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Informed Christian Digest!
Sept. 10, 2004

Dan Rather May Have Cost Kerry the Election
Sept. 10, 2004

Longtime Democrat strategist Pat Caddell said Friday that if documents aired by CBS newsman Dan Rather Wednesday night turn out to be forged, as alleged by experts, the presidential race "is over. It would be the end of the race," Caddell told Fox News Live. "It would be the end of the race," he repeated.

"[Democrat officials are] so involved in this," the former Carter pollster worried. "They have gotten themselves so involved in this issue in the last 24 hours that somebody's going to, if they're not authentic, they're going to be blamed for it. It's incredible to me that they've gotten in this." Caddell said he wasn't trying to sensationalize the issue, explaining that instead "I'm trying to save my party, you know, by telling the truth."

He said that forfeiting the presidential race would be the least of his party's problems if Democrats are tied to any forgery scandal. "The race is over -- and we've got bigger problems than that," he warned.

All Rights Reserved 2004

CBS Finally Begins Investigation into Its Report
September 18, 2004

The New York Times reports that Dan Rather and a CBS News executive flew to Texas to meet with Bill Burkett, the former National Guard officer widely believed to have provided CBS with the forged documents that created the Memogate controversy. Reporter Jim Rutenberg writes that CBS had not begun any real investigation into whether it had been hoaxed until Marian Knox, a secretary who worked closely with the purported author of the CBS memos, came forward and said they could not have been real.

Mary Mapes, the lead researcher of the report, is apparently being set up as the scapegoat. Network officials told Rutenberg that her insistence on the reliability of her sources was what made them defend them for so long. There is plenty of blame to go around, however, since the executive producer of 60 Minutes, says that he did not even know who Mapes's source was. "One person at the network, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Burkett had been at the very least a go-between for the documents, but that very few people at the network know from whom he might have obtained them, if anyone."

Rather Biased

60 Minutes of Fame
by Bernard Goldberg
September 17, 2004

If Dan Rather's source turns out to be a partisan, say goodbye to CBS's reputation

On Feb. 12, 1996, I picked up a phone at CBS News in New York and called Dan Rather, who was in Des Moines covering the Iowa caucuses. It was a call that I -- then a CBS correspondent -- wasn't anxious to make. I'd written an op-ed for this page about liberal bias in the news that was going to run the next day. I knew I had to give Dan a heads up.

"I wrote a piece for the Journal, Dan, and my guess is you won't be ecstatic about it." I hadn't given him any details yet, so he had no idea what the op-ed was about. Dan was gracious; he always was when we spoke. "Bernie," he said, "we were friends yesterday, we're friends today, and we'll be friends tomorrow. So tell me about it."

I did, and the more I told him the more tense the conversation got. After listening for a while, Dan told me, "I'm getting viscerally angry about this" and the call soon ended. And then the man who was my friend yesterday, today, and tomorrow told a number of our colleagues that he'd "never" forgive me for what I'd done.

What I'd done was not simply to say that there really was a problem with liberal bias in the news (if it matters, I'd never voted Republican in my life), I'd also broken a taboo, doing what no mainstream journalist (to my knowledge) had ever done: I'd given ammo to "the enemy" by very publicly saying, in effect, that the conservatives had been right all along.

As if that weren't bad enough, it was becoming apparent that by writing about bias, which Mr. Rather over the years had repeatedly said was a phony issue, I had (at least in his mind) also called into question the thing he holds most sacred -- his integrity. That wasn't my intent. I was just writing about bias in the news, not about Dan Rather. But if Dan thinks his reputation has been attacked, understandably, he gets hotter than an armadillo at a Fourth of July picnic, as you know who might put it.

That's why in the midst of this Bush memo scandal, you have to wonder: Now that Dan's credibility really is taking a beating, why won't he blow the whistle on his source, the one who slipped him the documents that almost certainly are fraudulent and got him into this mess? He doesn't have to give us the guy's name and address, just tell us what motivated him to leak the documents to CBS News.

It's a common journalistic practice, after all, to shed as much light on an unnamed source as possible. That's why we often read "a source close to the administration" or "a police source involved in the investigation" said such and such. No name. But enough info so the news consumer understands, as they say, where the source is coming from. In the case of the leaked memos, does the source have any connection to the Democrats? How about the Kerry campaign? If Dan told us that, he'd still be faithful to his source, but at least as importantly, he'd be showing good faith to his viewers by giving them a clue as to the source's motives, whatever they might be.

Instead, Dan and CBS News do what they'd never tolerate in a crooked politician: They circle the wagons. First we get a statement about how there's no internal investigation going on at CBS; then we get a bunch of stories by CBS News backing up the original "60 Minutes" piece that are so one-sided they'd get a junior-high journalism student an "F" for lack of balance; then on "60 Minutes" we did get a former secretary, "a credible voice" as Dan Rather put it, who told him that "she believes the documents we obtained are not authentic. But ... she told us she believes what the documents actually say is exactly as we reported." Put plainly: The memos may be fake, but "We stand by our story."

We're the ones who have a right to be angry with CBS News, but it turns out that Dan Rather is the one who's really fuming. Not at the source who got him into all of this, but at those "partisans" who are fanning the flames. The Washington Post quotes him as saying: "I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political forces." He's absolutely right that some of his critics are partisans. But how about Dan's source? Is he also a partisan?

Now it's possible that the mystery man (or woman) is someone who lives in Denmark or Tibet and somehow got his hands on genuine documents that make the president look bad in the middle of a race that might turn out to be tighter than the rusted lug nuts on a '54 Chevy. But I doubt it. I'm betting he lives a lot closer to home, and, who knows, he might indeed turn out to be a "partisan political force" himself. And this is precisely Dan's problem. This is why, I suspect, he isn't coming clean, despite the damage to his reputation. Because Dan Rather may be protecting not just his source, but himself; because, if the source turns out to be a partisan, then Dan wasn't just taken for a ride, but may have been a willing passenger. And then Dan, and CBS News, can kiss their reputations goodbye.

Mr. Goldberg, a correspondent with CBS News from 1972-2000, is the author of "Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News," and, most recently, of "Arrogance: Saving America from the Media Elite" (Warner, 2003).

Opinion Journal

The Democrat Virtual Machine of Texas
by PretzeLogic
September 16, 2004

Somewhere behind the Lines, Texas - The Cast of the Rather-gate scandal are connected in a stunningly simple way. The Travis County, Texas Democrat Party, Dan Rather, Robin Rather, Ben Barnes, James C. Moore, Bill Burkett, and others used the machinery of,,, and CBS 60 Minutes to publicize allegations supported by fraudulent documents.

Some cable news pundants hope that Dan Rather was conned by a devious but well meaning Bush-hater. Others theorize that CBS was duped by Karl Rove who may have planted the fake documents in a way that Dan Rather could find them and believe them to be authentic. The problem with both of these theories is that the mark has to be willing to be conned. Dan Rather and CBS News had to believe so strongly that the underlying allegations were true that they were willing to accept anything as proof.

As the Chart demonstrates, the basic facts are that a famous Texas news man who participates in Democrat politics believed the stories told by another Texas news man. The story is based on the tales of a Texas Air National Guard veteran who believes he suffers from a rare and deadly disease that affects the central nervous system. It seems clear that Dan Rather and CBS News wanted to be conned so badly they were willing to give up their reputations built over 35 years.

Texas politics is a rough game; a favored spectator sport in Texas. It has not been thought of as a national sport until recently, though. Thanks to Texan, Dan Rather of CBS 60 Minutes, disgraced and disgraceful Texas Democrats have been thrust under a national spotlight. The most famous Texan in the Rather-gate scandal is Dan Rather. He began his career in Huntsville, Texas as an Associated Press reporter. He ended up as News Director as KHOU-TV in Houston before making the leap to CBS Network News in 1962 (bio).

Dan Rather is related to the Travis County Democrat Party through his daughter, Robin Rather. She is an organizer and fund raiser for Democrat causes and the Kerry campaign. Dan Rather was the featured speaker at one of the events she organized (Source). Robin Rather is or has been chair-person of several environmental groups in Austin, Texas. Dan Rather later apologized for participating in the fund raiser.

Dan Rather included an interview of long time Texas reporter James C. Moore in the follow-up by CBS News defending the original 60 Minutes report. Moore attempted to authenticate content of the documents telling Dan Rather, "I think what has happened is some incriminating documents have come out. The White House has not discredited the documents. They're relying on the blogosphere and other people to do that. Because the White House probably knows these documents are in fact real."

James C. Moore is the author of "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W.Bush Presidential." He was also a reporter for CBS affiliate KHOU-TV 1990's. Moore's first step to stardom came when he asked then gubernatorial Candidate Bush about his TANG service during a televised debate between Bush and Ann Richards in 1994. Since then he has written 2 books and numerous articles unflattering to President Bush.

Dan Rather also interviewed former Lt. Governor of Texas, Ben Barnes who alleges he helped G. W. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard ahead of others for his (Barnes) own purposes (Source). Barnes is still a powerful player in Texas and National Democrat politics. Senator Tom Daschle calls him the 51st Democrat Senator ("So What if He Never Got to be Governor or President?" by Paul Burka, Texas Monthly, September, 2001). To Texans, Ben Barnes is infamously an alleged co-conspirator in the Sharpstown Bank scandal that rocked the Democrat Party of Texas and turned many Texas Democrat officials out of office in the 1970's.

Barnes recanted testimony he had previously given under oath in a video produced by Michael Nicholson and Todd Phelan of In Dan Rather's interview, Barnes says he helped President Bush get into the TANG ahead of others who were equally qualified. The original Barnes video can be viewed at and is hosted by Events organized by are publicized at

As if to complete the magic circle, James C. Moore used his email list to publicize the Barnes Video that Nicholson and Phelan produced. According to CBS News (Sourcel), "The video was posted June 25 on the Web site, but didn't get much attention until Friday, when Jim Moore, an Austin-based author of books about Mr. Bush, sent out e-mail messages calling attention to it...." Moore executed his spam campaign on August 27, 2004.

Lieutenant Colonel William (Bill) Burkett (Retired) is a primary source of James C. Moore. Burkett is also a source for CBS reporters John Roberts and Bill Plante. John Roberts quotes Burkett in a piece that can be found at (Source). Bill Plante's story can also be found at (Sourcel).

Burkett lives near Abilene, Texas. There has been some speculation that he may be the source of the forged documents and is the "impeccable" source used by Dan Rather. This seems plausible given his manic persecution of President Bush. In a rambling rant titled "What Do You Say?", published at, Burkett accuses many in Texas and the United States Government of participating in conspiracies to withhold medical treatment from him or force him to lie about "ghost" soldiers on the National Guard payroll, or of scrubbing then Governor Bush's service records. On the same article, Burkett describes his struggle with meningoencephalitis since 1998. He unsuccessfully sued the United States over it. His suite alleges that the United States Army wrongfully withheld treatment for the disease he believes he has.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), "meningoencephalitis (PAM), is a rare and usually deadly disease caused by infection with the ameba (a single-celled organism that constantly changes shape)." TDSHS says the symptoms are, "Following an incubation period of 2-15 days, there is a relatively sudden start of severe meningitis-like symptoms, which begin with fever and headache. These are rapidly followed by sensitivity to light, nausea, projectile vomiting, stiff neck, and, in many cases, disturbances to taste and smell. Changes in behavior and seizures may also be present. As conditions worsen the patient falls into a coma. Death usually occurs 3-7 days after the onset of symptoms."

Robert W Tolan, Jr, MD, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, St. Peter's University Hospital states that "only 5 survivors of PAM have been reported" (Source). Brukett's attorney is David Van Os, a labor lawyer and long time Democrat activist. He wants a seat on the Texas Supreme Court (Source). Van Os is also one of the lawyers who represented Al Gore in Florida during the 2000 election (Source). A section of his main page titled "Karl Rove's Master Plan Started with the Texas Courts" is worth a read (Source).

On April 6, 2001, The Austin Chronicle reported that, "National Labor Relations Board, acting through its Acting General Counsel, issued a formal complaint against Van Os and Associates, based on the charges former employees filed against the firm...." (Source). The disposition of the employees' complaint is unclear at this time.

What Could Be Worse?

This has not been a good week for CBS News or Texas. Dan Rather has disgraced himself, his co-workers, his employer, and his profession. The petulant defense from Rather demanding his viewers either produce indisputable proof the documents are forgeries or take his word for it that they are not seems like something from a bad movie. Dan Rather and CBS News have wandered dangerously close to conspiracy to commit fraud territory by refusing to divulge their source for the documents.

If Burkett is Dan Rather's source then CBS News has more to answer for than simply being conned. CBS Producer Mary Mapes is reported to have flown to Abilene, met Burkett, and pronounced him "impeccable." CBS News does not seem to have done any more due dilligence than that. This appearantly mystical ability to determine that a source is worth risking reputations on does not ingender the kind of trust Rather expects from his audiance.

The only thing that could possibly be worse would be to find out that Paul Begala, another Kerry supporter from Texas, produced the fraudulent documents on his laptop. It seems appropriate that this whole thing turn out be a practicle joke that got out of hand -- just like a bad movie.
Copyright 2004, All rights reserved.

Old Media's Disproportionate Interest in Bush Past
by David Limbaugh
September 17, 2004

What does it say about the Old Media that they are wholly uninterested in gravely serious and highly relevant charges against John Kerry yet investigate to death relatively minor and largely irrelevant claims against President Bush? They have uncovered every rock for years and could never find anything but disputed, ambiguous innuendo against President Bush about an issue that pales in comparison to the charges against John Kerry and for which there is much more credible proof.

Even if we assume as true all the Democrats' allegations about the president's guard service -- he used his family connections to avoid Vietnam and to shirk certain duties and orders -- they shouldn't really amount to that much to liberals. I've never met a liberal who disapproved of anyone doing his best to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War, which liberals uniformly believed was immoral.

We also know that President Bush, by his own admission, was a little more carefree when he was younger, but that around age 40 he had a religious conversion. Since then, by all accounts, he's been a changed person in many respects and has built an impressive resume, including his little stint as president and commander in chief. In short, all of these stories about President Bush, even if true -- which I seriously doubt -- are mostly irrelevant to the question of his fitness to continue as commander in chief because we've already witnessed his performance and character in that very job the last four years.

The allegations against John Kerry are infinitely more serious. We know -- despite the dissembling of the media on this issue as well -- that he, too, tried to avoid the war, only "volunteering" when he was about to be drafted. But he also is said to have embellished and lied about his service to enhance his resume and to get an early out, perjured himself in Senate testimony, suborned similar perjury from others, and slandered his fellow soldiers, which served as fodder for the enemy to torture POWs. He hung out with murder-contemplating anarchists, negotiated with the North Vietnamese enemy and lobbied vigorously for a course of action that would lead to a bloodbath in Vietnam.

And the claims against the two men are not only qualitatively different in substance, but there is also no comparison in the level of proof between the two cases. In support of the charges against President Bush we have forged documents, the disputed hearsay testimony of a deceased superior, the marginally corroborative testimony of an 86-year-old secretary who admits young Bush was a nice guy even if a bit insubordinate, and a malcontent Democrat hack or two who served in the Guard with him.

Weighing against the charges we have proof that young Bush amassed more service points than were required of him, the family members of the deceased officer who contradict the secretary, the contradictory testimony of the daughter of one of the Democrat hacks and common sense. We are expected to believe Cmdr. Killian allowed young Bush to openly disobey orders and merely wrote a whining memo to himself for the file? That wouldn't have happened in the Guard I served in -- not in a million years.

In support of the charges against young John Kerry we have 250 Swift Boat veterans of all political stripes, many of them decorated, who have firsthand knowledge of what they describe. Far, far fewer of those who served with Kerry support him and/or his version of the events. And as for the more damning charges -- that he slandered the troops and nation under oath and confessed to his own crimes -- we have our own eyes and ears. Many of us have watched his Senate testimony and the Dick Cavett debate, and we know what he said.

Moreover, Kerry has never retracted, nor apologized for what he said. He has never explained why he shouldn't have been punished for his self-confessed war atrocities. He has never explained why he trashed his fellow soldiers and why he was integrally involved with a group contemplating assassination. This is a sordid past. And, contrasted to President Bush, John Kerry has never changed his colors in the last 30 years. He has remained adamantly anti-defense and remains the arrogant elitist he always was.

As to the respective charges against Bush and Kerry, it's undeniable that those against Kerry are far more serious, supported by much stronger evidence and much more relevant to the question of fitness for commander in chief. Yet the Old Media ignores the claims against Kerry and investigates to death the ones against President Bush. The Old Media richly deserves its diminishing fate.

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