September 22, 2004

DANGATE LATEST

Who to believe? The White House says the Kerry campaignís crack 3,624-strong advisory team may be responsible for Dangate:

Anchor Dan Rather admitted he was duped on documents used to assail President Bush's military service - shattering CBS' credibility and sparking White House charges John Kerry's campaign may be behind the hoax.

But Duncan Black -- itís so cute how he keeps calling himself Atrios -- believes Dark Lord Rove is a more likely candidate:

I'm not yet ready to accuse Rove of a masterful 5 cushion bank shot, but if I were, say, writing a political thriller about one President Smush who had an advisor name Snarl Stove who had a history of doing exactly that kind of thing, I would pat myself on the head for thinking of such a brilliant plot device.

Slam Duncan is no stranger to patting himself on the head. Or elsewhere. Antonia Zerbisias is just bitter that Dan Rather has undermined the honest efforts of principled leftists like Antonia Zerbisias:

Way to go, CBS.

Thanks to your rush to kick off a new season of 60 Minutes II on Sept. 8 with big ratings, your bungling of what the pro-war blogosphere has dubbed "Memogate," your hesitation to admit the error of your ways and your blinkered eye on the bottom line, you carpet-bombed the U.S. presidential race with bluster and blather about proportional spacing, nuking what little remains of serious political discourse in the U.S. and making the Kerry-Edwards campaign collateral damage.

Zerbisias is a fascinating writer. Hereís an additional sample paragraph:

How much did you heard about that in this 'liberal media' fuss over IBM Selectrics?

I don'ts no! Why I knot heer bout this? Angry Antonia ends: "So thanks CBS. Thanks for being 'liberal' and all your good investigative work. Now please don't do us any more favours." Which is what CBS might be thinking about Bill Burkett, their trusted Dangate memo source. USA Today has lately conducted a series of interviews with the man who supplied CBS (and USA Today) with those forgeries. Does he seem trustworthy? You be the judge:

Burkett now maintains that the source of the papers was Lucy Ramirez, who he says phoned him from Houston in March to offer the documents. USA TODAY has been unable to locate Ramirez.

Burkett's own doubts about the authenticity of the memos and his inability to supply evidence to show that Ramirez exists also raise questions about his credibility.

Burkett's emotions varied widely in the interviews. One session ended when Burkett suffered a violent seizure and collapsed in his chair.

As Burkett told his story, he appeared overwrought, fatigued and unsure of how to deal with what he characterized as the extreme pressure of national attention. He spoke of being under a severe strain.

At one point Thursday, as he spoke on a cellphone to his San Antonio lawyer, David Van Os, Burkett's voice froze in midsentence and his body convulsed in a violent seizure. He was helped to the floor and then to a couch. He has had such bouts sporadically over the past several months, but this one was worse, his wife said.

The next day, Burkett resumed the interview. He lay on the couch with a wet cloth on his forehead.

Dan Rather feels his pain.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 22, 2004 02:01 AM
Comments

so is atrios argument basically that "the democrats can't be this stupid; it's rove that is sooooo smart"? which, to my mind is also clearly that if rove wasn't behind it then the kerry campaign is indeed that stupid.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 22, 2004 at 02:09 AM

Ok, lemme get this straight.

Burkett now says the mystery woman Nancy Ramierez gave him the docs. But CBS wouldn't have bought her as a source. So WHO WAS IT he originally named to CBS as the source? What was the name that Danny considered "unimpeachable"?

Posted by: mojo at September 22, 2004 at 02:19 AM

"suffered a violent seizure and collapsed in his chair... appeared overwrought, fatigued.... voice froze in midsentence and his body convulsed in a violent seizure...He has had such bouts sporadically over the past several months"

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Dan Rather's "unimpeachable source."

Dan would have been sceptical if Burkett had been wearing pajamas, no doubt.

Posted by: Dave S. at September 22, 2004 at 02:20 AM

CBS would have bought anything. According to USA Today, Rather (apparently) told CBS that his friend George Conn was the source, and they didn't bother to check this out. If they had, they would have discovered that Conn wasn't the source. And if they'd done any research at all, they would have discovered that Conn himself is on public record as saying that he doesn't believe Burkett's stories.

And WaPo says this:

--------------
CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said yesterday that the network was investigating a Sept. 9 statement that asserted the network had spoken with "individuals who saw the documents at the time they were written."
--------------

I think CBS has lied about this. Who are these people who saw the documents? Not even Robert Strong said he saw any documents at the time.

Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny

Posted by: Scott Campbell aka Blithering Bunny at September 22, 2004 at 02:32 AM

I'm not the only one who suspects -- without having seen him myself, mind you -- that Burkett may be mentally ill, am I?

What I keep wondering is, why is he "unimpeachable" when 250 SwiftVets aren't considered credible?

Posted by: Steven Jens at September 22, 2004 at 02:56 AM

"But Duncan Black -- it’s so cute how he keeps calling himself Atrios -- believes Dark Lord Rove is a more likely candidate"

It's true, and he has the memo to prove it.

Posted by: Ross at September 22, 2004 at 03:06 AM

Burkett has suffered from mental illness, that's on the public record. Not the raving loony sort, but nervous breakdown, depression, etc. I think I saw somewhere that he'd been hospitalized for mental problems a few times in the past.

In other words, a solid reliable chap all round, by CBS standards.

Another point to remember - it was discovered last week that Burkett has used the unusual phrase "running interference" before, which points to him as the forger.

Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny

Posted by: Scott Campbell aka Blithering Bunny at September 22, 2004 at 03:07 AM

CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said yesterday that the network was investigating a Sept. 9 statement that asserted the network had spoken with "individuals who saw the documents at the time they were written."
--------------

I think CBS has lied about this. Who are these people who saw the documents?


oh, i don't think they lied. let's face it, the dnc just wrote these docs in late august, and i'm sure cbs has talked to a few people who were there...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 22, 2004 at 03:25 AM

"the dnc just wrote these docs in late august, and i'm sure cbs has talked to a few people who were there"

Maybe not. According to a Little Green Football's reader, "One of the memo files I checked had an internal Acrobat file creation date of 2/6/04."

Why would the file have a creation date of 2/6/04 if CBS only received it recently?

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at September 22, 2004 at 03:59 AM

Maybe he got the lady's name wrong. Maybe he meant this Lucy.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 22, 2004 at 04:11 AM

wow, now that's interesting bruce. hmm, ol' danny said they've been 'working on this story for years', right?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 22, 2004 at 04:18 AM

It should be obvious who Nancy Ramirez is - she's Manny Ramirez' sister, and Manny's getting back at the Kerry campaign for confusing him with 'Manny Ortiz'.

Posted by: Roger Bournival at September 22, 2004 at 04:19 AM

the curse of the bambino destroys kerry...heh.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 22, 2004 at 05:00 AM

Only a Machiavellian supergenius like Karl Rove could have foreseen that CBS would accept amateurishly forged memos typed out using MS Word defaults. No one else would have believed it could be possible! That alone is proof that Rove must have been behind it.

After perusing the Democratic Underground it looks like Burkett isn't the only one collapsing into convulsions and retiring to fainting couches with a damp cloth as a result of memogate. Not that strong emotional stability is ever a given with that bunch.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at September 22, 2004 at 05:44 AM

Someone tell OJ!

Ramirez is obviously The Real Killer.

Posted by: Sigivald at September 22, 2004 at 06:08 AM

No,no, no... You all have it wrong. This whole CBS thing is a plot by the DNC to bring down Bush by framing Rove as the magic typist. Burkett, Mapes and Rather are all useful fools for this exercise. The only way Kerry can win is by destroying Rove, not Bush. Don't forget, the bridge command of the SS Moore and all the fools in steerage believe Bush to be a dolt and Rove and Cheney to be the tag teaming puppeteers. They couldn't get Cheney with the Haliburtosis smeer, so they have to get Rove. Rove is too smart to engage in petty forgery, but Weepy McAuliffe isn't. I tell you more documents are in the works and the bullseye is on Rove. That's Kerry's October surprise. Oh, shit, I'm about to have a convuuuulllllllllsionnnnnnnnnnnnnnn..............

Whew, sorry. I wonder if this idea has anything to do with that new Kool Aid Ice Cool mix I just bought. Hmmm.

Posted by: sligobob at September 22, 2004 at 07:11 AM

Excerpt from Burkett call to his attorney:
Burkett: I'm dying here, what should I do?
Attorney: You're crazy, right? Fake a seizure.

Posted by: Reality Check at September 22, 2004 at 08:08 AM

As someone pointed out over at LGF, "Lucy Ramirez" was the detective the very hot, very talented Lexa Doig played on the Gene Roddenberry series Earth, Final Conflict.

While we could, of course. wish the charming Ms. Doig had a better class of stalker, it is at least a blessing for the public discourse that Burkett didn't claim he had received them from her in her guise as the android Rommy in Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at September 22, 2004 at 01:49 PM

I love the story. Secret meetings, dark dealings out by the cattle barns, a mystery woman who never arrives, a mystery man furtively stuffing envenopes inot Burkett's sweaty hand before vanishing into the crowd...

Total bullshit, of course.

Posted by: mojo at September 22, 2004 at 02:35 PM

Total bullshit, of course.

No, it's just one of those fake-but-accurate things.

How long till Burkett pitches his story to some enterprising Hollywood writer?

Posted by: PW at September 22, 2004 at 03:42 PM

According to Drudge, Burkett is now suing CBS. I love it when idiots start spending money on lawyers to sue each other.

See you at the soup kitchen, losers.

Posted by: Craig Mc at September 22, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Didn't Burkett say somewhere that he had been diagnosed with meningitis, which (after a cursory Google search) causes migranes, seizures, confusion, and hallucinations?

If true, the man's actually got an organic brain disorder. Poor son of a bitch. I wish there were a way to discredit him without humiliating him.

Posted by: John Nowak at September 22, 2004 at 04:40 PM

Don't forget the shot of cattle penicillin four times too strong for humans...

That part just cracks me up :)

See Allah for details

Posted by: Stan at September 22, 2004 at 06:49 PM

I've just realized the stunning absurdity of what Burkett is saying. (Well, one of the stunning absurdities).

(1) He insists that he told CBS that they should authenticate the documents.

(2) But he admits that he misled them on the source of the documents.

How can anyone conclude that he really wanted CBS to authenticate them, when he lied about where they came from?

Scott Campbell at Blithering Bunny

Posted by: Scott Campbell aka Blithering Bunny at September 22, 2004 at 09:36 PM

I have been saying that Burkett is not the source of the documents over on LGF since this whole sordid affair started.

With each idiotic statement as to the source of them comes spewing forth it only serves to convince me more as to who the true source of these memos is.

Ben Barnes and the Travis Country Democratic Party in the person of Robin Rather.

Major embarassment on three levels.

Ben Barnes is one of John Kerry's MAJOR donors and supporters.

Travis County Democrats, self explanitory.

Robin Rather is Dan Rather's daughter. She is also has political ambitions.

Posted by: Nahanni at September 23, 2004 at 05:37 AM

Scott: Not to mention the fact that he claims that he destroyed the originals upon receipt. And THAT doesn't make sense when you consider that (A) he claimed he destroyed the originals to protect the identity of the "true" source; (B) he "protected" her by copying and faxing the documents from A Kinko's copy service close to his house, where he has an open account, and that has a security camera, which made tracing the documents back to him exceedingly easy; and (C) When the documents came back to him, he promptly squealed on his alleged source.

Burkett's defense reminded me of a criminal defendant here in the states who was convicted of murdering his wife by stabbing her 39 times. He claimed he came home one day and saw her dead, with a knife in her chest and became so distraught he pulled out the knife... and stabbed her another 38 times. There was simply no way to square that argument with any kind of logical human behavior, and the only conclusion you could possibly reach was the guy was full of crap.

Posted by: Sean at September 23, 2004 at 11:47 AM

The fake documents may very well have been cooked up by Bill Burkett. But when he offered the thought that he might have been made a patsy in some diabolical plan, I began to wonder where that sounded familiar. Then I remembered Oswald said it. And James Earl Ray did too.

And then I began to wonder who, who could be so cunning, so clever as to plan something that would punish Dan Rather, result in the firing of several CBS News top guns, and tarnish the reputation of the CBS News, perhaps irreparably. Who?

Only one man came to mind: the Cigarette Smoking Man. But I thought he was dead? Or maybe thatís what weíre all supposed to think.

Dang that Karl Rove is a cunning man beyond belief.

Posted by: Ron at September 24, 2004 at 07:27 AM

Besides these trivialities, could someone point out to the Gastropod that in his article in the "Australian" of 21 September re ALP schools policy, his "classical allusion" re the soldier and the shield comes to us from the SPARTAN not the Roman culture.

Posted by: LaVallette at September 24, 2004 at 12:39 PM

I've been watching what you people say. There's a common thread The right expresses itself only in terms of what it hates about the left. Especially the armchair nazis who want to blow away all scumbags. Life in a vaccuum imagining you are blowing away the enemy. In America you would be armed. Is this what you yearn for?

Posted by: tug at September 24, 2004 at 09:08 PM

Look, kids: a moron! Now, approach him gently -- they startle easy. We don't want him to run out in the road and get smooshed by a truck, now do --

Oops. Never mind. Let's go look for some squirrels. They're smarter and much more entertaining.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 25, 2004 at 01:59 AM