What is it they say; the first time tragedy, second time farce? What do they call it when it was a farce the first time around – only dressed up in the high seriousness of a Searing Sixty Minutes (dum-de-dum-dum!) Expose? Here it comes around again, with Mr. Rather’s suit against CBS News for making him the scapegoat in the whole “not only does the Emperor not have any new clothes he is as nekkid as a jaybird” imbroglio that was the 6o Minutes “scoop”, concerning the so-called finding of some 1973 Texas Air National Guard.

For those of you who spent 2004 in a coma, the memos appeared to give backing to the contention that President Bush spent part of his Air National Guard service AWOL, and that his then-commander (now deceased) was exceeding wroth about this. Unfortunately for CBS News, for 60 Minutes and all of Mr. Rathers’ minions, those documents appear to have been inexpertly forged; a fact that became fairly obvious early on. One can only assume that Mr. Rather and his team desperately wanted them to be authentic, in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary. And that they desperately wanted to drop a just-before-Election-Day bomb on the Bush campaign, and didn’t care how thin the evidence was.

Quelle tacky, Mr. Rather, quelle tacky. Kind of makes one wonder about all the other documents uncovered by Sixty Minutes over the years, which made one or two flash appearances on camera and then were gone before anyone could say, “Hey, wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute!” Ah well, just another reason that legacy media is melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her.

Anyway, enough of a stink was raised about this at the time… and now it looks like we are in for another round of slapstick. Dan Rather is going to sue CBS for mishandling the resulting s**tstorm. Cooler and more legally-oriented minds than mine are betting A) that it is just a means of squeezing some more retirement monies out of CBS and B) that if it continues, the process of discovery is going to be embarrassingly revealing and C) Pass the popcorn, it’s a pity they both can’t loose.

Myself, I keep imaging the hostage-taking scene from “Blazing Saddles”… only instead of Cleavon Little holding a gun to his own head and begging for mercy, I’m seeing Ted Baxter (the hamster-brained newscaster from the Mary Tyler Moore Show) holding himself hostage and squeaking “Lemme out of here or the newscaster gets it!”

Oh, yeah… pass the popcorn. I’ll take mine with melted butter, but hold the salt.

(Later: More here from Captain’s Quarters)
Even later: still more giggling and requests for popcorn, here

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