Dan Rather is hiding behind the findings of the Thornburgh report, ignoring the meat of the report.
NEW YORK (AP) – During a valedictory appearance with David Letterman, Dan Rather pointedly ducked a question about whether CBS News President Andrew Heyward should have quit after last fall’s discredited story about President Bush’s military service.
About half of Rather’s “Late Show” guest shot Thursday was spent talking about the story and the independent investigation into how it got on the air despite the use of documents CBS ultimately couldn’t vouch for.
Rather said the people who lost their jobs are “never very far from my mind.”
He paused when Letterman asked him whether the CBS News president should have “taken a bullet” and stepped down.
“He’s on vacation right now,” Rather said, “but when he gets back you can ask him.”
Rather said that to his mind, two of the panel’s most important conclusions were that it could not demonstrate that political bias played a part in the stories or conclusively account for the origins of the documents in question.
CBS’s Sept. 8 story began falling apart when experts questioned the legitimacy of documents supposedly written by Bush’s National Guard commander that suggested the future president had received preferential treatment.
“Although they had four months and millions of dollars, they could not demonstrate that the documents were not authentic, that they were forgeries,” Rather said.The only problem for Rather is that the document expert that the Thornburgh/Boccardi panel had examine the documents concluded that they were forgeries. The panel ignored the content of their report in preparing their findings.
The full report is available in a web version here at Wizbang.