Sept. 22, 2004 #01Political Satire/Commentary where satire is always commentary but commentary isn't always satire 
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I'm Dan Rather Sorry that scientific polls about CBS 60 Minutes show respondents would Rather buy the Brooklyn Bridge than my explanation of MemoGate a.k.a. Memo-Gate regarding George Bush's Air National Guard records and prefer the term Rather-Kerry-Gate or RatherKerryGate over RatherGate or Rather-Gate.

            Sparing no expense, PoliSat.Com has conducted the most expensive and unique scientific polling ever done to gage the public's response to Dan Rather's non-apology apology.  We assembled all past and prospective purchasers of the Brooklyn Bridge to conduct a scientific poll to determine the proper political jargon for describing the scandalous broadcast of fraudulent documents by Dan Rather and CBS 60 Minutes.

            We had them vote on the most suitable political jargon for the scandal.  Here were the choices developed so far by a wide variety of pundits:  MemoGate, Memo-Gate, RatherGate, Rather-Gate, DocuDrama, Docu-Drama, See BS, RatherBlather, Rather-Blather, MapesGate, Mapes-Gate, Mapes' Ape, WorderGate, Worder-Gate, DeadAnchorWalking, Dead-Anchor-Walking, DonkeyGate, Donkey-Gate, and RatherKerryGate or Rather-Kerry-Gate.  Although Rather-Lockhardt Gate received an honorable-mention vote, the clear winner was RatherKerryGate a.k.a. Rather-Kerry-Gate.

            One of the more shocking findings of this scientific survey is that none of those who have been, and would be, willing to purchase the Brooklyn Bridge was willing to believe that Dan Rather and CBS 60 Minutes acted in "good faith" in treating a well-known Bush-hater with a track record of unreliable allegations as an "unimpeachable source" for claiming "authenticity" for documents that anyone old enough to remember the age of the typewriter would immediately suspect as being forgeries.  

            How old is Mary Mapes?  Was she like Bud in "Back to the Future," who, when transported back to the Fifties, naturally assumed that "unscrewing" had always been the method for removing caps from soft-drink bottles.  If she's younger than 45, there's a high probability that she would have no recollection of having ever used a typewriter not equipped with software programming to produce proportional fonts and automatic word-wrapping for ends of lines within a paragraph.

            How eager was Dan Rather to embrace the conclusions supported by her ignorance of the past?  Surely he was just as eager to accept those conclusions as he was eager to speculate (without any evidence) in August of 2000 that the possibility of the then-Independent-Counsel Robert Ray bringing criminal charges against Clinton having been anonymously "leaked" to the press on the day of Al Gore's acceptance speech was a manifestation of "Republican dirty tricks."  However, soon afterward, one of the three judges (a former Democrat) had the integrity to set the record straight by identifying himself as the "anonymous source."  Did Rather ever apologize for his unwarranted speculation?  Of course not.  Knowing that CBS would soon eliminate the text of Rather's blatantly partisan speculation from its website "url," PoliSat.Com preserved it's content for posterity at

            This same group of Brooklyn Bridge purchasers also found it too difficult to believe communications between Mapes and the Kerry Campaign were not manifestations of the coordination of news content at CBS News and political strategy in the Kerry Campaign.  What's amazing is the apparently greater willingness of most members of the dominant media to believe such communications were merely "innocent" mistakes in judgment than people proven to be gullible enough to actually purchase the Brooklyn Bridge.  Thus, this scientific sampling identified the proper political jargon to become historians' name for the scandal as being "Rather-Kerry-Gate" or "RatherKerryGate."

            Meanwhile, dominant-media apologists for See BS News (a.k.a. CBS News) continue wringing their hands about how "unfair" it is for anyone to question Rather's and/or Mapes' and/or the Kerry Campaign's motives.  These are the same media people who indignantly denigrated the motives of Swift-Boat Veterans reciting first-hand knowledge of events at variance with Kerry's recollections and who continue to fail to "report" those aspects of Kerry's accounts that Kerry's campaign has "revised" in response to some of the Swift-Boat Veterans' assertions.  

            These are the same media people who continue to fail (or refuse) to report:  (a) that in contrast to the "waiting list" for getting into the Texas National Guard generally, "special influence" wasn't even needed for fighter-pilot positions, (b) that the risks of death in non-combat flying of the particular fighter Bush flew were actually higher than the risks of death associated with serving in Vietnam, (c) that the Air National Guard routinely allowed participants to transfer to other units for purposes of temporary or permanent employment and/or education, and (d) that regardless of whether Bush had taken the final flight-physical, he nevertheless could not have flown the different planes in the Alabama unit without first taking additional, full-time, active-duty training that would have required nearly another two years of active duty in addition to the two years of active duty he performed at the beginning of his service.  

            None of these facts are complex or hard to understand, yet the dominant media so eager to attack the Swift Boat Veterans is utterly unwilling to even question Kerry campaign assertions contrary patently contradicted by the facts described in (a) through (d) above.  Yet they seem amazed that the rest of us lack confidence in their "judgment" and "fairness" and "good faith."  Gimme a break.

            When PoliSat.Com's Washington Bureau Drawer Chief contacted Dan Rather to seek a comment on this story, he insisted on replying poetically.  Below is forged version of his eloquent response, which, despite it's fraudulent nature, is nevertheless indisputably true:

I'm Dan Rather Sorry that Poll Respondents 
would Rather buy the Brooklyn Bridge than 
my story, but I'm sticking to it.

I'm Dan, Rather sorry that I
got caught in a partisan lie
describing my source
as one who perforce
spoke true, unimpeachable jive.

When caught in my partisan ruse,
I needed two weeks to peruse
the syntax to use
to label the ruse
as truth we can't prove to be true.

And since I expected the public
when hearing my answer would love it,
I'm shocked and amazed
and also dismayed
that most would suggest that I shove it.

So deep have I dug in this ditch,
the story I'm trying to pitch
they'll never receive--
they'd sooner agree
to purchase the famed Brooklyn Bridge.

Because Rather's efforts to knock-wood
by rhyming as though he were Osgood 
with answers in rhyme
cannot save his hind,
the "Eye" should replace him with Osgood.

            Who would be a good replacement for Rather?  Charles Osgood (click here).  He could quickly regain viewer-ship for CBS News by reciting the news in limericks, couplets and rhymes.  One of the most famous quotations of Osgood is:  ""The news of the day is so goofy at times, it just seems to fit into couplets and rhymes."  My vote is for Osgood, although Bob Schieffer also seems to be quite a fair-minded person.  If they were to want to maximize their chances of regaining their long-lost integrity, they would hire Brian Lamb, the founder of C-SPAN, who is the fairest media person in the country.  Jim Lehrer (click here) is another media person who tries hard to be fair.  Who will they really hire?  They'll probably keep Dan Rather for at least a decent interval and then hire Bill Moyers because they'll probably still think NPR and Moyer's PBS programs are "middle of the road."

--Jim Wrenn, Editor@PoliSat.Com


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