Following up on the follow up to the follow up: that CBS report on Bush

So you remember the part about how CBS News broadcast a story on 60 Minutes II about Bush using family connections to avoid risking his own neck in Vietnam by joining the Texas Air National Guard, while, as one of his professors recalls, he strongly advocated the war? And how conservative bloggers jumped on the dubious documents CBS used in its report?

The trouble with all this is, and was, that the basic information in the CBS report was well known and, in fact, had previously been reported. But because CBS used these documents and the documents were discredited, the accusation against Bush — even when it came from sources that didn’t rely on these documents — was discredited. Even when the typist who would have typed these documents, but said she didn’t, nonetheless corroborated the information.

CBS retracted the story based on a flawed analysis, as articles in both the Columbia Journalism Review and the New York Review of Books attest. But Bush has been re-elected. And the smears against any who dare to challenge his administration continue.

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