web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Biggest Scandal Since Watergate


Ah, the ironies of history. As I sit in Boston’s Logan Airport watching CNN (goodness knows I would never watch CNN in the privacy of my home), I see the news anchor glumly state that CBS News has now verified that it cannot authenticate documents that supposedly prove President Bush didn’t fulfill his duties in the National Guard way back in the 1970’s.

CBS’s impeccably honest source, Bill Burkett, has admitted that he misled CBS. Apparently, Joe Lockhart of the John Kerry campaign spoke with Burkett at the behest of CBS News. And Dan Rather is somewhere in New York, high atop the CBS headquarters, zapping himself with a cattle prod.

It’s the greatest story since – well, since Watergate.

It’s more substantive than President Clinton’s perjury before Congress. After all, Clinton’s perjury was simply a liar doing what he did best, in front of the American people and America’s elected officials. Sure, it was a crime, but then again, Clinton never claimed scrupulous honesty.

It’s more substantive than the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth questioning John Kerry’s medal-winning time in Vietnam. While that story has legs, it still revolves around decades-old information and discusses the problems of one soporific politician.

And it’s certainly more substantive than the series of trumped-up scandals against President Bush, whether it’s the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame CIA ‘scandal,’ the missing weapons of mass destruction or the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Only the Watergate scandal compares in magnitude to this CBS scandal in the pantheon of influential political events. Watergate ousted Richard Nixon, ushered in a period of distrust in the presidency and provided the culmination to a decade of irresponsibility and moral decline. But most of all, Watergate changed the face of the media forever.

During the Vietnam War, the mainstream media realized its power. During the Nixon administration, the media turned from objective observers into firebrand crusaders. As historian Paul Johnson puts it, “the electoral verdict of 1972 was overturned by what might be described as a media putsch. The ‘imperial presidency’ was replaced by the ‘imperial press.’ “

Watergate began a period during which the media didn’t just cover the news, they made the news. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became household names because of investigative reporting and became Hollywoodized heroes because of their tenacity and flair. Actors like Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman used to play the president – now, they played nebbish media folk uncovering corruption in Washington, D.C., with the help of some unnamed whistleblower.

Dan Rather was an integral part of this media revolution. He made his name by criticizing President Nixon – and not just criticizing him but berating him. In one famous exchange, Nixon asked Rather, “Are you running for something?” Rather testily retorted, “No, sir, are you?” Verbal sparring with the president simply provided another way for media figures like Rather to prove their toughness. 

James Fallows, a head speech writer during the Carter administration, sums up the problem (as quoted on RatherBiased.com): ‘The perceived lesson of Watergate in the White House press room is the Dan Rather lesson, that a surly attitude can take the place of facts or intelligent analysis…. (O)ne sees reporters proving their tough-mindedness by asking insulting questions.’

And now, Dan Rather has provided a fitting end to the era of mainstream media domination. With his downfall – and you had better believe that this story will be printed in every obituary written about him – comes the end of the trusted news anchor. We may never regain our trust in politicians, but at least we have lost our starry-eyed, wholehearted belief in the objectivity and honesty of the mainstream media.

This size of this scandal rivals Watergate because it is not a simple political scandal: It signifies something larger. Just as Watergate signified the end of trust in the presidency (an end that had been building for years, since the early days of Lyndon B. Johnson), the CBS docu-fraud signifies the end of trust in the mainstream media. 

Of course, the end was coming for a long time. Bernard Goldberg and Ann Coulter exposed the mainstream media; the growth of the Internet and talk radio provided competitive pressure; the 24-hour cable news networks, especially Fox News, rivaled the network news. But when the end comes, it always seems sudden. CBS News approached the cliff over a period of years, but it took only two weeks to send it reeling over the edge.

(Creators Syndicate)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Biggest Scandal Since Watergate”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest Indepth Stories
Silhouette of "hilltop settler."

“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”

Schwartz-073115

The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam

Tobin-073115

Hillary should THANK Trump; By dominating the news he’s overshadowed the implosion of her campaign

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

More Articles from Ben Shapiro
book-Making-David

In this narrative of history, it is the third world Palestinians who are victims of the marauding Jews, of course.

Whenever Israel uses military force, there is always a cadre of Jews who feel it is their duty to undermine the Israeli government. They begin arguments by claiming moral superiority through their Judaism.

Clinton’s perjury was simply a liar doing what he did best, in front of the American people and America’s elected officials.

When you’re confronted with leftist and radical bias day-in and day-out, you’re forced to either recede into the background or stand up for your values.

On the anniversary of his death, it is now more necessary than ever to explode the myth of Yitzhak Rabin.

Thomas Friedman is a sucker because he believes that he never makes mistakes.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/biggest-scandal-since-watergate/2004/11/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: