A Rather sordid tale

Dan Rather brings his spotty career as a CBS news anchorman to a close tonight and rabid right-wing blowhards are dancing on his grave before it is even dug.

Conservative bloggers and bulletin boards where keyboard cowards hide behind phony names like “American Patriot” or “A Real American” claim credit for bringing Rather down and forcing his retirement as anchor a year early.

These wing-nuts didn’t end Rather’s career as a newsreader. Dan Rather brought himself down by rushing a story to air without checking it out. His zeal, and the stupidity of those who work for him, gave CBS a black eye that will remain long after he disappears from the evening news.

Ironically, the facts of the story that blew up in Rather’s face have never been disproved. Strong evidence still suggests a young George W. Bush got preferential treatment to get into the Texas Air National Guard and avoid combat service in Vietnam but a specific set of documents used to support that story turned out to be forgeries. Other documents may have existed and some in the Texas Guard say some of Bush’s records were destroyed or altered.

All this brings unbounded joy to the right-wing that has long claimed Rather, CBS and most other “mainstream” media outlets are just shills for the loony left.

I don’t know what Rather’s political leanings are nor do I care. It was his style of reading the news that soured me on his abilities as an anchorman many years ago and I stopped watching his newscasts.

But I have to laugh whenever these conservative crybabies start whining about the “bias” of the media. Most of these clowns wouldn’t know good journalism if it walked up and bit them in the balls – assuming you could find their balls because conservatives are too often cowards and probably don’t have any testicular protrusions to chomp down upon.

Ask a right-wing nut where they get their news and they point first to Fox News Channel, a pseudo journalism operation run by former Richard Nixon propaganda flack Roger Ailes and tabloid sleaze king Rupert Murdoch.

Fox’s “star,” if anyone mired in their muck can be called a star, is Bill O’Reilly, a phone sex freak who had to settle, out of court, a sexual harassment charge brought by a co-worker. Rather gets burned by a source and loses his job. O’Reilly calls up co-workers, talks dirty to them, pays hush money and stays on the air.  Interesting double-standard of justice.

Another source of “information” for conservative hypocrites is Rush Limbaugh, the pill-popping purveyor of right-wing hysteria. Limbaugh long preached that anyone who illegally abuses drugs should face punishment “to the full extent of the law,” but conveniently exempted himself from such treatment when he got caught loading up on black market pain pills.

The list of favored right-wing “journalists goes on and on: From Mike Savage, a hate-spouting homophobic to Robert Novak, the White House shill who outed a covert CIA operative because her ambassador husband has publicly criticized George W. Bush.

These, and others like them, bring disgrace to the journalism profession because they pander to the right wing rather than seek the truth. Their success comes from knowing the right-wing audience that follows them is, by and large, composed of uneducated, ignorant, gullible louts who would rather hate than understand the world around them.

Fox News brags about its high ratings and huge audience numbers – proof, they say, of their quality.

They’ve got high ratings all right – among cable TV networks, a small-segmented part of the overall television viewing audience. In the real world of TV ratings, those numbers fall far behind other “quality” programming like Survivor, The Apprentice, the Simpsons and, yes, the CBS Evening News.

Yeah, the numbers tell the story and it’s a far different one when told without the tinge of right-wing propaganda.