Monday, December 13, 2004

Reckless Disregard for the Truth

Update on Dan Rathergate - Just as with the charges of the Swift Vets, the mainstream media has chosen to ignore the very specific charges made by bloggers against CBS/Viacom, Dan Rather & Mary Mapes. Seemingly, the media hope is to be able to pass their actions off as a series of mistakes (or to quote the Clinton Administration refrain “mistakes were made“). But I have seen the destruction that can take place if we allow CBS to get away with a fraudulent report. One of my first submissions to the American Thinker (it wasn’t published due to the inability of adding video with our limited server capabilities) was about a 60 Minutes report called “Out of Control”. It launched the “sudden acceleration” charge against the Audi 5000. The original broadcast took place on November 23, 1986. The segment was brilliantly destroyed by the editors of Car and Driver magazine in their April 1987 edition. At that time, the masthead said “Car & Driver, ISBN 0008-6002, is published monthly at 3807 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90010, by CBS Magazines”. Despite Audi‘s efforts at a defense and this compelling evidence that CBS should have known their report was false, 60 Minutes was brazen enough to re-broadcast this report, essentially unchanged, on September, 13, 1987. In my view that meets the legal standard of being “reckless” as CBS should have known, from their own in-house experts, that the report was false. This is important, as the reason false media reports don’t result in libel judgments is that the legal bar has been set so high by defining libel as “reckless disregard for the truth”. It is analogous to the difference between a civil wrong, a tort, and a crime. To find one guilty of a crime it is necessary to prove a criminal intent, a mens rea. The most well known example of not being able to prove a crime but successfully litigating a tort is the O. J. Simpson case. This might shock you, but I believe that the original 60 Minutes broadcast alone should have been enough to enable Audi to win a libel judgment against CBS. If I could add video to this blog, I would make the case for you to see! But they got off scot-free. To make things much worse, our public perception of the problem has prevented us from addressing the root cause of these incidents which is driver error. Without fixing the problem, the accidents continue to occur and innocent victims continue die to protect CBS’ reputation. And in a delicious bit of irony, they save staged a “hidden recall” of this defective product by not making it available for purchase on tape. But I have the tape of the original broadcast. Talk about hypocrisy!

Well now the bloggers have undertaken to pursue a through, independent review of the Rathergate memos. Their outrage has a different immediate cause, politics. But they have been extremely motivated in their “fisking” of CBS. If you read the mainstream media (MSM) you will not have seen the depth of this investigation. You might still believe the “fake, but accurate” nonsense of CBS. So once again, the challenge is to see if the blogosphere can meet the higher standards of the criminal law, not just the civil law. The physical evidence is compelling. Can we find the mens rea? It’s time to expose you to the developing criminal case against CBS to see if there is more evidence to support our detective work. We need the help of the public, if we are to fight and win against such a large corporation with such a dominant voice in the public arena. I still want to stop the deaths on the roadways. My fellow bloggers are simply fed up with unrestrained media bias. Obviously, we cannot bring charges against CBS, but we can make a complaint to the relevant legal authorities and ask them to seek indictments. You can see the developing criminal case at Scylla&Charybdis. Do your part, help us “fisk” our own work.

Just as in my post Blue Angel Magic, I have held off on the easy answers to force you to engage your mind, I am not totally spilling the beans. I want you to THINK! So your homework is to study, in depth, the Scylla website. To ensure you study hard, I will add this detail to a comment I posted there.

Karnak says “when you open the envelope the first thing you will find a letter with this heading.
At the top is a logo. It consists of a central star, two enveloping olive branches, a double circle around them, the words “STATE OF TEXAS” and finally an outer concentric circle. The wording is as follows:
Post Office Box 5218, Austin, Texas 78763-5218

And here is the link to General Hodges' statements. Have fun, this is better than CSI!


Blogger BummerDietz said...

Machias, in your honor I posted a whistleblower article for p.o.'ed Viacom/CBS staff, here:

1:07 PM  

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