Dan Rather vs Corporate Broadcasting System

Dan Rather is suing CBS. He’s after the truth:

Instead, Rather said on CNN’s “Larry King Live” that he wants to use the litigation to find out what really happened behind the scenes after his discredited report on President Bush’s military record aired on “60 Minutes II” in 2004.

He’s also taking a stand:

Rather said he filed the lawsuit largely to “make a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive, with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news.”

For those unfamiliar with the story that prompted it all (emphasis mine):

The “60 Minutes II” story, suggesting Bush received preferential treatment during his Vietnam War service in the Texas Air National Guard, was partly based on documents CBS later acknowledged could not be authenticated. It retracted the report 12 days later.

As KiTA(dkos) points out:

The story was, of course, true, but the Killian documents being unable to be authenticated independently gave the far right water-carriers enough ammo to sweep the entire story under the rug.

I hope Dan Rather drags the whole thing out in the open.  The current media coverage of the suit is pathetic and worn (Jon Friedman, MarketWatch):

Rather’s failure is that he can’t let go. He moved on from CBS to work on some thoughtful segments for Mark Cuban on high-definition TV. But apparently, he thirsts for the limelight. Well, he’s got it now. Right after the lawsuit news came out, he was immediately booked to appear on “Larry King Live” on CNN, owned by Time Warner

Yes, just let go.  Why not use that same scatalogical reasoning on everything more than 1 year old.  The war?  “Why can’t liberals move on?  We’re there now!”.  The 2000 elections?  “Hey, he’s out President now, what do massive irregularities matter?  Move on liberals!”.  Forgive us for not paying any attention to such empty words.  The only other thing he has to add is to suggest Rather is just doing this for “the limelight”.

Whatever his motivation, he’s sticking it to the underside of the media.  We should expect to see them squirm a little.

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Criticizing the Military: Off Limits

A politicized military leadership is a crisis. It is not something to fucking sweep under the rug with a pandering expression of patriotism. Pastor Dan’s reaction speaks for us all:

Democrats who vote against MoveOn morons! Rrraarrggghhh!!

Smash!

SMASH!

SMASH!!!

Seriously people. And Jim Webb? What the hell are you doing on there with a yea vote? You’re supposed to be our “hammer”, our principled veteran who charges at the administration when the rest of the Dems cower and whine. Liberals don’t call this guy General Betray Us for nothing. When our military leadership ignores the facts on the ground, comes home empty handed and stops by the White House for the latest pack of lies, don’t think the difference isn’t palpable. I mean come on. He’s asking for yet more time for us to turn a corner. Like we haven’t heard that before.

But when we’ve finally got a Democrat in office, and the situation in Iraq continues deteriorating, then Democrats can reflect upon the practical wisdom of once again bowing down to Republicans and letting them control the conditions of the debate. You may think this makes you look strong and “pro-troops”. But all this vote does is fracture the Democratic power base between the rhetorically savvy, principled liberals and the cowering bipartisanship obsessed elites.

And guess who this bill hurts most of all? Yup. The troops. Because taking yet another pot shot at criticism of the President’s foul and illegal war/occupation makes it that much harder to leave.

The Democrats should follow Olberman’s rhetorical leadership on this (Crooks and Liars):

In light of President Bush’s disgraceful presser today, Keith Olbermann decided to make a Special Comment on tonight’s Countdown and wow, did he make the most of it. Olbermann blasts the president for his cowardly and un-American behavior of pimping General Petraeus as a political hack and hiding behind him to deflect criticism.

Here are a few choice quotes from the transcript:

Deliberately, premeditatedly, and virtually without precedent, you shanghaied a military man as your personal spokesman — and now you’re complaining about the outcome, and then running away from the microphone?

But a shot at General Petraeus — about whom you conveniently ignore it is you who reduced him from four-star hero to a political hack — that merits this pissy juvenile blast at the Democrats on national television?

Your hypocrisy is so vast, sir, that if we could somehow use it to fill the ranks in Iraq you could realize your dream — and keep us fighting there until the year 3000.

The line between the military and the civilian government is not to be crossed.

These careers were ended because the line between the military and the civilian is… not… to… be… crossed!

Mr. Bush, you had no right to order General Petraeus to become your front man.

And he obviously should have refused that order and resigned rather than ruin his military career.

The upshot is — and contrary it is, to the MoveOn advertisement — he betrayed himself more than he did us.

But there has been in his actions a sort of reflexive courage, some twisted vision of duty at a time of crisis. That the man doesn’t understand that serving officers cannot double as serving political ops, is not so much his fault as it is your good, exploitable, fortune.

And the stinging conclusion:

And in pimping General David Petraeus, sir, in violation of everything this country has been assiduously and vigilantly against for 220 years, you have tried to blur the gleaming radioactive demarcation between the military and the political, and to portray your party as the one associated with the military, and your opponents as the ones somehow antithetical to it.

You did it again today, sir, and you need to know how history will judge the line you just crossed.

It is a line — thankfully only the first of a series — that makes the military political, and the political, military.

It is a line which history shows is always the first one crossed when a democratic government in some other country has started down the long, slippery, suicidal slope towards a military junta.

Get back behind that line, Mr. Bush, before some of your supporters mistake your dangerous transgression, for a call to further politicize our military.

This is dangerous, this canonization of Petraeus even as he acts as Bush’s military-political foil. It represents a dire opportunity for us to go on the offensive. We missed our first chance to do so, badly, with the Senate vote. Let’s make our next chance.

Jena 6 Roundup

brownfemipower at Women of Color Blog has a kickass list:

Have you talked to your child about why they/you are wearing black?
Have you told your child why s/he is worth it?
Have you figured out how you can be involved?
Have you wondered what the Jena Six have to do with Latin@ Immigrants?
Have you been wondering what a bitch has to say about the Jena Six?
Have you wondered how things have changed since 1971?
Have you wondered what you can do with your digital camera?
Have you been looking for pictures of the march?
Have you been thinking, “This is a black issue”?
Have you tried to talk yourself out of posting something?

Have a read and a look see. Some highlights? Pictures of the march. And of course from the rhetorical side of things, framing every liberal, every activist should engrave into their hearts in living fire (voxexmachina, emphasis mine):

Because Resistance is right, and because this is a human issue

This is what makes liberals strong, and honestly, fucking scary to conservatives. All of our core issues come down to a fundamental recognition of the value of all human beings. That is the heart of our movement. The intelligence of our movement is the recognition that in helping some we help all, and in destroying lives we make the world a harsher place for all of us. This is why the oft applied and dismissive label of “idealist” needs to be sharply countered. Idealism is living in a world dominated by Ayn Rand and Bill O’Reilly, where we can point bombs at countries and watch oil prices go down.

And right now a group of students are having their lives destroyed. They need our help. Not our indifference.