Why's Dan Sticking With His Story?
CBS News has to know that the Killian documents are forged. So what is wrong with these people? Why haven't they admitted it so that they can retain a shred of dignity and begin to repair the damage?
Stanley Kurtz's analysis of this mystery is the most convincing I've read so far.
Abbreviated version: The audience of CBS News has grown more and more liberal over the years. The mainstream media as a whole grew liberal during the 70s, which drove away the first wave of conservatives, which created the need for alternative sources of news, and these alternatives began to be created in the 80s. Once conservatives had alternatives they left mainstream media news in mass, especially the most liberal network, CBS.
Rather's remaining audience really believes Rather's pathetic defense: the veracity of the documents is less important than the seriousness of the issues they raise. Who cares if it's true? It's what they've chosen to believe.
Let me go off topic just a second to announce I just "found" a document that "proves" Dan Rather personally armed John Hinkley, Jr. and told him Jodie Foster would be his girlfriend if he shot President Reagan. Sure the documents are still warm off my printer, but the charges are so serious that Rather should be compelled to prove them untrue.
The Killian document scandal has only polarized the potential audience further. CBS knows it isn't getting the conservatives back, so why bother carefully vetting stories that either hurt conservatives or help liberals in the future? Why bother retracting this story now if most of the remaining CBS audience is dying to believe it anyway?
In fact, if CBS News admits these documents are forgeries, it will have an ethical obligation to divulge its source. If it's the Kerry campaign or the DNC, then Kerry is finished in this election, Rather's career is over, and the remaining CBS audience will hate CBS for losing the election for Kerry.
The only good news is that intelligent people have been placed on notice. If, regardless of your party you have any interest in objective truth, don't look to CBS News.