Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rathergate three year anniversary

Today is the three year anniversary of Rathergate.

Click here for last year's anniversary post and here for the one year anniversary in 2005.

This post contains numerous links to posts from Powerline and Little Green Footballs that explain the history of the scandal and how it unfolded.

Without recounting the history of the scandal, remember only that CBS broadcast the report based on the forged memos on September 8, 2004. Free Republic picked up the forgery almost immediately:
After 12 days of stonewalling CBS would grudgingly backtrack on the documents.

Within a few months, Rather would retire, the blogosphere would force out Eason Jordan from CNN, Newsweek would be exposed as having published lies about Korans in the toilet at Gitmo and the MSM/DNC would continue its long, slow tailspin. The final chapter on the whole MSM/DNC media monopoly has yet to be concluded. But the opening paragraph of that final chapter was written on September 8, 2004.
2005 anniversary post

My own observations from the first days of the scandal provide an example of how the world really changed at that time. I first began reading about the possibility that the memos were forged on Thursday, September 9, 2004 (the day after the broadcast). That evening (while driving to a dinner appointment), I heard Sean Hannity on the radio. In discussing the broadcast, he appeared agitated and angry. He did not raise the issue of the memos being forged. He seemed unaware of the discussion from Powerline and LGF (as linked by Drudge). He seemed to be handicapped by his lack of knowledge of the blog discussions.

When I arrived at my dinner, my leftist dinner companions seemed overjoyed by the previous night's CBS report. When I pointed out that the memos were forgeries, they merely laughed. They had not heard this accusation in the few hours since the story first aired. The idea of a "60 Minutes" document being forged was beyond their experience.

Within two days, the situation had changed completely. On Saturday, September 11, 2004, I attended a large outdoor picnic at which one of my dinner companions (from Thursday) was also present. By this time, the accusations of forgery had forced themselves into the mainstream. The dinner companion from two days earlier approached me and apologized for having snickered at my accusation. When I asked what had changed her attitude, she reported having seen the forgery story on some mainstream news program. I had read the initial reports regarding the forgery, but I was unaware that those reports had gotten to the point where mainstream viewers would see them. But apparently the two days between the 9th and the 11th had made a tremendous difference. Judging from my friend's change in awareness, it appears to me that those two days were the crucial days in the scandal. When average leftists become aware of a MSM/DNC outlet's perfidy, the result becomes almost inevitable.

One never knows when a few posts on one's blog can impact the opinions of those who pay little attention to blogs or media bias issues.

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