For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
Critical mass has been reached at CBS News after ABC News reported last night the document experts hired by CBS itself warned producers at "60 Minutes" there might be some fraud involved.
Now that kind of exposition means that CBS News has lost the battle, no matter what the truth of the situation. The public is a big issue crowd. They hear the explosions and the big bang surrounds the authenticity of the documents, not the old story of President Bush's Guard service.
In fact, a just released Rasmussen poll says that 38 percent of Americans now believe the memo "60 Minutes" put forth are forgeries. Just 27 percent say they're real. The rest don't know.
As far as Dan Rather (search) is concerned, 38 percent say he is biased in favor of John Kerry. And 38 percent say he's fair and balanced.
Even the ultra liberal editorial page of The Los Angeles Times says this. "CBS News was had. It's hard to reach any other conclusion."
But as usual, The Times blames it all on those dreaded conservatives. "As CBS floundered, conservatives cited this episode as an egregious case of liberal media bias."
Well, come on, L.A. Times. It isn't only conservatives who are concerned about the validity of the story. It should be every clear thinking American. CBS News is a powerful voice in America and millions rely on it for their information. Any kind of mistake regarding the president of the United States must be fully explained.
Sure, some conservatives are hammering Mr. Rather, but the story is much bigger than ideological passion. The national press must be held accountable for its reportage. We have a responsibility to see that everything is above board and transparent.
If CBS News was had, as The L.A. Times puts it, then Dan Rather has to explain how that happened. Who did it and why they did it.
Sources who provide fraudulent information lose their protection. All Americans, not just conservatives, have a right to know exactly who is playing these dirty tricks. And that's the memo.