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Friday, September 24, 2004

Burkett blames CBS News, Dubya, and the blogosphere

According to CNN, based on its email interview with CBS News' controversial source Bill Burkett, Mr. Burkett blames Dubya for the blogospheric storm over Rathergate:

Burkett also accused the White House of using the blog community to launch a "kill the messenger campaign" against him after the documents were made public.

Nor, in Mr. Burkett's view, did CBS News stonewall and bloviate hard enough during the storm:

"The coordinated attacks against the documents, then against me, which CBS did nothing to deflect or defend, and then against Dan Rather and CBS producer Mary Mapes have not been against the validity of the documents, but rather as an attack against anything being considered at all," he said.

But CBS News — truthseekers that they are — did, apparently, actively encourage Mr. Burkett to remain silent and not "out" himself as their source prior to last weekend:

[Burkett's wife,] Nicki Burkett said CBS News "asked us not to respond publicly in our own defense from the time we turned over the documents" until last Saturday, when a network vice president informed them that CBS no longer had any obligation to them.

Does Burkett have a sense of humor?

Burkett also said "the central part of my agreement with CBS was that they use their massive and superlative abilities to authenticate and verify the documents prior to broadcast in order that I and my source not have to be identified."

"CBS came to me, I did not go to them," he said. "It was in no interest of mine to be involved with this. Certainly as a source, I demanded confidentiality both for myself and my source."

Meanwhile, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Jack Douglas, in an article distributed by Knight-Ridder, reports from his own interview with Mr. Burkett that he claims not only that CBS News put the Kerry campaign into contact with him, but that Kerry campaign official Joe Lockhart vigorously sought copies of the documents  [update: the strike-throughs above and below are based on the Star-Telegram having issued a correction; see below — Beldar]:

He said, however, that during the meeting in which he gave the memos to CBS, he was also told by a producer that his phone number would be passed on to Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart.

"I was absolutely and clearly told that that was as far as anyone could go without crossing the line of (journalistic) ethics," Burkett said.

During a single phone conversation with Lockhart, Burkett said he suggested a "couple of concepts on what I thought (Kerry) had to do" to beat Bush. In return, he said, Lockhart tried to "convince me as to why I should give them the documents."

In case you've forgotten, on Monday Mr. Lockhart admitted to having called Mr. Burkett at the suggestion of CBS News producer Mary Mapes, but told a different story than Mr. Burkett's telling now:

Earlier, Lockhart said he thanked Burkett for his advice after a three- to four-minute call, and that he does not recall talking to Burkett about Bush's Guard records. "It's baseless to say the Kerry campaign had anything to do with this," he said.

Later, Lockhart said he was sure he had not talked to Burkett about the Guard documents.

And according to the what he told the Star-Telegram's Douglas, Mr. Burkett thinks CBS News is setting him up to be the "fall guy" through artful editing:

Burkett said he agreed to a taped interview with Rather on Monday as suspicion about the memos mounted, putting the network's reputation at stake. He said key portions of the interview were never aired.

"He snipped it apart to cover them," he said. "That's all that that evening news was — to find a fall guy. And it was me."

He added, "By his action and inaction, Dan Rather ruined my reputation in front of 70 million people."

I'm guessing that various dictionaries are competing vigorously over the right to publish Mr. Burkett's picture next to their next editions' entries for the term "loose cannon."  But for tonight, I have nothing else to say on the subject — check with me tomorrow, after I've finished my regular morning videoconference with Karl Rove and gotten my instructions on how to play this.

Update (Fri Sep 24 @5:08pm): The strike-throughs above are based upon the Star-Telegram having today issued a correction to its original story that reads:

This article has been corrected from the version published in the newspaper and online Friday morning to reflect that Bill Burkett was referring to conversations with CBS when he said, "They tried to convince me as to why I should give them the documents." The earlier version incorrectly reported that he had discussed the documents with Joe Lockhart of the Kerry campaign.

I've also changed the original title of this post to remove the ending, "— and disputes Lockhart."

Posted by Beldar at 12:58 AM in Mainstream Media, Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Burkett blames CBS News, Dubya, and the blogosphere and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Burkett Blames CBS, the White House and Bloggers - Believes Memos Authentic from bLogicus

Tracked on Sep 24, 2004 11:26:55 AM

» Burkett blames the universe from JohnHays.net

Tracked on Sep 24, 2004 9:38:50 PM


(1) leaddog2 made the following comment | Sep 24, 2004 7:25:13 AM | Permalink

Bill, You too are on the call! Ha! That must be the largest Video conference ever, if all of the millions on the blogospere are included. Ha!

(2) Al made the following comment | Sep 24, 2004 12:28:02 PM | Permalink

If 'forgery' won't fit the crime exactly, what about the restrictions on 'con games'? You don't have to actually forge something to be in hot water for scamming someone, yes?

(3) Steven Jens made the following comment | Sep 24, 2004 3:03:17 PM | Permalink

The Star Telegram has retracted the part of the interview about Lockhart asking him for the documents. Apparently, he was talking about CBS requesting the documents, and the interviewer misunderstood.

(4) MaDr made the following comment | Sep 24, 2004 5:31:28 PM | Permalink

Yes, one could believe that the FWST misunderstood OR after Burkett's lawyer read the quote, he called wild Bill and told him how to "correct" the quote. I don't need to borrow a Liberal tinfoil hat to see what's going on here. The details may be a little off, but there is no doubt that the DNC, Kerry Campaign, CBS, and Texans For Truth coordinated Guard Week.

After many journalistic have responded that they never heard of another journalistic calling a campaign to give them a "source", last night, one tried a different tack - the old one hasn;t worked. Lawrence O'Donnell (rabid partisan MSNBC analyst and journalist) told Joe Scarborough, that no, journalist do it all the time. I guess O'Donnell was more concerned with protecting the Dems than protecting journalism.

(5) OhMike made the following comment | Sep 24, 2004 9:21:24 PM | Permalink

Howard Dean said that Burkett called him weeks ago to peddle the memos. Dean said Burkett wanted to contact higher-ups in the Kerry campaign. However, Dean wants us to stop talking about that and start focusing on whether healthcare trend will be 9% or 9.5% in 2006.

Dean and the RATS want to go hide under their desks. All this talk about, "Haven't we wasted too much time on this unimportant stuff," (like fraud, cowardice, war crimes, and treason, or forgery, conspiracy, slander, and calumny) is just their desperate plea to get the glare of the lights off the underside of their rock.

They claim the media should be focusing on "the real story," which of course, as always is nothing but their spin. The problem is that the real story IS the Swiftvets charges agains Kerry and the ubelievable, brazen, and criminal Rathergate. The truth IS that Kerry lied, good men died, and Rather conspired, he should be retired...before the trial.

The problem with the Dems is not that the media is covering the real story too much. We know that's not true. In fact we know that they are covering for Kerry by NOT covering the real story, and by lying for Kerrry while slandering President Bush through their media mouthpieces, like their whores Rather and Barnes or their moonbat whores like Burkett.

The problem with the vermin is that they have nominated the King Rat, who thinks he's above us, but is not even a good excuse for a man. The Dems nominated a fraud and a coward, who has been posing as a man for years (except at home where he wears a French Maid's outfit and bends to Cruella De Heinz), but there isn't even a shadow of a man to fill up the empty suits that's he's bought with his domme's dead husband's money.

Isn't there enough ick factor here? Isn't there enough outrage? Isn't it enough to make EVERYONE vote Republican? For the life of me I don't understand how Kerry gets one vote.

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