Now This

This blog is now read by more machines than humans: RSS robots, spam-laying insectopoids, echoes of blog-gathering .edu projects. This essentially is the state of affairs that all human activities w

Cleaning Up the Nation

Austin Bay:

If Air America were a conservative radio network its corrupt funding trail and cynical abuse of a poverty program would be front page news at the NY Times and full-time mega-scandal at

Rank Materialism

Freedom. I am now the proud new owner of a Gateway 6020GZ laptop, perfect for students and others with limited means. I can now go into a Starbucks or a Barnes & Noble and look like I'm doing some

Fallujah Fonda

Uh-oh. From the Telegraph comes this exciting news:

Jane Fonda is returning to anti-war activism and embarking on a cross-country tour to call for an end to US military operations in Iraq.

Acros

John Pilger: Partner in Terrorism

In an outrageous piece of terrorist propaganda appearing on the cover of today's New Statesman, John Pilger puts the blame for the 7/7 London attacks not on the terrorists, but rather on Tony Blair:

CBS's Non Apology

Here's CBS's statement on the forgeries.

Bill Burkett, in a weekend interview with CBS News Anchor and Correspondent Dan Rather, has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents used in the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes Wednesday" report on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

"Now-disputed"? There were disputed since the night of the original 60 Minutes II broadcast, and by CBS's own experts prior to broadcast.

Burkett, a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, also admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents’ origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source.

Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point. Burkett’s interview will be featured in a full report on tonight’s CBS Evening News with Dan Rather (6:30-7:00 p.m., ET/PT).

Did CBS ever try to contact the other former Guardsman? Or even ask who it was? It looks like CBS didn't verify that. Now CBS is concerned that they can't verify the real source. Shouldn't CBS have been more concerned with the chain of custody before this?

In light of this and other developments reported by CBS News and other news organizations, CBS News President Andrew Heyward issued the following statement:

"'60 Minutes Wednesday' had full confidence in the original report or it would not have aired. However, in the wake of serious and disturbing questions that came up after the broadcast, CBS News has done extensive additional reporting in an effort to confirm the documents’ authenticity.

CBS has done a lot of hard work since the 8th to confirm the documents' authenticity. They've done very little to find out the truth. All the "extensive additional reporting" was done to shore up CBS's case. They acted more like prosecutors than journalists.

That included an interview featured on last week’s edition of "60 Minutes Wednesday" with Marian Carr Knox, secretary to the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the officer named as the author of the documents; the interview with Bill Burkett to be seen tonight; and a further review of the forensic evidence on both sides of the debate.

There is no forensic evidence on CBS's side.

Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report. We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret. Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting. We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust.”

At least they're no longer using Dan Rather's preponderance of the evidence standard.

But CBS is being slick. Don't give me this "CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic". The documents are proven forgeries.

CBS News and CBS management are commissioning an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken. The names of the people conducting the review will be announced shortly, and their findings will be made public.

The independent review is nice and all, but we know the general story of why CBS screwed up so badly: they let ideology trump journalism. Those details won't be too interesting.

What we really want to know is who the source is. It could still be Burkett. Or someone that Burkett and CBS are protecting. Those are the names CBS should announce shortly.

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