Family Security Matters
by LAWRENCE SELLIN,
On September 2, 2004, during an interview with First Lady Laura Bush, CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather seemed to couch a threat in the form of a question: “Now that friends and supporters of the President have raised the issue of John Kerry’s combat record in Vietnam, do you or do you not think it’s fair now for the Kerry people to come back and dig anew into your husband’s military service record?” That was less than a week before Rather used forged memos as evidence in stories attacking President George W. Bush’s National Guard Service.
On September 8, 2004, after weeks of ignoring or denigrating anti-Kerry charges voiced by fellow Vietnam veterans, Rather led the Evening News with supposed new proof that George W. Bush had shirked his duties as a Texas Air National Guardsman 30 years earlier: “There are new questions tonight about President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard in the late 1960s and early ’70s and about his insistence that he met his military service obligations. CBS News has exclusive information, including documents, that now sheds new light on the President’s service record. 60 Minutes has obtained government documents that indicate Mr. Bush may have received preferential treatment in the Guard after not fulfilling his commitments.”
Within a few hours of those documents being posted on CBS News’s Web site, however, typography experts voiced skepticism that the documents had actually originated with their alleged author and Bush’s former commanding officer, the late Lt. Colonel Jerry Killian. As the evidence mounted, Rather stubbornly clung to the idea that his story was bulletproof, and he derided critics as partisans and Internet rumormongers. When he “apologized” on September 20, Rather would not concede that the documents were forgeries, only that he and CBS could “no longer vouch for their authenticity.”
On March 1, 2011, nearly seven years later, Rather was still defending his “fake but accurate” story.
One could easily conclude that Rather had used his cover as a journalist to engage in partisan politics by protecting Democrat candidate John Kerry and attacking Republican candidate George W. Bush in order to influence the outcome of the 2004 Presidential election in favor of the Democrats.
On April 27, 2011, Barack Obama presented his birth certificate to the nation on national television.
Within a few hours of the birth certificate being posted on the White House Web site, however, digital document experts began to voice skepticism about its authenticity.