When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

September 14, 2004

Sir Reposts-A-Lot

Bravo Romeo Delta

Well, I've not ceased posting in a sympathetic strike on behalf of Mister Rather or his neighborhood. I have, however, been sh!t-stompingly busy for a bit. I'm not generally inclined to bitch about work on my blog, because lord knows my bartenders and compatriots hear enough about it as it is.

But, one brief bit of your indulgence, if I may:


Thank you. And back to our regularly scheduled ranting.

But since all y'all (and I mean both of you) are probably going through withdrawal, I'll probably be doing a greatest hits and eclectic mix of posting for a smidge yet.

That being said and done, there is one thing I've been wondering about Rathergate that doesn't seem to have popped up to my knowledge. So I put together a few paragraphs of unsubstantiated half-baked ideas.

What if the reason that Rather is holding out like Custer at Little Big Horn is that...

the documents were known to be false by parties at CBS?

I certainly don't mean to imply that it is a company wide thing. But two very slim possibilities have come to my suspicious, dirty, little mind.

One is that Rather himself could have produced them. It would certainly explain his vast intransigence, but I can't imagine him either having the savvy to computer-age a document, without having the common sense to just use a typewriter. The idea of creating a document on a word processor just to age it is probably something that doesn't often cross the mind of a septuagenarian newscaster.

The second is that someone on Rather's team was pressured (either directly by rather or through intermediate management) to dig up more dirt on the TANG angle, and in a fit of late night brilliant stupidity decided that it would be easier to make evidence than find it. One sub-scenario on this that makes this a bit more plausible is if Rather told middle manager X to go find info at all costs, and X then let this managerial dictate roll down hill (either actively or passively) and some lower-level minion might have found a way to skin the cat (ala Jayson Blair.) Manager X, recognizing a way to get Rather to go froth on someone else for a change, may have not inquired too deeply into his minion's mysterious ability to unearth the info.

Allied with these thoughts are the notions that the information was provided to CBS. Going with that, it could be that the documents were destined for the roundfile, but (again going with a variation of the above scenario), that they were kicked on upstairs to alleviate pressure from above.

Another alternate to documents originating within CBS itself, is that Rather knows exactly who did the dirty deed, but recognizes that going down the path of revealing them as forgeries could (or could it?) strip his source of the protection of anonymity. This would be a really significant issue if the folks who provided them to CBS were affiliated with the Kerry campaign (ala Susan Estrich). Rather, knowing he's left holding the bag has a choice to reveal himself as a partisan shill and damaging (perhaps irreparably) his mysterious benefactor, or, taking the hit himself.

This tracks a bit better with the release of the documents to US Today, but you'll note that CBS claims to have had them for quite some length of time, while US Today only got them recently. Could this mean that the mysterious man in question then punted them on over to US Today to start spreading the blame around?

Interesting stuff, I reckon. Sort of an Enron of the DNC kind of thing. But it won't fully blossom for a few weeks or months yet.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at September 14, 2004 11:07 PM

Retaliatiory Launches

Karl Rove. Definitely Karl Rove. /DU

Dude, I had to retract that whole last post cause Killian's secretary claims she had a Selectric.

Posted by: RS at September 15, 2004 12:32 AM
Another alternate to documents originating within CBS itself, is that Rather knows exactly who did the dirty deed, but recognizes that going down the path of revealing them as forgeries could (or could it?) strip his source of the protection of anonymity.

By George, I think you've got it! Strictly speaking I suppose they could try to claim that lying sources have anonymity too, but it'd be a hard sell. And if he were to acknowledge that the memos are forgeries it wouldn't buy him a damn thing, now that he's so deep in the cover-up. So he'd end up just as deep in the muck, with a bit more of it on his face... and about to be joined by someone connected either to the DNC or the Kerry campaign. Pretty much what the Brits call a "cock up." He has no good choices, but his best option is probably to just stonewall and see if it blows over.

Incredibly some senile old newshound from a bygone era on Hannity and Colmes, who clearly couldn't distinguish between a hole in the ground and his evacuation orafice, just claimed it was all too doggone obscure and imprecise to sort out--the very definition of the hermeneutic circle--and we ought to just forget the whole thing. Truth is in the eye of the beholder, apparently.

Which is the Allen Ginsburg version of relativity, as opposed to the Einsteinian version: that a limited number of factors must vary in a way that maintains a universal constant. "Why don't we just all eat a shit sandwich?" in other words.

Posted by: Demosophist at September 15, 2004 03:08 AM

Ed has more evidence (largely from ABC News) that Rather and the gang may have known that the documents were forged. But if that's the case then perhaps the conspiracy theory that fits is that Rather was bought off by Carl Rove to deliberately push an easily detected scam so that Republicans could deflect attention from... well, damn near anything they wanted to deflect attention from.

It's clearly more believable than the absolutely monumental hubris that's the alternative explanation. Or not.

Posted by: Demosophist at September 15, 2004 07:45 AM

Bravo, if you're right and DR knew these docs were false, his credibility is shot and you can look for him to retire by year's end and CBS to be majorly fined by the FCC!

Bottom line, this anonymous source is disseminating these false documents (and there's no doubt in my mind they're false) in an effort to defame Bush' character. What I see is a showdown, not now, but down the road... Rather's source right to anonymity versus Bush right of not being maligned and libeled.

Either way, it's a no win situation for Rather in the long run.

BTW, I gues you have 3 readers now. Glad you posted :)

Posted by: michele at September 15, 2004 04:33 PM

4 readers :-)

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 16, 2004 06:36 AM

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