On September 8, 2004, CBS New anchor Dan Rather presented blatantly forged documents in an attempt to derail the reelection of President George W. Bush, just two months away. Within hours bloggers debunked the documents, noting that the documents purporting to have been authored on a typewriter in 1972-73 were in fact created in Microsoft Word on a computer in 2004. CBS News producer Mary Mapes was fired for failing to authenticate the documents, several CBS News executives were for forced to resign, and Dan Rather’s credibility as a news anchor was utterly destroyed.
We’re currently in the middle of a much darker scandal, revolving around the gun control “documentary” Under the Gun, produced by Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric.
As we noted yesterday, a gun rights group, Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), agreed to sit down with a member of Couric’s film team for more than two hours of interviews. Most of the footage ended up on the cutting room floor, but the real scandal was when Couric’s team was caught red-handed swapping out the actual answer for one of the questions they asked VCDL with footage of them staring at the floor, making it appear that they didn’t have an answer to her question.
That is not what happened.
Stephen Gutowski and his team at the Free Beacon isolated the actual uncut audio footage as part of their coverage of the story, and it proves without a doubt that the VCDL members did have an immediate and detailed response to question.
Ladies and gentlemen, Dan Rather had a certain degree of deniability when his producers failed to do their due diligence and vet the so-called “Killian documents” for authenticity. It was a mistake, but still cost four people their jobs at CBS News and tarnished Rather’s lengthy and up until then, respected career.
Yahoo! News anchor and Under the Gun executive producer and narrator Katie Couric cannot off up any plausible deniability at all for her team’s decision to commit what is nothing more or less than fraud.
This project was Couric’s “baby,” and she was responsible for every aspect of the final cut of a heavily-biased documentary which now appears to contain blatant and intentional fraud designed to make the VCDL appear as if they didn’t have an answer to the interviewers questions, when they did indeed have an immediate, detailed, and rational response from three members of the group which went to so far as to cite law and Supreme Court decisions on prior restraint, pointing out the sort of “pre-crime” laws championed by gun control supporters is both Orwellian and blatantly unconstitutional.
“Rathergate,” as the Killian documents controversy came to be known, eventually ended Dan Rather’s career for a mistake.
Katie Couric’s “Gungate” was intentional, willful, and malicious fraud, and should in Couric’s immediate termination and her being treated as a pariah for the rest of her life.