Dan Rather (search) and the pro-Kerry press ...
In separate statements released today, both Dan Rather and his employer, CBS News, admit they were bamboozled, some of the documentation used during a story on the president's National Guard service was bogus.
CBS still stands behind the overall story, but because the story is beyond old, not too many people care, except our friends over at The New York Times, which ran the Guard story on page one today. The Times did that to reinforce CBS' position that the president shirked some of his Guard duty.
Now some might consider that media bias in favor of John Kerry. As always, you can decide, but before you decide, consider this. The New York Times has run 12 front-page stories on the swift boat controversy, all of them either pro Kerry or neutral. Some of the headlines. "Bush Dismisses Idea That Kerry Lied on Vietnam." "Lawyer for Bush Quits over Links to Kerry's Foes." "Veterans' Group Had GOP Lawyer." "Kerry TV Ad Pins Veterans' Attack Firmly on Bush." "Friendly Fire: The Birth of an Attack on Kerry."
Now come on. If you can't see that The New York Times and many other so-called elite media are rooting for John Kerry in their hard news pages, then you're a moron, with all due respect.
By the way, I did not do the research on those Times headlines. Ron Mitchell did, one of our producers. So if the information is wrong, I take the fall, but it's really Mitchell's fault. That's the same thing that went down with Dan Rather. He didn't do the research on the Guard story, but he's taking the fall.
I will admit, however, that he wasn't skeptical enough about the entire matter and what was presented to him.
There are many lessons here. First of all, CBS wanted the Guard story badly and got burned. Second, the elite media is strongly in Kerry's camp and that's a bit unfair. Third, if you make a mistake, admit it fast. We advised Mr. Rather to do that last week. He did not.
Fourth, don't go anywhere without strong evidence. CBS got snookered, no question now, but some ideologues on the right also misled you by accusing CBS of intentionally using bad documents. Evidence doesn't support that conclusion.
And finally, the big story is now Bill Burkett (search), the anti-Bush Texan, who conned CBS. Was Burkett working in concert with anyone? If there's a link to the Kerry campaign, that's huge. Remember, Democrats linked the swift boat deal to the Bush administration without conclusive proof. Now the same scenario's in play in reverse.
We'll let you know what we find out because you most likely will not read about it in The New York Times. And that's a memo.
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
John Kerry has been largely avoiding the straight press, instead appearing on entertainment programs. Tonight, the senator will visit David Letterman (search). He'll be on "Regis and Kelly" tomorrow, and Dr. Phil (search). President Bush also did Dr. Phil's show as well, but he's also doing "The Factor", as you know.
Now, we'll run the president's interview with us next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. All right, it begins a week from today. Our billoreilly.com poll question asks, do you think John Kerry will come into the no spin zone now that President Bush is? And we will give you the results on that tomorrow.
By the way, over the weekend, a quarter million people visited billoreilly.com — nothing ridiculous about that.
—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com