As RatherBiased notes, The Washington Post (and ABC) continue to own the Rathergate story in the main stream press. The New York Times, Fox, and NBC are noticeably unspectacular in their probing. In a story to be published in the Saturday edition of The Washington Post Michael Dobbs and research assistant Alice Crites slogged through a Yahoo! Group where Bill Burkett regularly posted. They found similarities between wording in his posts and the forged memos. They also found this:
In an Aug. 21 posting, Burkett referred to a conversation with former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.) about the need to counteract Republican tactics: “I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. He said counterattack. So I gave them the information to do it with. But none of them have called me back.”
Cleland confirmed that he had a two- or three-minute conversation by cell phone with a Texan named Burkett in mid-August while he was on a car ride. He remembers Burkett saying that he had “valuable” information about Bush, and asking what he should with it. “I told him to contact the [Kerry] campaign,” Cleland said. “You get this information tens of times a day, and you don’t know if it is legit or not.”From an earlier Wizbang post I noted that CBS would have gotten it’s copies of the forged memos the last week of July. It is possible that Burkett was tipped off to the evidence by 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes and was attempting to pass that information to the Kerry campaign, but it’s also possible that he was part of the document forging operation (either alone or in conjunction with others) and made the DNC and Kerry campaign his second and third recipients of the forged documents.
This may be the opening salvo in the story of links between the memos and the Kerry campaign and the DNC. That opens a whole new front in the investigation, namely whether Operation Fortunate Son was based on the same documents as the 60 Minutes II story.