How reluctant is the media to fully criticize CBS News. It is fully and wholly apparent that the documents are frauds. Yet, even National Review, in an editorial posted today says that “[i]t appears likely that CBS News based a blockbuster report on George W. Bush’s National Guard service on faked documents.” It doesn’t just appear likely, CBS did base its story on frauds.
Now, because I like National Review, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and say that “based a blockbuster report” could mean, in National Review’s mind, that CBS based its report on either the documents or something else, like its interview with, in Jonah Goldberg’s terminology, feckless crap weasle Ben whatshisname, the former Lt. Gov. of Texas.
Giving National Review that, the rest of the media is also walking on tip-toes. Only the blogs are willing to be bold and say the documents were forged with no caveat. The interesting bit is how careful the media is in not saying something definitive. If CBS had exercised that carefulness and restraint to begin with, it might not have used the forgeries.