Dan Rather really should have stopped digging when he heard Chinese. Every time he speaks of the National Guard forged document fiasco, he gets in deeper and deeper, and looks sillier and sillier.

This time, Rather was on the Letterman show, and displayed some of that instinct that makes a reporter great– Deflection of responsibility and shifting of the burden of proof.

Among Dan’s comments: “Although they had four months and millions of dollars, they could not demonstrate that the documents were not authentic, that they were forgeries.”

I’ve heard of beating a dead horse, but Dan’s just plain violating it now. This is “issue necrophelia” if I ever saw it.

I never went to journalism school, but it seems to me that the burden of proof should have been on Rather to prove that the documents were authentic, not on an outside party to demonstrate they weren’t.

Also, if Dan’s still sticking to his guns on the Nat’l Guard document story, why doesn’t he stand up for his four fellow CBS News employees who were fired? If Rather’s story is to hold water, then these people must have been fired unjustly.

I think Rather will enjoy retirement and not having to play through with this charade anymore. After his final broadcast, he’ll be, as he might say, “As happy as Pee Wee Herman in a peepshow with a pocket full of quarters.”

Still in denial, but happy.


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