Just When You Thought Dan Rather Couldn't Look Worse

|

Steve Clemons notes that Michael Moore was offered those bogus memos while he was making Fahrenheit 9/11, but he didn't run with them because of doubts about their authenticity. I think if I lost a journalistic integrity contest with Moore, it'd be John Belushi samurai time.

Advertisement

NEXT: Classic Reason

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. In Moore’s case it would be more along the lines of a Sumo Match.

  2. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

  3. Millard, I can’t help wondering if you are a beloved member of Millard Fillmore Society? This society was the brainchild of D. R. Segal, former president of Freedom Newspapers. It’s sole purpose for existing is to eradicate the irritating custom of asking “who is calling please?” by invariably answering “Millard Fillmore”. Anyone can join. There are no dues or meetings.

  4. Based on Brokaw/Jennings comments last weekend, the wagons have been fully circled around the struggling Rather.

    That, along with David Westin’s official “back off” command recently, has cast this story out of the MSM.

  5. Julian,

    Well, yes…assuming you can believe what Moore is saying about this…it isn’t as though Moore has never stretched the truth to make himself look good.

    I see no reason to believe one proven liar over another.

  6. OK, Michael Moore obviously has a perspective that he puts right up front and stacks the arguments to support his view, just like Reason writers do.

    But is there evidence that he actually said or presented anything untrue in his film? I honestly don’t know and haven’t seen his film, but amid all the attacks on Moore, I haven’t seen any evidence of fraud presented. I’d like to know if he’s reliable in that sense.

  7. I think it says less about Rather’s integrity than it does about network TV news departments’ ability to do properly-researched, methodically constructed investigative journalism amid slashed budgets, decimated research and writing staffs and severe time constraints.

    It’s gotten to where the kind of in-depth news documentaries that CBS used to make have vanished from broadcast TV and moved back to the big screen (and the video store).

    Anyhow.

    Any word from the panel investigating Fox’s repeated use of that forged photo showing John Kerry protesting the Vietnam war alongside Jane Fonda? There’s a panel investigating that, right?

  8. Any word from the panel investigating Fox’s repeated use of that forged photo showing John Kerry protesting the Vietnam war alongside Jane Fonda? There’s a panel investigating that, right?

    Hah!

  9. Crimoney! Next it’s going to turn out that’s a costume earring Ed Bradley’s wearing!

  10. Luisa,

    I personally don’t know of any outright fraud in F-9/11 on the scale of using false documents. Perhaps some of the other Moore-haters here can fill us in if there was. I’ve heard that in Roger & Me he reversed the order of certain events to give a false impression. There are many claims of misleading stuff in Bowling for Columbine regarding the gun laws he examined, especially in Canada. I would say F-9/11 is full of framing and context fallacies, such as showing scenes of dilapidated buildings in Flint, Michigan and implying this was caused by Bush’s economics and that everyone who joins the military is somehow forced to join by this state of affairs. A little research (not to mention common sense) puts the lie to these notions, but since he only expressed them implicitly and/or as opinion, they’re not verifiably false. Whether this kind of “journalism” is such that Rather should be ashamed to have used documents that Moore suspected were unreliable is, like much of like, a matter of opinion. But again, if anyone knows of evidence Moore used patently false source info, I’m certainly all ears (or, uh, eyes…).

  11. Yeah, we wouldn’t want to criticize CBS without also mentioning Fox. A bit like Thoreau’s “But Kerry would be worse” , no?

  12. Actually, Fox never showed that Kerry-Fonda photo without explaining that it was an internet hoax.

    And to add our requisite tu quoque for the post — CBS ran the draft internet hoax as a news story last week!

  13. Luisa-
    Spend about 5 minutes with Google and you’ll turn up a ton of stuff. I don’t recall that there’s anything outright fraudulent in the sense that faked documents are, but plenty of things are so carefully set up to deliberately convey false impressions that it’s unquestionably an incredibly dishonest movie.

  14. All news should be vetted by a panel of elected government officials *prior* to its release. That way we will know for sure that the content is patriotic and democratic.

  15. Luisa,

    Check out the following web page:

    http://www.davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm

    It was originally “Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11,” but the number goes up and down based on feedback from various interested parties. The deceits vary widely in seriousness and egregiousness, but overall it’s clear Moore was being exceptionally dishonest and misrepresentative at points throughout the movie.

  16. Me oh my,

    Ya jus’ can’t trust no one nowadays now can ya’?

    Fox New Channel admits reporter posted fake story about Kerry, Sun Oct 3, 5:06 PM ET

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/us_vote_kerry_media

    Oh my goodness. We might jus’ have to think for ourselves these days…naw….

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  17. It’s sole purpose for existing is to eradicate the irritating custom of asking “who is calling please?” by invariably answering “Millard Fillmore

    An easier way of eradicating that custom would be to do the polite thing and identify oneself prior to speaking. However, somewhere along the way people got the idea that it’s OK to take your telephone etiquitte from the pages of a telemarketing handbook.

  18. Julian,

    Thanks for the link–I’ll have a look soon.

  19. Well, I haven’t time to look through that huge mass of criticism that Julian provided the link to, but I looked at a couple of the issues I’m familiar with, like Jeb Bush’s mass disenfranchisement of those most likely to vote against his brother.

    Kopel seems to spin the story at least as hard as Moore. His criticism of Moore is essentially that he has an agenda and is not an even-handed presenter. I’m shocked, but glad I’m warned not to expect impartiality when I see F-9/11.

    BTW, I looked at one sample of Kopel’s op-eds–it was at least as manipulative as he accuses Moore of being.

  20. “Kopel seems to spin the story at least as hard as Moore.”

    How so?

  21. Luisa, if you’re not interested in actually taking an impartial look at Moore’s behavior, why waste our time? Go ahead and believe what you like. Facts are for people who take the time to deal with them.

  22. C’mon Luisa,

    Some of Kopel’s points are just carping about deck-stacking (and you must admit there is a LOT of selective omission in F-9/11), but presenting a letter to the editor in the Pantagraph as a news article, using a statement from Unger that the sources Unger cites in his book don’t support, using an incorrect statement by a secret service officer regarding embassy security that would have been shown false with any fact checking, and saying a statement by Goss regarding an “800-number” for complaints about the PATRIOT Act is false because the number is a toll-free 877 number venture well into the territory of dishonesty.

  23. Matt,

    You said “you must admit there is a LOT of selective omission in F-9/11.” Though I mentioned I haven’t seen it yet, I don’t that that’s true. My original question was whether Moore was actually presenting false info or just selctively choosing only facts that fit his purpose — a routine pratice among most people presenting an opinion.

    I just don’t care enough about the matter to read through more of Kopel’s stuff.

    Dan,
    Whosaid anything about being impartial–I dont; work for Fox.

  24. Matt,

    You said “you must admit there is a LOT of selective omission in F-9/11.” Though I mentioned I haven’t seen it yet, I don’t that that’s true. My original question was whether Moore was actually presenting false info or just selctively choosing only facts that fit his purpose — a routine pratice among most people presenting an opinion.

    The bit’s of Kopel that I read weren’t particularly damning and I’m afraid I don’t care enough about the matter to read through more.

    Dan,
    Who said anything about being impartial?–I don’t work for Fox.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.