. . . Tuesday September 21, 2004

You Know Where I Stand (and Sink)

A few brief thoughts on the now discredited memos that described W’s performance in the National Guard.

- Would it really have been so difficult for the one who forged the documents to have picked up a 1970s typewriter at a garage sale or on eBay? I know that’s probably not the broader moral lesson here. But I just think if you’re going to forge, you should put a little effort into it.

- If the CBS behavior here is really evidence of a terrible liberal bias in the media, then why is everyone else in the media making this the top story and focusing so much attention on what would (according the the liberal media theory) be their own outing?

- CBS clearly made several major mistakes in the broadcasting of this story. Perhaps the most costly error was Dan Rather’s decision to stand by the story even as incredible amounts of evidence continued to mount. Rather now asks: “What kind of reporter would I be — what kind of person would I be — if I put something on the air that I believed and then didn’t stand behind it? At the first sign of pressure, you run, you cave, you fold? I don’t do that.”

The logic here is a bit skewed. Rather seems to be placing the characteristic of standing by an original position (no matter how many times that position has been discredited by any number of external sources) above the characteristic of adjusting one’s position based increasingly self-evident truths. It’s almost as if Rather is taking pride in the fact that even though his decisions and policies are clearly wrong, what’s important is that you know where he stands and that he will not (at least not in a timely manner) change his mind.

Even if I’ve dragged myself and the rest of you onto a patch of quicksand, at least you always know where I stand.

Now where did he come up with the notion that this behavioristic is laudable?

Concentration is important!