You Gotta Be Kidding

CBS pulled out its secret weapon to defend its story on the Bush National Guard memos: 86-year-old Marian Knox, who was the typist for Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, George W. Bush’s commanding officer in the Texas Air National Guard.

I don’t doubt Mrs. Knox’s memory, but her analysis–that the memos were “fake but accurate”, to quote the headline in the New York Times–has to be the flimsiest excuse for slander in history.

This sheds a lot of light on the journalistic standards of CBS. The sworn statements of a couple hundred decorated Vietnam vets, men who served with John Kerry during his tour of duty, are not enough to convince CBS to investigate Kerry’s war record. The memories of one 86-year-old woman who served as a secretary for the Texas Air National Guard are sufficient to accuse the president of desertion.

And even she says the memos that prompted the story are fakes.

Is it likely that George W. Bush, as the son of a wealthy and powerful man, received preferential treatment? Sure. Does that prove that he failed to serve out his required time in the National Guard? No way.

Dan Rather has protested that the media is missing the legitimate questions raised by the story. I don’t think so. The only legitimate question here is whether the story would have aired if Bush were a Democrat.

Not a snowball’s chance in Cambodia.

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