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Partisan Connections of Rathergate

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Oct 1, 2004, 3:03:39 PM10/1/04
Partisan Connections of Rathergate
By Cliff Kincaid | October 1, 2004

The "Rathergate" scandal of Dan Rather and CBS News
using fake documents against President Bush demonstrates
the fallacy of so-called campaign finance reform. CBS
News has an exemption under the law because it is
supposed to be a bona fide news organization. But the
"Rathergate" scandal has all the earmarks of a
Democratic Party operation, masquerading as "news," in
order to evade legal limits on contributions to the John
Kerry campaign.

In the Rathergate scandal, many roads lead to Texas.
Dan Rather is from Texas and the forged documents came
from Texas. Rather's producer Mary Mapes has been
working on the Bush National Guard story for 5 years and
traveled to Texas to conduct research. She has lived in

That interview was with disgruntled and bitter ex-
guardsman Bill Burkett, a Texas Democrat and the likely
source of the documents. He reportedly contacted the
Kerry campaign with his "information." Dan Rather
himself raised money in 2001 for the Travis County,
Texas, Democratic Party, at the request of his daughter.
His daughter, Robin, is a Democratic Party activist and
contributor. She lives in Texas. She has contributed
to Kerry for president, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton,
and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

But the connections to John Kerry and the Democrats get
even more interesting. Robin Rather, a professional
environmentalist, sits on the advisory council in Texas
of a group known as Environmental Defense (ED). As Ron
Arnold documents for the Capital Research Center, ED
received Heinz Foundation grants of $601,000 in 2001-
2003. Heinz grants to ED totaled nearly $3 million
between 1992 and 2000. That name "Heinz" is that of
Teresa Heinz Kerry, who sits on the national board of

The timing of the CBS News assault on Bush using the
phony documents also requires comment. It appears that
John Kerry supporters knew what was coming. On
September 7, for example, Texans for Truth, a so-called
527 group funded by George Soros through,
released a TV ad accusing Bush of evading his National
Guard service. One day later, on September 8, Rather
and CBS 60 Minutes did their program based on the bogus
National Guard documents. That's also when Rather
interviewed Kerry fundraiser and Texas Democrat Ben
Barnes about his alleged knowledge of Bush getting into
the National Guard. Newsweek reported that Kerry
campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill called Barnes to
congratulate him on his CBS News appearance. Just six
days later, on September 14, the Democratic National
Committee announced "Operation Fortunate Son," including
a new video hitting Bush on the National Guard issue.

In conduct some have compared to Nixon's Watergate
cover-up, CBS News initially stonewalled the charges of
forgery. Perhaps Rather thought he could get away with
it. After all, Sumner Redstone, chairman and CEO of CBS
parent company Viacom, is a major Democratic Party
contributor. Redstone contributed to John Kerry for
president. He has also contributed to Senators Ted
Kennedy, Tom Daschle, and Patrick Leahy, and Al Gore for
president in 2000.
Do you hate America? Do you hate everything that the
USA stands for? Were the tears you shed, on 9/11/2001,
tears of joy? Then vote Kerry---2004!

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