I think the title of this post sums up what everyone will feel later today when the SeeBS "investigation" report comes out. Hugh Hewitt has some great advice for CBS:
Memo to CBS:
Release a draft of the Rathergate report to a half-dozen bloggers for pre-publication comment (on the condition that they not comment on the report until it is released. The right list will produce honorable people who will abide by the embargo.) At a minimum, run any paragraph mentioning a blogger past that blogger for vetting. Receive their comments and publish them along with the report, along with responses. Don't pretend that the bloggers that humbled Rather and CBS don't exist.
The new medium brought you low. Try to figure out how to at least engage it. Be sure as well to e-mail the report to every major blogger the moment of its release, and to make it available on the web, and not just in PDF format.
This will be among the most scrutinized documents ever. Don't expect any error to be overlooked.
I think the key here is that second to last sentence. Bloggers who are all over this story are going to simply take the report apart if it is bologna.
My opinion is that the report will basically be 30 or 40 pages of nothing.
I have stated this before, but I will state it again - I really don't think RaTHer knew the documents were fake. I also don't think he cared. The story was definitely on the top of the "to do" list once Rather got them, though.
The real "sharp stick in the eye" for me was when Rather went on air the next day and vouched for the authenticity of the documents in the face of literally hundreds of pages of evidence against the documents. His basic defense was that "we are big media, we investigated these documents, screw you". If only Rather would have simply sat down at his computer and checked out a few of the blogs that totally discredited the docs.
The bigger question here, of course, is the one that everyone wants to know the answer to. And that is did CBS knowingly coordinate this attack with the Democratic National Committee? If proof can be found to that end, CBS might as well close. Actually, if the ratings that CBS news has been getting are any indicator, they might think about closing the newsroom anyway. In large metro areas, reruns of the Simpsons get higher ratings than most network newscasts. But the dumbing down of the American people is definitely a topic for another post and another day.
Then again, you probably learn more about the real world from a Simpsons rerun than a network newscast!