Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rather heartening

Looking back on the since 9-11 it is interesting to see how the political atmosphere in the States has been transformed.

There was a time when it was considered "un-American" to criticise the Bush government. The TV networks tip-toed around anything which might be seen to compromise the "War on Turrur".

Now, of course, times have changed. George Bush's ratings in the US are only slightly higher than Osama Bin Laden's. There is an alleged "new Dawn" and it is OK to lay into the Bush regime.

So it is fascinating to see the start of Dan Rather's lawsuit against his former employers, CBS. The lawsuit is born out of that previous period of awed respect towards Bush. Rather (right) was allegedly sacked for reporting on some documents which were said to prove that George Bush barely turned up for basic duty when he was in the National Guard, avoiding the Vietnam draft. Also within the lawsuit is an allegation that CBS unreasonably suppressed the story about abuse at the Abu Graib prison.

One hilarious aspect of the lawsuit is that Rather alleges that the panel set up by CBS to investigate his report was stacked with right wingers. It included Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, two extreme right wing broadcasters. You begin to wonder how CBS had the cheek to do that. But as I say, such was the prevailing mood in the US at the time.

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