Thursday, January 13, 2005

"Last year should have been a triumph for CBS News"

Of all the lugubrious kibitzing I've seen about Dan Rather, only David Folkenflik has really captured the flitting faerie of truth; not just that where there's smoke, there's fire, but that where there's smoke, there are mirrors; not just the sense of tragedy but the sense of lost opportunity in the arc of CBS from the heights of public-interest journalism to the depths of humiliation in the span of a few months. "Last year should have been a triumph for CBS News." Yes, it should -- if it weren't for Memogate CBS would have enjoyed a banner year -- and so would Rather. Sure, that's a big IF, but we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that:

CBS News had at least two impressive investigative journalism scoops in 2004, which were largely forgotten in the wake of National Guard 'Memogate' mess:
CBS '60 Minutes' Report: 'Abuse Of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed'
CBS 'Evening News': 'FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case'

What page of the Washington Post have these stories migrated to? When will we applaud good journalism commensurately with our censure of bad journalism? What are we not smelling through the stench of Dan Rather's carcass?