The godfather of “fake news”, helping Americans identify “fake news”. You can’t make this up…
On September 21, 2004, CBS News was forced to apologize for a “mistake in judgment” in its story questioning President Bush’s National Guard service, claiming it was misled by the source of documents that several experts have dismissed as fakes.
The network said it would appoint an independent panel to look at its reporting about the memos. The story has mushroomed into a major media scandal, threatening the reputations of CBS News and chief anchor Dan Rather.
It also has become an issue in the presidential campaign. The White House said the affair raises questions about the connections between CBS’s source, retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, and Democrat John Kerry’s campaign.
Rather joined CBS News President Andrew Heyward in issuing an apology Monday.
“We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry,” Rather said. “It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.”
Almost immediately after the story aired Sept. 8, document experts questioned memos purportedly written by Bush’s late squadron leader, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, saying they appeared to have been created on a computer and not on the kind of typewriter in use during the 1970s.
Source admits fabrication
CBS strongly defended its story. It wasn’t until a week later — after Killian’s former secretary said she believed the memos were fake — that the news division admitted they were questionable.
Burkett admitted this weekend to CBS that he lied about obtaining the documents from another former National Guard member, the network said. CBS hasn’t been able to conclusively tell how he got them, or even definitely tell whether they’re fakes or not. But the network has given up trying to defend them.
“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,” Heyward said. “We should not have used them.”
CBS said it approached Burkett initially about the documents. Rather said Burkett was well known in National Guard circles for several years for trying to discredit Bush’s military record.
Burkett, in an interview with Rather aired on the “CBS Evening News,” said he was pressured by CBS to reveal his source for the documents, and “I simply threw out a name that was basically, I guess, to get a little pressure off for the moment.”
Fast forward 14 years…
“The Young Turks” recently hired the original fake news mainstream media anchor, Dan Rather, to be featured in a weekly 30-minute broadcast on their hardcore leftist network. This week, they produced a doozy when they actually created a video of the disgraced former CBS news anchor explaining to their viewers how to go about identifying “fake news”.
— The Young Turks (@TheYoungTurks) April 3, 2018
Here are just a few of the responses to Rather’s rather hilarious “guide to protecting yourself against fake news”:
The first is from “Michael”, who pretty much summed up the insanity of Rather’s guide to “fake news” by simply tweeting: “Pot, meet kettle.”
Pot, meet kettle.
— MichaelPJ (@MethodLead) April 4, 2018
“ImATexanNotABot” reminded the former CBS host why he was fired in this tweet: “You were fired for reporting fake news, your opinions are for shit!”
You were fired for reporting fake news, your opinions are for shit!
— HillBillyHispanicTrumpSupporter (@Aundria_Hamby) April 4, 2018
“Sen. John Blutarsky” took it a step further with his tweet, reminding everyone exactly how Dan Rather attempted to destroy the credibility of a sitting President, simply because he had the audacity to have a political ideology that was in opposition to the leftist mainstream media’s. “Sen. John Blutarsky” tweeted: “Kinda like when someone uses a Microsoft word processor to mimic a 1960’s IBM typewriter? That kinda fake news?”
Kinda like when someone uses a Microsoft word processor to mimic a 1960’s IBM typewriter? That kinda fake news?
— Sen. John Blutarsky (T) (@Mongotrucker) April 4, 2018
This Twitter user slammed The Young Turks for running the ironic video: “honestly, how tone-deaf do you have to be to run with this and not expect to be dragged unmercifully for it?”
honestly, how tone-deaf do you have to be to run with this and not expect to be dragged unmercifully for it?
— Lowell George Washington (@deanriehm) April 4, 2018
Finally, this Twitter user thanked The Young Turks for “today’s daily dose of Orwellian thinking”: “He lost his job for faking news. Thank you for today’s daily dose of Orwellian thinking.”
He lost his job for faking news.
Thank you for today's daily dose of Orwellian thinking.
— Populism: A reaction to elitist "leader" failures (@Melvin_Udall_) April 4, 2018
In January 2018, #VeryFakeNewsCNN (who was given the well-deserved name by then-candidate Donald Trump) reported on Rather’s new show on the progressive network, quoting Rather, who ironically claimed the purpose of his show was to counter Donald Trump and to defend people in the news who are being accused of peddling “fake news”.
The 86-year-old veteran newsman told CNN that President Trump’s attacks on the press and political norms helped motivate him to launch the new show.
“I feel strongly that when you have a president who is continually, relentlessly damning the press, individuals by name, individual institutions and calling the press the enemy of the people — listen, this has to be resisted,” he said.
Rather added, “This is a time when everybody needs to be counted. I don’t want to be preachy about it, but we have a real responsibility, those of us in journalism and those of us who have experience in journalism, to do what we can. … These efforts to convince the public that people in the news are dealing in fake news is quite frankly bullshit.”