Bad news for CBS


You can usually expect that the most elite journalists will be farthest behind, when it comes to reckoning with the new realities of the news business. They have the greatest investment in protecting the ancien regime. Instead of powdered wigs, they wear good suits and expensive make—up.

But their colleagues in the heartland — places like Grand Forks, North Dakota — are not so attached to the old order. Thus, it should come as no surprise that an editorialist for the Grand Forks Herald has written one of the best print press accounts yet of the CBS memo scandal, now dubbed Rathergate.

Anyone with common sense, who looks at the evidence can see that there is no way the memos are genuine. There are at least fifty different anomalies to be explained — typographical, chronological, textual, factual, and logical. The defenders of the memos have now resorted to scurrilous tactics, including, misquoting people, ignoring recantations of key authenticators, ignoring counter—evidence, and misleadingly simplifying issues in order to dismiss them.

When the folks in Grand Forks, North Dakota decide you are a fraud, you are done for. They don't leap to conclusions out there, and they don't particularly like to say nasty things, either. CBS was once the network of choice for places like North Dakota, older and more rural than the national average.

Thomas Lifson   9 12 04