet, but she wants to know. . .

But Petreaus wants to run for president, McCain got a new rug . . . and the Sunday talk shows need a little more chipper outlook to generate stellar ratings. . . .Tweetie go!

Loren Hunt

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Dan Rather, like Colin Powell or George Tenet, had a chance to stand up and made a difference when he was in a position to do so. Backing down to protect his own ass when his story was correct was a cowardly thing to do and he knew it. Speaking up now to save his sorry place in history (also like Powell and Tenet) really isn't helpful when we have had four more years of disasterous government. He could have stood up when it made a difference. He chose not to. Good riddance. Like Powell and Tenet, history will remember him for being the gutless lackey he was.

screenname1

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Rather was set-up with the phony document and he took a hard fall.

The story itself was true and well-established. Only the faked document was new.

Someone at CBS at the time should have followed up with an investigation of the set-up. But they backed down because it was cheaper and less risky just to let Rather take the hit.

But still, 70 million dollars or whatever seems like alot.

ps, Don't get me wrong, I think the story was really pretty silly to begin with. I don't blame a young rich kid for not wanting to go to Vietnam, for joining the guard instead because he could, and for wanting to party.

Charlie

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It amazes me that any American would try to cover for a criminal who colluded with high officials of a foreign country to violate National and International laws by breaking into the embassy of a third nation, steal their official documents, forge them, then use these documents to misinform his fellow countrymen and the rest of the world for the purposes of waging a resource war.
Betrayal is much too tame a word for this criminal.
If you support this treachery, you really deserve whatever ridicule comes your way.
There is no argument that can justify such a treasonous act.
If you support it, you are certainly not American in the true sense of the word, and when you wave it, you bring shame on our flag.
Dan Rather is a courageous patriot.

Tom

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Koppel's the last blithering idiot on earth who still "thinks" that Rather's thoroughly discredited "report" on George Bush and the Texas National Guard was “much more correct than incorrect.” Of course, Koppel is the blithering idiot who cooked up a thoroughly discredited "report" on Nightline in the 1980's whereby Koppel alleged, with no evidence, that Ronald Reagan hatched an "October Surprise" prior to the 1980 presidential election by conspiring with the Iranian government. Garry Sick is to Ted Koppel as "Lucy Ramirez" and Bill Burkett are to Dan Rather, to wit: complete frauds who found their willing leftist dupes and useful idiots in Koppel and Rather.

BurgerPanic

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The forgery of the documents was never proven, it was merely "highly probable" to quote one researcher. The most damning part is that all of George W. Bush's records were burned, yes, BURNED as the record keeper in his National Guard unit admitted.

TLV

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Burning records is not a new way to dispose of things the military wants to forget ever happened. We have a friend whose father was part of one of the first ground patrols to enter one of the bombed areas of Japan after a nuke was dropped. His and the records of those who served with him mysteriously "burned" in a fire at the storage facility they were housed in. We believe they wanted to cover evidence that he and his unit may have been exposed to cancer-causing radiation. He did get prostate and bone cancer in his 50s or 60s.

Bill

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Woohoo, the lefties have come out in force here.

Let's see, no matter what you want to believe about Bush, it's just not a good idea to try to prove your point with falsified memos. Perhaps that's just me.

Forgeries not proven? When someone comes up with a way the memos could have actually been created with equipment of the day, I'll be more impressed.

Oh yeah, that's right, there was one expensive model of IBM typewriter able to do superscripts with which of course every National Guard office was equipped. We're getting into grassy knoll and 9/11 "Truth" territory here, folks.

I don't care what you believe as far as Bush's record goes, the memos were fakes, Mapes was responsible, Rather ran with it, it's his fault.

As far as WMDs, gee, yellowcake uranium, isn't that what "super spy" whose affiliation with the CIA was noted in Who's Who Valerie Plame's husband was "sent" to Nigeria to investigate claims of Iraq purchasing? Harmless stuff, I guess it should just be sprinkled on one's morning Corn Flakes.

Why didn't Bush make a big deal of the Uranium find? No idea. It's one of the things I'm still pissed at him about, along with the fact that "degraded" chemical munitions found in Iraq are still quite capable of killing. So to say no WMDs were found in Iraq is a falsehood. Not the number of them yes, Bush, and also Clinton (both of them) and Congress expected reading the same intelligence reports dating from before Bush took office. I guess that was just all part of the grand neocon scam.

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When you read people still claiming Saddam had WMDs, you realize that we're beyond ideological and philosophical differences now. We're into a divide between those who live in a "reality based" world and those who cling to ludicrous fantasies. Anyone who can look at the post 9/11 world, and the run up to the invasion of Iraq "rolled out" in the words of Andy Card, like a new car introduction, and not see the fraudulence of the entire excercise is living in the fantasy-based world. Bush and co. did it again this past August when they "rolled out" Chertoff to say he felt "in his gut" we're going to be attacked over the summer and then they "rolled out" Trent Lott to say he was "getting out of town," and they "rolled out" that phony McConnell who said the domestic spying without FISA oversight had helped break up a terror attack overseas (he later said he had misspoken) and all of this convinced the spineless Democrats to once again give President Cheney the powers he's been lusting for since Iran-Contra. Bush/Cheney have drawn us toward the edge of dictatorship and the fat and clueless simply give in.....because they think it will buy them security.

Andrew Benjamin

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Why Michael Fremer was an idiot in 2007 and why he's still an idiot in 2009:

"When you read people still claiming Saddam had WMDs, you realize that we're beyond ideological and philosophical differences now. We're into a divide between those who live in a "reality based" world and those who cling to ludicrous fantasies."

This is why:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/07/iraq.uranium/index.html

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/u/uraniumyellowcake.htm

Eric

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Bill,

The Yellowcake wasn't a secret. It was under lock & key and subject to inspection.

Accepting your assertion that Clinton and Bush has the same intel… The proper conclusion is that Clinton correctly chose containment over war! Bush didn’t like the intel that said Sadam was NOT A THREAT and created his own DOD misinformation group that mislead the nation to war with faulty (fraudulent) data and dishonest conclusions.

Gekkobear

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"Dan Rather is a courageous patriot."
"What CBS did to Dan Rather was disgusting."
"Dan Rather is one of the best journalists alive today."
"Dan Rather is an icon in journalism."

Agreed.

It's like how awfully Jayson Blair was treated at the New York Times. Just awful that when a reporter makes up facts and presents fraudulent information as real that there isn't more compassion. Can't everyone understand that if the story fits an internal bias that facts, evidence, or reality just need to get out of the way and let the Journalists tell you how to think?

All this criticism just because the factual basis of the story was fabricated. It just makes me sad.

Hopefully everyone can learn from this and treat frauds and charlatans with the respect and dignity they so truly deserve.

Coffeeman

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The argument should be whether CBS violated a contract they signed with Dan Rather, and if they did, on what grounds.

Dan Rather and his attorney feel they have enough facts NOW that they can win in a court of law.

one fact remains: Like him or hate him, Dan Rather is a veteran reporter who spent decades of his life working for CBS,many days in the front lines facing death and very few of today's so called reporters can claim the honor.

CGB

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The current Republican Party is too white, too male, too southern, too religious, too greedy, too mean, too war mongering and so out of touch with real Americans. The Republican Party has done all it can to keep these qualities front and center to keep the base happy. They promise these brain dead folks that they will continue to hold folks down and bring up their revered social issues (anti-choice, hate of gays and make this the Christian nation by using their beliefs) just to win votes. They talk the talk every election, but do not walk the walk.

Now does eveyone understand the mind of the 29% who have drunk the Republican kool-aid and who fear the rest of us?

It will be a happy day in the good old USA when the Republicans go down and they have to re-group or else be a minor hate party. They need to kick out the religious wing nuts who have taken over their party. There are many so called moderate Republicans that are working very hard to get their party back. That is why Rudy is ahead nationally in the polls. Look at the polls state by state and many times you see a different picture.

So go away Republcans. Your views are stuck in the past and are not welcomed by the majority of Americans.

Gekkobear

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"too white, too male, too southern, too religious,"

Isn't there a word for people who simply use color, gender, birthplace, etc. as a derogatory attack on others?

Since when was "white" a bad thing? Someday I hope we can judge people based on their character; rather than the color of their skin.

But that's ok I can understand why you don't want any such thing.

Don

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It is quite amazing and somewhat disturbing how
some of us do not seem to mind that democracy is being subverted in the name of corporate profits by these huge media conglomerates. I only wonder
just what it is going to take to "get your attention?" And by that time will [you] still be
debating the termination of Dan Rather, or rather,
the termination of the Constitution?

David

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Oh Natalie...please!

CGB

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I am white and the Republican Party is too white. They ignore ALL Americans at their demise.

I say good riddence.

MAKESENSEOFIT

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We must remember George was NOT elected president.
He was selected as a coup in the year 2000 and 2004. George redefined the definition of president. Not another question, as to the
qualfications of an individual should ever be raised.

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"I just realized something. have you ever noticed why Moveoners leave such long messages on blogs,etc? It's because they have so much time in their gov't or gov't funded jobs while conservatives are running the world."

I just realized something. You are obviously somewhat doltish. I'm a liberal democrat move-oner type and I don't work for the government in any way. In fact, I'm a business owning, money-making, capitalist. So, Moveoners have slightly more time than you to write cohesive and intelligent posts -- are you off to a big corporate buyout or just catching up on the newest UFC match? I'm guessing that you're not a high stakes businessman, so it's off to FOX TV land for you.

Here we are today ... endless conflict, indescribable debt, economic problems, joblessness, incapable of taking care of our own. Yes, you've done a smash-up job. Perhaps you can lead us into another great depression as your final act?

Your argument doesn't lead me to a great desire for conservative leadership. Sorry bud.

ls4

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