We’re eyeball to eyeball and the other fellow just blinked.
Hugh Hewitt spent a good part of the day (and all of his radio show) prodding conservative bloggers and asking why we haven’t made a bigger fuss over the CBS News report on Rathergate. If you read through Hugh’s blog entries today, you’ll see that Hugh sees the report as a whitewash, and that he thinks the big guns of the Blogging Right appear overly concerned about their reputations among the mainstream media. Hugh thinks we ought not show mercy in this case. I agree, and here’s why.
This situation strikes me as a kind of negotiation. We of the center-right blogosphere expected CBS News to offer something like this:
- report released on a Friday (to bury it)
- report released after announcing Rather’s successor (again, to bury it)
- a weak non-apology
- thinly-veiled contempt for bloggers
- support from ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, etc.
- denial of any pro-Kerry motivation, much less any actual coordination
- Mary Mapes fired
We were hoping for several results from this episode, including:
- report released on a Monday
- report released without a Rather successor announced
- an admission from CBS News that the Killian memos were forgeries
- due credit given to the blogosphere for unearthing this mess
- Dan Rather fired
- Mary Mapes fired
- top CBS News executives fired (including the president, Andrew Heyward)
- an investigation into possible coordination between CBS News and the Kerry/Edwards campaign
- help from CBS’ competing news networks in devouring it (motivated by fear)
To our surprise, CBS started off by offering us numbers 1, 2, and 6 on our wish list. Better still, they offered big chunks of numbers 3, 4, 5, and 7.
Think about it. The bigwigs at CBS News are clearly not bargaining from a position of strength, and it’s obvious they know it. Now keep in mind that in a negotiation, you never ever reveal your true position right up front. If this is where they’ve started from, imagine where we could push them to. By giving CBS News (and by extension, all of MSM) a pass on this baldfaced charade they called “news”, we’d be letting them return to lie another day.
Another thing: have you noticed the deafening silence among the lefty bloggers today? They tried very hard to ignore the CBS News report, hoping we’d lose interest. If they thought they could win the argument on the merits, they’d be in full cry instead. So the only thing standing between us and resounding vindication is … us.
Fellow conservative bloggers, stop worrying about what the other side thinks of us and go for the whole wish list, because they’ll tut-tut about “blogger triumphalism” no matter what we do. Learn from the GOP, which only climbed out of the electoral gutter after it stopped trying to play footsie with the Democrats. Rather, Mapes, and CBS News are scattered and fleeing. Let’s show some spine and mop ’em up.