Rathergate is an unfortunate distraction

The U.S. public should hold all public officials and figures accountable.

In the wake of the CBS News scandal, many are calling on longtime anchorman Dan Rather to resign. After all,

both Rather and the president of CBS News, Andrew Heyward, decided to show documents they obtained from a secondary source questioning President George W. Bush’s military “service.” Allegations of fraudulent documents spewed onto cable news airwaves, blogs and newspapers. In the end, the material in the documents turned out to be made up, yet we still do not know the exact location of all of Bush’s National Guard documents.

One must always be careful once when he or she receives documents from secondary sources. Fortunately, the only thing that will come out of “Rathergate” will be a possible resignation, not more than a thousand deaths, billions of dollars wasted and al-Qaida recruiting material. No, those things resulted from other secondary sources; loose links, tried to be tied together, proven to be incorrect, were used as justifications for the United States’ unilateral, pre-emptive war.

Rather and Heyward should be held accountable for their decision to run a story which later turned out to be like a Steven Glass article for the New Republic.

What CBS does is CBS’ business.

However, the U.S. people, and those calling on Rather’s head, must put a half-hour news program on a lower pedestal and deal primarily with Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, et al. for their war-hawking on such invalid information. Rather ought to resign.

Rather should resign, that is, once the U.S. public – whether it be through the voting booths or congressional investigation – holds Bush and his administration accountable for their failures that have lead us on a path from the world’s superpower to a “might-makes-right” bully.

Dan Bordwell is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]