November 07, 2006

"Absolutely True:" Rather Continues to Defend 60 Minutes TANG Story

Just moments ago on North Carolina's Morning News with Jack Boston on Raleigh-based News-Talk 680 WPTF, former CBS anchor Dan Rather defended the infamous 60 Minutes story using forged documents to attack President Bush's service with the Texas Air National Guard as being, "absolutely true," a charge a testy Rather reiterated at least four or five times.

Rather not only defended the report, but the validity of the forged documentation that the report relied on, saying it had never been proven false (despite copious evidence to the contrary).

I've contacted the station, and hope to get audio of that portion of the interview posted later in the morning.

Note: While the show is North Carolina's Morning News with Jack Boston, Rick and Donna Martinez conducted the interview with Rather while Jack Boston is out fighting leukemia. Our prayers and best wishes go out to Jack and his family.

Update: The Raleigh News and Observer reports on the story.

Update: A reader taped an MP3 (3:34) during a re-airing of the Rather-Martinez interview this afternoon during WPTF's The Bill Lumaye Show. Enjoy!

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 7, 2006 08:39 AM | TrackBack

I invented the Texas Air National Guard so I know what Rather says is absolutely true.

Posted by: iinventedtheinternet at November 7, 2006 09:05 AM

Dan Rather - what a dope! I'd call the man stupid, but that would be a grave insult to idiots everywhere.

Posted by: dbehsman at November 7, 2006 09:32 AM

Hope you get that audio posted. We'll try to do the same thing on one of the John Locke Foundation sites.

While it was Jack Boston's show on WPTF, we should clarify for readers that the hosts this morning were actually Rick and Donna Martinez (she works at JLF, too).

Posted by: John Hood at November 7, 2006 09:33 AM

I look forward to the audio; I'm hoping it's as Mad-Lib-able as Rather's last statement of absolute belief in his little bedtime story.

Q.v., my Dan Rather Mad Lib over at the Locker Room.

Posted by: Jon Sanders at November 7, 2006 09:35 AM

I remember when I lost faith in Dan Rather. He was mugged by aliens in the 1990s when I was living in NYC. I was devastated. He swore it was true. Yeah, he smelled of alcohol and it was 2 am, but wouldn't a smart alien do their mugging at that time? I suspect that chip they implanted in his neck has something to do with imaginary documents and derangement syndrome. He tends to side with those like him: alien abductees (liberals). If the alien took your brain, there is only one place to turn: the democratic party. Beam him up, Dan Rather is a victim of the republicans inability to keep Americans safe from alien abductions.

Posted by: Karen at November 7, 2006 09:47 AM

I'm sorry, but Dan who? Really, who effing cares what that pitiful old man says. Besides, I question the timing.

Posted by: Daveg at November 7, 2006 09:52 AM

WPTF. Does that stand for "Will Publicize This Falsehood"?

Posted by: Jack Olson at November 7, 2006 09:59 AM

I've hated Dan Rather since I was a wee slip of a weasel, and he used to do that 60 Minutes thing where he'd jog up to a CEO and shove a microphone in the man's face. Yeah, you're pretty much going to look evasive and shifty when that happens to you first thing in the morning in the parking lot of your own business.

Hey, I guess that means Dan Rather made me a conservative.

Posted by: S. Weasel at November 7, 2006 10:03 AM

What is Rather taking PR advice from John Kerry these days?

Some people just don't get it, and they never will.

Posted by: jblog at November 7, 2006 10:08 AM

Doesn't he have to prove their authenticity first?

Posted by: CUS at November 7, 2006 10:15 AM

One thing this story does is confirm that Dan Rather needed to be removed from his job. He no longer possesses (if he once did) the critical thinking skills needed to be a competent reporter.

Also, isn't it interesting, the morning of a critical national election Dan Rather is spending his time being interviewed by an AM radio station in North Carolina. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Come to think of it, this is the first peep I've heard from Dan Rather this whole election season. He really is in exile, huh - and deservedly so.

Posted by: kcom at November 7, 2006 10:19 AM

Rather's always been a stranger to the truth, for years he lied about his Military service, oh he went to boot camp alright but was kicked out, after a few weeks because of being unfit for Military service but he continued the charade for decades.

So his story about the 'Forged Documents' about the President is of no surprise, the man wouldn't recognise the truth if it came right out and bit him.

Posted by: Mark at November 7, 2006 10:19 AM

Dan's new motto since he is without gainful employment

"Will lie for food"

Posted by: Vero at November 7, 2006 10:30 AM

So has Rather ever explained the contradictions about the TANG memos? I mean, does he honestly suggest that real people used that proportional font with kerning on their typewriters? It is preposterous, but I'd love to see him try. Rather has just got to do more than deny, deny, deny.

Besides. Learn about flying an F-102 -- a dangerous aircraft that takes a lot of skill.

Rather needs to geet a life. Oh. He already had one and blew it.

Posted by: sbw at November 7, 2006 10:31 AM

An underreported piece of evidence from the TANG story:

Rather supporters claimed various typewriters capable of making the suspect typsets, superscripts, etc. (Less than convincingly, but that's irrelevant). If so, where are the documents created by them? Are we to believe this extrememly high-tech equipment (for the times) was used to create this damning memo, and never used to create a single official document? Ever??? If this equipment existed Mapes and Rather would have FOIA'd every document ever filed by that TANG unit.

All they would have to do is find one single official document and their story is worth millions. And in two years they've produced nothing? And here they are claiming they're right, still?


Posted by: mj at November 7, 2006 10:42 AM

Never mind all the technical problems with the documents. Rather made a very simple, straightforward, easily-detectable deception when he "responded" to the claims of forgery.

He showed a shot of the incriminating documents and a shot of verified 1972 documents using "the same superscript" (his words), but they very clearly were not the same.

It doesn't take a document expert or a typewriter historian or an Air Force secretary to see the difference. He just plain flat-out said they were the same when they just plain flat-out were not.

So either he's so ignorant that he cannot tell they're different or he lied.

Screenshots from that news report here:

The fact that he's still harping on about this (on election day, no less) demonstrates that he's STILL either an ignoramus or a liar.

Truly amazing. And Rather sad...

Posted by: Murdoc at November 7, 2006 10:46 AM

Oops. Here's a live link:

Posted by: Murdoc at November 7, 2006 10:47 AM

I like how a secretary's statement that lots of priveleged kid went into the guard to avoid being drafted makes Bush a coked-out drunk (something that might be true) who didn't fulfill his obligiation because he didn't take a physical he didn't really need (there's no real evidence, unless you consider a secretary saying that people did stuff like that back then evidence).

Posted by: aaron at November 7, 2006 10:49 AM

When Father Rather speaks, it's the very definition of Absolut words. Anyway, people were out to get him, like his fellow dhimmi, Mike Wallace.

Seriously, was the Viet Nam era Bush Air National Guard story a big deal even if true, especially compared to Kerry's lying about the troops [which I fell for at the time!]?

Posted by: J.Peden at November 7, 2006 11:13 AM

Stick a fork in Dan, I believe that he is done now... if not a bit overdone.

Posted by: ajacksonian at November 7, 2006 11:26 AM

Remember, Dan was stuck in Vietnam for a time...

Posted by: John Kerry at November 7, 2006 11:37 AM

It's a shame he had to end his career with a mule kick to the backside like this. He wasn't a hack, honestly; but somewhere along the line, towards the end, he just popped a rivet.

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector at November 7, 2006 11:38 AM
One thing this story does is confirm that Dan Rather needed to be removed from his job. He no longer possesses (if he once did) the critical thinking skills needed to be a competent reporter.

And to think that the networks responded to this by putting someone reknowned for their ctitical thinking skills - Katie Couric! LOL.

Posted by: Specter at November 7, 2006 11:41 AM

It was totally, absolutely true. Unfortunately, he used
one of these to create the memo:

Posted by: Korla Pundit at November 7, 2006 11:50 AM

I might point out that Dan Rather had a birthday last week. He turned 75 on Halloween. The instance of an elderly man, irrationally insisting on his own set of facts about a controversy that put him out to pasture shouldn't raise any eyebrows, or exite any attention. Dan Rather may not have the sense to just fade away, and let his TANG disgrace fade into a footnote of a long and biased career, but perhaps dissecting every interview he gives with every podunk reporter in a bid for continued attention is a little much too.

Posted by: Kazinski at November 7, 2006 12:16 PM

First, Rather is (was) one of the worst of the worst journalist (talking heads).

Second, the story is true. Not the bull that Rather and group invented, but the fact that little Bush got priveldged status and was not attentive to his duty. Why is it true? Because that is the way the system worked then. If you did not want to go to Nam (like 99.9% of those drafted) and wanted to stay alive, then you did whatever it took. I admire Bush and his family for what they did and only wish my family had that kind of pull. Thus, even though this looks bad 40 years later, it was the right thing to do. After all, our government was trying its best to kill us (they still are).

Posted by: David Caskey at November 7, 2006 12:25 PM

"One thing this story does is confirm that Dan Rather needed to be removed from his job."

Shoot, the one thing this story confirmed for me is that Dan Rather is still alive. Hell, I thought he died several years ago.

Posted by: TexasRainmaker at November 7, 2006 12:32 PM

I listened to this segment while taking my parents to the airport. (They were in town to meet their newest grandson and future Republican voter). What a sad, sad little man. And don't get the idea that WPTF was simply giving him a platform - Rick hit him pretty hard about it. I believe the comment from the next interviewee was that they would not be invited to Thanksgiving dinner at the Rather household this year. Either way, it provided a moment of levity to start out voting day because you simply HAD to laugh at the pathetic defense Dan offered up.

Posted by: Jeff C at November 7, 2006 12:34 PM

Excerpted and linked

Why thank you, Danny Boy! How many votes did the backlash against that
story cost the dhimmis two years ago? How many Rs went out and voted who
might have stayed home otherwise? And you just couldn't resist reminding
everyone, could you? John Kerry and Dan Rather; the gifts that just keep
on giving.

Posted by: Bill Faith at November 7, 2006 12:35 PM

Time for Dan to retire to his 'Mohair' ranch. Remember that story?

Posted by: Thomas Hazlewood at November 7, 2006 12:38 PM

Delusional Dan...he never ceases to amaze. Nice work.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 7, 2006 12:41 PM

Of course the point of his story, that Bush was a lying draft dodging fortunate-son idiot, is completely true and all important details outside of the supposedly forged documents were true.

Dan may be delusional only if he thinks the Neocons didn't have something to do with his demise.

Put that in your tobacco smoking cancer causer and smoke it!

Posted by: Geoffrey Knobl at November 7, 2006 01:16 PM

Those who persist in calling GWB a draft doger need to look up his draft number. There was no way on earth he would have felt any pressure to do anything to avoid being drafted with the number he drew.

Posted by: Dan Roll at November 7, 2006 01:27 PM

Fake but accurate Geoff? The memos sought to make those objective fact rather than subjective opinion. Since the memos were fake, your opinion remains subjective. I agree to disagree.

Posted by: Immolate at November 7, 2006 01:36 PM

Actually Geoffrey, your delusions don't quite square with a little thing we like to call facts.

Bush did not "dodge" the draft, and his decision to become as a F-102 pilot gave him a far more dangerous assignment. As Bill Whittle noted yesterday (which also addresses the "idiot" charge quite well), 30% of the 875 F-102s were either lost the in accidents or enemy action. Draftees during the Vietnam-era has a far greater likehood of escaping injury or death as infantrymen than did Bush as a fighter pilot.

As for the "fortunate son" comment, Bush did not pull any strings to get into his dangerous pilot's slot, the TANG was actively recruiting for 5-6 pilots. Bush took slot number three. It's also worth mentioning that he volunteered to go to Vietnam as a fighter pilot under the Palace Alert program. Not that it matters to you, Geoffrey.

Facts being inconvenient to your narrative, and all...

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at November 7, 2006 01:36 PM

Does it matter if is true or not?

THe sheep have read the new message posted and have continued the chant to force the other animals into silence.

"Kyoto Protocol Good, George Bush bad!"

Posted by: GW Crawford at November 7, 2006 01:51 PM

How's the career going, Dan?

Posted by: What's the frequency, byatch. at November 7, 2006 01:56 PM

So, to improve their broadcasts, CBS replaces this clown with Katey Couric. I guess Rosie O'Donnell was already busy.

Posted by: What's The Frequency at November 7, 2006 01:59 PM

The forgeries themselves were obvious to anyone willing to look at them, except for people who were deliberately blind like Dan Rather and the rest of the Bush-hating media.

But the media gave very little attention to the history of the "documents" that we do know. The stories of Bill Burkett, who provided them to CBS, were unbelievable. For example, why couldn't he produce the originals which he got from the mysterious Lucy Ramirez? Well, he supposedly burned them in the Kinkos parking lot. If a Bush supporter came out with a lunatic excuse like that he would have been ridiculed without end by most of the media.

Bias is one thing, but that kind of behavior is an outrage.

Posted by: Greg W at November 7, 2006 03:06 PM

David Caskey:

You really need to conduct a little more research before coming up with that's the way it was done back then.

Posted by: davod at November 7, 2006 03:16 PM

Geoffrey, we all know it was the neo-cons who orchestrated Rather's "demise". You're not the only one clever enough to figure that out. But I'll bet you didn't also know about the mind rays being beamed at Rather, Kerry et al, by Karl Rove.

"What's the FREQUENCY, Kenneth?" Think about it. It all makes sense now, doesn't it?

And Kerry was doing great until he lost that magic CIA hat (lined with tinfoil, of course.) Neo-cons!

Posted by: Greg W at November 7, 2006 03:29 PM

Even if we gave Rather the benefit of the doubt, which he doesn't deserve, on the bogus material in the 60 Minutes program, can we at least question the timing? The man was trying to determine the outcome of the election of the President of the United States. It's no different from the Democrat who released Bush's 30 year old DUI arrest just days befor the 2000 election. And both times it almost worked. Thank God it didn't.

Posted by: Greg W at November 7, 2006 03:41 PM

What IS the frequency, Dan?

Posted by: Dave at November 7, 2006 03:54 PM

George W. Bush's military service began in 1968 when he enlisted in the Texas Air National Guard after graduating with a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University. The aircraft that he was ultimately trained to fly was the F-102 Delta Dagger. A number of sources have claimed that Bush sought service in the National Guard to avoid being sent to Vietnam, and that the F-102 was a safe choice because it was an obsolete aircraft that would never see any real combat. The Delta Daggar was in service until 1979, single engine, top speed of Mach-1+.

Kerry would have crapped his pants to go that fast.

So much for the lie that the President dodged the draft.

But since someone brought up the President honorable service to his country, when he didn't have to join looks to me like he volunteered.

But unlike Kerry the President earned his medals, The president never threw his medals away or over any fence. And the President still has his medals, where Kerry's had to be RE-ISSUED along with his discharge, in 1979. In order for medals and badges to be re-issued, they first have to be taken away. There are two ways they are taken away, 1. a Dishonorable Discharge or 2. a Bad Conduct Discharge. Kerry's were re-issued after Jimma Carter signed the amnesty for the Vietnam draft dodgers, and Kerry's Dishonorable Discharge was recinded, hence his medals were returned.

If anyone doubts this Kerry, also enlisted in 1964 and got his final discharge in 1979 that is a hell of a long 6 year commitment.

Because of Kerry's anti-American activities the Navy did not let him get away with it but Carter the putz that he is, did.

Posted by: MarkT at November 7, 2006 04:17 PM

I e-mailed a request to the radio station, via their 'contact us' line at their web site:

-----Original message-----
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2006 13:06:23 -0500
Subject: Feedback

Originated from:

Name: Michael Sheehan

E-mail Address:

City: Navarre, Florida


Good morning!

I read on the Internet that your Mr. Jack Boston had an interview with Mr. Dan Rather earlier today.

If this is true, would a transcript of the interview be available? .. or possibly an 'e-file' recording?

I have to apologize for this request, in that it can certainly be fairly interpreted as be somewhat rude, and I don't know if I would be all that happy as a station manager having to respond to a lot of e-mail requests from 'out-of-towners'; but I have been following the Dan Rather 'TANG story' for several years now and am extremely interested in any public pronouncement that he makes on this subject.

Kindest regards,

Michael Sheehan


WPTF's quick reply:


Thanks for writing, and no apology necessary. However, at the request of Rather's people, we are not making transcripts or tapes available at this time. Sorry about that. Suffice it to say, Rather stood by his reporting on George W. Bush's service in the National Guard.

Phil Zachary
Curtis Media Group

Posted by: Michael Sheehan at November 7, 2006 04:46 PM

What's ironic about all these posts is that no one is pissed that W. skipped out in serving a war he supported. Makes it easier to send them to Iraq. Rather makes up documents about W. skipping Vietnam: W. skips Vietnam. Which is worse?

Posted by: Jon at November 7, 2006 05:22 PM

Here's a quote from the article on Dan linked by TexasRainmaker:

"I think this is one of the most important elections in the history of the country. You may have to go back to the Civil War to find one that would be of greater importance. That's just my personal opinion."

And it's a pretty stupid one (just my personal opinion). I think all you have to do is go back one election to find an election more important than this one. The presidency was at stake, along with the entire direction of the country's foreign policy. What's at stake now? Perhaps the House, and maaaybe the Senate. But if the night doesn't go the Democrats way, it might be neither. How is that more important than 2004, when the president was re-elected? Is Dan saying putting Kerry in office would have been less consequential than putting Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House?

(Of course, what he really means is that 2004 wasn't important because he didn't get the result he wanted.)

Posted by: kcom at November 7, 2006 05:47 PM

I Rather think Dan's losing it. He's defending something that is not merely a forgery, but an utterly incompetent forgery.


Posted by: John C. Randolph at November 7, 2006 06:50 PM

Just as his critics know that Alberto Gonzales never really meant to call the Geneva Convention as a whole "quaint," so too critics on the other side must know that Rather's central contention about Bush's service may still prove right. They also must know that Kerry, idiot that he surely is, did not mean to assert that US troops are stupid.

It would be NICE if someone told the truth now and then. Silly me.

Posted by: skip at November 7, 2006 06:58 PM

Why would the guy who used to sign off with "Courage" want to suppress the audio? Especially if he's standing by what he said?

Nevertheless, I note the update above that CY now HAS THE AUDIO.

Blogosphere 2, Dan "Fake But Accurate" Rather 0.

Posted by: Jon Sanders at November 7, 2006 07:11 PM

Posted by: truthtopower at November 7, 2006 08:25 PM


Jack Olson: WPTF stands for "We Protect The Family" -- It comes from the station's early days 75 years ago when it was founded by a local insurance firm.

Donna and Rick do fine work. I used to read Rick's editorials in the N&O before I gave up my subscription. It was one of the few redeeming features of the paper.

Posted by: victor marks at November 7, 2006 08:29 PM


My draft status was 1A-M. I don't need to do research. Just remember.

Posted by: David Caskey, MD at November 7, 2006 09:03 PM

I mean c'mon... it's not like Bush didn't fight in any wars, risking his life for the good of his country... how can you say such things about our virtuous leader?? If you unquestioningly support our Leader, you must hate our troops!

Posted by: dude at November 8, 2006 10:01 AM