The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States


Rathergate Report: Initial thoughts

Hugh is most displeased. Captain Ed is somewhat satisfied.

I think, after only the most cursory skimming, that I fall closer to CQ's position on the matter. Yes, Thornburgh-Boccardi essentially punted on the question of political bias. And yes, I agree with Hugh insofar as that is a critical issue and without a direct conclusion on that charge, the media can to some extent simply brush it off.

But it is by far the best we could have hoped for (which admittedly is a rather sad statement on how much we ever could have expected from the panel in the first place, rather than a praise), in my opinion. The report uses some very damning language, although largely giving Rather himself a pass. In many places it seems they come as close to the line of charging political bias as they can without actually saying it. They devastatingly point out the abandonment of journalistic standards, but fail to ask the question why that is: again, in Ed's analysis, they punted. With the media's rampant practice of distorting/hiding/ignoring some principle facts/statements (due to both the bias of the reporting and the soundbyte attention span of its consumers), this could indeed fall by the wayside. So, I definitely see value in Hugh's (and it seems, most others') cries of "whitewash!" much as I saw the value in the opposition to Arlen Specter, but my initial reaction is that this is more than I expected (if not all that CBS deserved). The pressure most definitely needs to be kept on, but I think they know now that the pressure that the blogosphere brings to bear is very real, and this report should at least be a small step in the right direction (again, it could have been a much bigger one, but that was always something of wishful thinking). And while Rather and Heyward kept their heads, the heads that did roll do not seem to be entirely insignificant tokens either, as might have been expected.

I'll give the Panel a B-/C+ for now, but that's subject to further review, upon which I'll come back and add more thoughts.


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