Jonathan Last at The Weekly Standard offers a succinct critique of CBS's investigation into the Dan Rather affair. He concludes, for compelling reasons, that the report was a whitewash that failed to answer the most important questions.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Here's an interesting indication of the depths of desperation that liberals are beginning to feel. The following is an article from the New York Daily News:
Since it seems clear that the marketers of this product are at pains to prevent children from watching Fox News (adults can be presumed to be able to select their viewing fare unsupervised), it's interesting that their implicit comparison is of Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, et al. to sleazy, pornographic television content. Here's an irony and a difference between the way liberals and conservatives see the world. In the conservative world-view obscenity is a perversion of the intimacy, privacy, and marital context of sex. In the liberal world-view obscenity is the expression of conservative political ideas. Let the tots see as much illicit coitus on screen as they wish, let them hear as much scatological language as they want, let them see the love which dare not speak its name proclaim itself from the rooftops, but conservative political notions must be concealed from the children with programming blockers lest the little ones secretly view Hannity, Hume, O'Reilley, et. al. and be seduced by conservative thinking. If we don't act now to prevent this, the liberals fear, our children will surely grow up to be degenerates.
Thanks to Evangelical Outpost for the tip.
No Left Turns discusses an article by Benjamin Wittes in The Atlantic who argues that the time has come for the Democratic Party to stop defending Roe v. Wade. Wittes gives two reasons why this makes sense for Democrats. The original article is subscription only so the following is from No Left Turns' post:
Three things should be mentioned here. First, when Wittes says that Conservatives have not been entirely wrong about the lack of constitutional support for the 1973 Roe decision what he's really trying to say is that Conservatives have been completely correct. Everything he says in that paragraph confirms this. He just doesn't want to state it that baldly for fear of incurring the censure of his liberal associates.
Second, it's not at all clear that the statistics are as Wittes sees them. There is reason to believe that the nation is much more sympathetic to placing restrictions on abortion than pro-choicers would have us think. This is why Kerry tended to downplay and waffle on the issue during the campaign and George Bush didn't.
Third, whether an overturn of Roe would create a political problem for Republicans depends upon how they react to it. If they point out that remanding the matter to the states gives the people greater say in formulating their state's abortion policy, it may well work to Republicans' benefit. Removing abortion from the judiciary and giving it to state legislatures empowers people to decide for themselves where to draw lines on this issue and should be presented that way by Republicans.
It is also not irrelevant that if the pro-choice throng is as numerous as Wittes' suggests it is, then they should have nothing to fear from having state legislatures, which are much more responsive to the will of the people than is the Supreme Court, establish the law. The fact that Pro-choicers are generally loath to have abortion law handled by the states gives the lie to their proclamations of substantial majorities in support of their position. We strongly suspect that they resist throwing the issue back into state houses because they fear that the majority of citizens in most states favor restrictions which they oppose.
We confess to savoring a bit of schadenfreude at the fallout from the RatherGate affair at CBS. It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch. Well, perhaps that's not quite true. Maybe the New York Times deserves it just as much. At any rate, CBS and the cashiered foursome is getting what it, and they, deserve. They wanted with all their might for this story to be true. They wanted so badly to discredit George Bush that they convinced themselves that the forged memos were genuine. They were blinded by their own wish-fulfillment and threw all professional standards and caution to the winds, chancing their careers on this one throw of the dice.
At least that's the charitable interpretation. The alternative is that they knew going in that the documents were suspect, but didn't care. They thought they could damage the president with fabrications, and no one would be the wiser. They may well have done it before and thought they could do it again. Indeed, if it hadn't been for the blogosphere they doubtless would've gotten away with it.
The difference between the two interpretations is the difference between being reckless, careless, and gullible because of ignoble political motives and being overtly malicious and vicious because of ignoble political motives.
Some bloggers are a little miffed that the CBS report didn't come down harder on what they perceive to be the obvious political motivations of the principal players in this farce, but motivation is much easier to discern than it is to prove. Even so, in this case there can be little doubt, whether the report makes it clear or not, that the impelling force was a desire to destroy the Bush presidency.
Here's what Bernard Goldberg, former CBS reporter and author of the expose Biased, said to Wolf Blitzer on CNN:
We hate to sound like Madame DeFarge, but we're satisfied that the job-ending guillotine at CBS is doing condign work. The only injustice is that Dan Rather is allowed to walk away with his dignity and dubious reputation somewhat intact while underlings suffer a season of public humiliation. Rather's head should have rolled with the rest of them, metaphorically speaking of course. The good news is that everyone knows it.