Friday, January 14, 2005

More CBS

This Byron York article from last September is an important piece of evidence in the motivations behind the "60 Minutes" story. The narrative promulgated by CBS cast Bush in a purely negative light: George Bush got into a soft position in TANG because his family pulled strings. Then the loser skipped out on the minimal duties required and got away with it because of his father's influence.

But as York shows, this narrative is false because Bush more than met the requirements during most of his time in TANG:

After training, Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.

According to records released earlier this year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).

Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that
This raises three questions:

1. Even if what CBS reported was true, their presentation of those facts distorted GWB's career in TANG. Is that good journalism?

2. In preparing the story, CBS had suspect sources and questionable documents that conflicted with the known facts about Bush's time in TANG. How could they choose to rely on them without careful vetting?

3. The distorted narrative presented on "60 Minutes" conflicted with the historical record. But it dovetailed perfectly with the Democrat's "Fortunate Son" ad campaign that broke right after "60 Minutes" aired their story. Shouldn't that set off alarm bells at CBS?

Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: 'Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action.'

Ian Fleming, Goldfinger

Off to OTB's Beltway traffic jam.

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