The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
September 20, 2004
| Kerry Aide admits CBS-DNC Co-ordination

MSM is now reporting straight things that so far only Republican conspiracy-theorists have been claiming. Due to the controversial nature of the story, I am quoting the article in full. Note that this admission does not involve the fake documents CBS aired recently.

From USA Today :

CBS arranged for a confidential source to talk with Joe Lockhart, a top aide to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, after the source provided the network with the now-disputed documents about President Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard.

Lockhart, the former press secretary to President Clinton, said a female producer talked to him about the 60 Minutes program a few days before it aired on Sept. 8. She gave Lockhart a telephone number and asked him to call Bill Burkett, a former Texas National Guard officer who gave CBS the documents. Lockhart couldn’t recall the producer’s name. But CBS said Monday night that it would examine the role of producer Mary Mapes in passing the name to Lockhart.

Burkett told USA TODAY that he had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS if the network would help arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign.

The network’s effort to place Burkett in contact with a top Democratic official raises ethical questions about CBS’ handling of material potentially damaging to the Republican president in the midst of an election. This “poses a real danger to the potential credibility of a news organization,” said Aly Colón, a news ethicist at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

At Burkett’s request, we gave his (telephone) number to the campaign,” said Betsy West, senior CBS News vice president.

CBS would not discuss the propriety of the network serving as a conduit between its partisan source, Burkett, and the Kerry campaign. “It was not part of any deal” with Burkett to obtain the documents, West said, declining to elaborate.

But Burkett said Monday that his contact with Lockhart was indeed part of an “understanding” with CBS. Burkett said his interest in contacting the campaign was to offer advice in responding to Republican criticisms about Kerry’s Vietnam service. It had nothing to do with the documents, he said.

My interest was to get the attention of the national (campaign) to defend against the attacks,” Burkett said, adding that he also talked to former Georgia senator Max Cleland and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean during the past 45 days. “Neither the Democratic Party or the Kerry campaign had anything to do with the documents,” he said.

Lockhart said he phoned Burkett at the number provided by CBS. Lockhart also said that subject of the documents never came up in his conversation with Burkett. Lockhart said the conversation lasted just a few minutes. “It’s possible that the producer said they had documents,” before his conversation with Burkett, he said.

At the end of the conversation, Lockhart said he thanked Burkett for his interest and there was no further contact with him. Asked why he called Burkett, Lockhart said he talks to “a lot of people.”

I called you, didn’t I?”

The White House said CBS’ contact with Lockhart was inappropriate. “The fact that CBS News would coordinate with the most senior levels of Sen. Kerry’s campaign to attack the President is a stunning and deeply troubling revelation,” said Dan Bartlett, White House communications director.

Posted by Alan Brain at September 20, 2004 11:17 PM | TrackBack

I think Dan Bartlett was telling one of the great political whoppers of all time.

“Stunning” it certainly was, that a Kerry aide could make such an admission. OK, and I’m stunned too for another reason, I never really believed that there was any “liberal media” conspiracy as such, just a lot of liberal-leaning reporters all thinking alike.

But “Deeply Troubling”? Bush campaigners must be delerious with joy. And to Kerry campaigners, this must be a bit more than “Deeply Troubling”.

Right now though, a lot of people are going to be wondering what else there is that’s being hidden. Hell, even I’m starting to wonder.

Even if zero, nada, zip, what’s already been admitted to in this public confession is enough to shake the Fourth Estate to its foundations.

Posted by: aebrain [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2004 11:40 PM

Interesting observations, including the preliminary point about what isn’t being said here.

As far as shaking the Fourth Estate, I’d say the walls are already collapsed. The new Fourth Estate (we, in a general sense) are re-claiming Free Speech and Press, without interference, as our right. That is, we can make ourselves heard, without need of the Legacy American Media Establishment’s vetting and blessing.

Posted by: gus3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 12:13 AM

The danger in the past has always been partisan campaigners “whispering in the ear” of sympathetic reporters to try to get them to dig the dirt - dirt that’s as often as not been manufactured to order.

Now it appears that the “sympathetic reporters” are so sympathetic, they’re providing campaign officials with hints on where to attack, before the story breaks. A co-ordinated media blitz.

But if that was the case, then the DNC would have produced a program of attack ads against Bush’s TANG service, called, oh, the ‘Fortunate Son Campaign’ or some such, so it can’t be true, Right?

One really big problem though : how could they have thought they’d get away with it? Still, I’m the one who until Nixon confessed didn’t believe he could be so brain-dead stupid as to have kept the tapes unwiped, even if he had of been guilty. Whenever I have delusions of infallibility, I remind myself of that.

Posted by: aebrain [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 12:22 AM

Now watch for the proverbial scapegoats to be sacrificed. First will be the CBS Producer who initiated the calls to the DNC. She will resign so as to not implicate Dan Rather further. Next, Joe Lockhart will most likely resign to try and stem the investigations now going on by the the other media into the DNC. I would expect that the Texas law authorities will get involved and will most likely try to subpoena witnesses, including members of the DNC and CBS staff. All this will be going on during the final four weeks of the election… not good for the Dems I would think.

I agree that this may be the beginning of the shake up for the MSM. Today on CNN, Wolf Blitzer and Greenfield were discussing this for over 15 minutes. Greenfield summed it up with a comment that no MSM reporter, staff or producer can afford to take a source for granted, knowing that literally hundreds or thousands of “editors” are out there on the ‘net waiting to validate what the reporters fail to do. Should be interesting…

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 12:30 AM

Good observation aebrain…

The DNC had everything in place ready to go as soon as Dan finished his piece. Sen. Harkin even referred to the documents in detail, I believe. Terry McAullife also joined the chorus to drive the noise up on the President’s so called “disobeying a direct order.” I also think Sen. Kerry later in the day piled on as well with comments at one of the arranged public appearances.

Obviously, the DNC was tipped off and knew what was going down… this is far worse than expected… just like finding out that the Nixon tapes still existed. Wait for Burkett to start singing because the DNC is now ratting on him.

Posted by: steve [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 12:42 AM

Hmm, reminds me of a song

Posted by: minarchist [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 01:09 AM

So…if depending on forged documents is cause for the person to resign, then when is Boy George submitting his?

result embarassment all around, especially on MSM and Dems; focus on memos instead of Georgie Porgie’s spotty privileged treatment, ongoing deceptions, media has done its job of providing titillation
Pro-Bushites squeal for Rather’s head.

Boy George…SOTU yellowcake…duped
result America at War; IraQuagmire, thousands dead, one dictator replaced by another; aQ (I guess) still wanted dead-or-alive)
Pro-Bushites squeal for Kerry’s head.

Wow! And to think of the self-proclaimed massive amounts of brainpower right here on this site. You’d think that minds would melt under such cognitive dissonance.

Posted by: dubyus [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 12:00 PM

As the Senate report concluded

The panel found that Wilson’s report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts. And contrary to Wilson’s assertions and even the government’s previous statements, the CIA did not tell the White House it had qualms about the reliability of the Africa intelligence that made its way into 16 fateful words in President Bush’s January 2003 State of the Union address.

Now we find out that France possibly inserted the phony documents with the real information to discredit the cause to go to war. Now the blogosphere is on the case to see if Joe Wilson stopped in Paris prior to going to Niger. We must not be in alliance with France even if they agree. They have moved from non-friend to enemy of the United States, IMHO.

Posted by: Rich Blinne [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 12:36 PM

dubyus is now accusing President Bush of having a time machine.

The forged documents did not surface until well after the CIA and British intelligence had already decided that Saddam was seeking yellowcake from “Africa”.

“Africa”, for dubyus and other geographically and temporally challenged readers, is a large continent containing other uranium-producing states besides Niger.

Posted by: Gabriel Hanna [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 03:43 PM

At least the other trolls could write their nonsense in some semblance of english grammar and syntax. Dubyas seems to be struggling with the basics of writing.

that said, Dubyas post is just more of the tired and trite crapola that the left is left with.

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2004 03:46 PM

Yeah, he is so fricken hateful, I bet he scares himself when he looks in the mirror. On a day of beheading, Kerry goes on Letterman to yuk it up. Then he says that Bush will sit on Cheney’s lap for the debate. Well, if they aren’t going to be civil then I suspect we can have lots of MUNSTER jokes on Kerry at Halloween…just three days before Herman and his wife Lilly go down in flames!! Wow, if I looked as geeky and scarry as scarry Kerry, I sure wouldn’t be making jokes at someone elses expense. Fricken libs don’t know what they are going to get from the American people…..hey dubyus a little better grammar….can you say ‘landslide’????

Posted by: dickmr [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 22, 2004 01:43 AM

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