Sunday, October 26, 2008

Observations 10-26

I generally stick to writing my own stuff, not posting the writing of other people. My whole point in having a blog is to have my voice heard. Maybe that's a little narcissistic. You will have to decide. I have, however, decided to have a feature in this blog called Observations, where I take something I've read, and share it with you. Then I'll make my own comments. (I can't not comment. It will kill me haha.)

So, from this morning's reading:

From Mary Mapes's monster

October 26, 2008 Posted by Scott at 7:04 AM

In 2004 Mary Mapes was the celebrated CBS News producer responsible for stories that had won her the recognition of her peers. In September that year she produced Dan Rather's 60 Minutes II report on President Bush's military service that was exposed as fraudulent the following day.

CBS commissioned an internal investigation (the Thornburgh-Boccardi report) demonstrating in detail the fraudulence of Mapes's 60 Minute II story. The report also noted Mapes's serious misrepresentations in her testimony to the Thornburg-Boccardi panel. CBS fired Mapes for her role in the story the day the Thornburgh-Boccardi report was released. She now blogs at what James Taranto calls the Puffington Host.

Even though she produced a report that falsely defamed President Bush and others with the intent of influencing the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, Mary Mapes fancies herself the victim of the events related to her story. In her imagination she is the victim of a vast right-wing conspiracy. Among the conspirators, of course, are Power Line (and Karl Rove). Mapes refers to the conspirators as making up a deadly monster.

In her 2005 memoir Truth and Duty -- one of the worst books I have ever read cover to cover -- Mapes surveys the chain of events leading to CBS's repudiation of her story 60 Minutes II story. She proclaims that rabid right-wing blogs had joined forces with FOX News, talk radio, and "magazines like the Weekly Standard" to form "a well coordinated attack machine out there in the media world, a monster that waits in the woods for an opening and then overpowers its victim." Mapes is of course the victim of the monster.

Mapes's book reveals her seething hatred of Bush and conservatives. It thus opens a window into the frame of mind that resulted in the fraudulent 60 Minutes II story. It is the sole service performed by this very bad book. She describes Karl Rove as Bush's "├╝ber-adviser," for example, and bizarrely credits him with masterminding "the Republican attack against the [60 Minutes II] story."

Given her claims of the story's veracity, she absolves Rove of fabricating and planting the documents that led to the story's exposure -- "not that I believe Rove isn't capable of that kind of dirty trick."

Surveying the political scene in 2008, Mary Mapes now celebrates the death of the monster that bedeviled her in 2004:

Nothing makes me happier than seeing once swaggering players like Powerline, Free Republic and Little Green Footballs forced onto the sidelines, left to limply watch this campaign pass by like a parade in which they play no meaningful part.

They just don't matter anymore.

Our moment in the spotlight in 2004 came courtesy of Mary Mapes. The small role we played derived solely from the fraudulence of the story she sought to peddle. Thanks to her, we now write for a readership substantially larger than the one we had in 2004. And even though our readership was much smaller in 2004 than it is today, it was sufficient to help us play our small role exposing Mapes's fraud.

Having lost her perch at CBS News and disgraced herself, Mapes now refers to her 60 Minutes II story (in her Puffington Host bio) as "controversial." She imagines that we have been "forced onto the sidelines," although we are right where we always were. From her perch at CBS News Mapes has set up shop at the Puffington Host. As to the death of "the monster" and being "forced onto the sidelines," Mapes is in the grips of a serious case of projection.

My only question to those people who read things like what Mary Mapes writes is this: When she's blathering about the right-wing attack machine and how Karl Rove, the Devin Incarnate, screwed her over, does anyone bother to comment with this: "But um, Mary, the story was FALSE. You ran a complete hit piece, based on documents that your own hired experts concluded could very well be fake. You completely tossed aside the principle purpose of 60 Minutes II, which is investigative journalistm. You didn't investigate, you just ran with it because it served your purpose. So it's not the fault of Karl Rove, Little Green Footballs, or Powerline. It's your own fault."

I don't know, if as Scott says, it's projection, but a simple look at the landscape says Mapes is far off in her assessment. The "alternative" media is still steadily gaining readership, while the big corporate newspapers and stations are losing readers and viewers. I know that the Conservative blogs I read have had to upgrade server space, because their pages run so slow from a flood of people visitng. The truth is, Mary Mapes is one of a whole group of so-called journalists who have tossed journalistic integrity out the window in favor of throwing their well-financed weight behind one candidate. Journalism of the Edward Murrow style is gone. A vast majority of Americans don't trust the major media outlets anymore. And it all started back in 2004, with that little piece of "controversy".

This election cycle has been so much worse, and yet there really isn't much of an outrage. It's what we've come to expect from these people. More often than not, when we spot those stories, we laugh, becasue as I recently learned at my company rally, sometimes you just HAVE to laugh.

We are letting the major media have their day in the sun, so to speak. The truth is, they are well on their way to become the newest wing of the tabloid media. And just remember, Ms. Mapes, you started the whole thing off.

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