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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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« Why Does CBS News President Andrew Heyward Still Have His Job? | Main | Omissions and Other Critiques of the CBS News Report »

January 11, 2005

How Does Dan Rather Define "Responsible"?

Posted by Ernest Miller

I've always held that the Killian Memo forgery debacle was about journalistic standards and reporting and not about Dan Rather. That is why I don't refer to it as "Rathergate."

However, I do believe that Dan Rather, as managing editor of CBS News and the main correspondent who vigorously defended the discredited segment on 60 Minutes Wednesday, must shoulder a substantial part of the blame. And it is not just me. Apparently, Dan Rather agrees.

Last September 11th, the LA Times published an interview with Dan Rather concerning the forged Killian memos (Amid Skepticism, CBS Sticks to Bush Guard Story):

Rather said in an interview that CBS worked exhaustively on the story, beginning before the 2000 presidential election.

"We worked hard, we worked long, we dug hard and did our best to be accurate, to authenticate what we could," Rather said. "This story is true, the questions we raised about then-Lt. Bush's National Guard service are serious and legitimate questions."

He topped this with:
Although many others helped report and corroborate the story, Rather said, "I'm of the school, my name is on it, I'm responsible." [emphasis added]
I wonder how Dan Rather defines "responsible"?

Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging and Journalism


1. Rod Stanton on January 13, 2005 09:44 PM writes...

His definiton depend on to whom you are applying it. He has one for himself, one for Bill Clinnton and another for the rest of us. He did work hard. I heard he started on the TANG report in 1998. That's a long time for such a poorly done smear.

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