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Am I The Only One?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Rathergate

To borrow a line from Erin Brockovich: Do they teach journalists how to apologize over at CBS? Because they sure do suck at it.

It's been a few weeks since we all watched Dan Rather gleefully hop around with his supposedly incriminating documents like a schoolyard bully who just found someone else's $20 bill. It was a confirmation of what many have known for years: that CBS News is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the left. Move over, CNN. And give a wave to your counterpart on the right, Fox News.

Seeing Rathergate play out on the Internet has reminded me of a scene from The Insiders. Near the end of the movie, there is a moment when CBS news has to decide whether or not to air a 60 Minutes story which, according to CBS corporate lawyers, might open CBS up to a lawsuit from Big Tobacco. One character, a true believer in the lily-white pureness of journalistic ethics, widens his eyes and exclaims, "Do you mean to tell me that CBS Corporate is telling CBS News what is news?!"

I collapsed on the floor in laughter. Could there actually have been someone so naive, so brainwashed by journalism school as to think that news desks were any different than any other company? Did they think for one second that CBS would air a story detailing (hypothetically, here) how advertising dollars would be better spent at a competing network?

Ann Althouse has a terrific take on Dan Rather's somewhat Clinton-esque "apology". It reminded me of a friend of mine who, many years ago, did some very stupid things which he felt complelled to apologize for, but being the stubborn and defensive person that he is, ended up saying something like "If what I did caused you to feel hurt, then I'm sorry for how you feel." It's a cover-your-ass cop-out apology.

I learned many years ago (from a roommate, actually) that when you are wrong, you are the bigger person if you own up and own up big. Have you ever thought less of someone who said, "Wow, I completely blew that one. I was wrong, and I am SO sorry."

You're not fooling anyone with this one, Dan.

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