Newly Posted Media Complicity Article 3A
Hinchey Sees Hand of Rove
'They set up Dan Rather'
By Paul Brooks
Hurley – Democrat Maurice Hinchey has turned an army of right-wing bloggers into a quivering mass of indignation.
Hinchey suggested that presidential political mastermind Karl Rove is behind the fake documents that brought down several top executives at CBS. The controversy led to the early retirement of longtime anchor Dan Rather, many believe.
The remarks came at a session on Social Security in Ithaca on Sunday, but the comments didn't stay in Ithaca very long. An operative with the littlegreenfootballs.com Web site had recorded Hinchey's comments. Within hours, a transcript of his comments about Rove and a copy of the audiotape were on the Web site. By yesterday afternoon, the site had more than 1,400 responses to his comments.
At the speech Sunday, Hinchey said the media has been attacked and manipulated.
"Probably the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather," he can be heard saying in the audio clip.
"Now, I mean, I have my own beliefs about how that happened: It originated with Karl Rove, in my belief, in the White House ... . Once they did that, then it undermined everything else about Bush's draft dodging. … That had the effect of taking the whole issue away."
The documents in question addressed Bush's military service in Alabama in 1972 while on leave from the Texas National Guard. Ultimately, CBS could not prove that the memos were authentic.
The bloggers were quick to respond to Hinchey's remarks.
"This guy needs a clue-by-blog and wake up to being a mature person," wrote "mglazer." "The old days of sitting in a little town hall and pandering to your constituents with LIES is no longer OK, acceptable or ignored – we can ALL HEAR what you say now."
There was this from "mich-again": "Rove isn't stupid enough to offer up those documents and actually think CBS would not discover the ruse. How freaking ignorant are these people?"
And this from "Christ the professor": "I say Republicans in the House of Representatives should demand an investigation of his, er, evidence, and then have him censured."
The congressman from Hurley said he expected his comments might end up on the Internet.
"I knew that was going to happen when I saw this guy sitting in the front row with a tape recorder. They have been following me around taping everything I say in the hope they can find something to use against me," he said yesterday.
He stands by his comments.
"I didn't allege I had any facts. I said this is what I believe and take it for what it's worth," said Hinchey, now in his seventh term. He pointed to the fake documents in the CBS case as well as a scandal involving a leak from the Bush administration that revealed the name of an undercover CIA agent to the media.
"My theory is they came from the same place, which is the Bush administration and Karl Rove," he said.
The White House did not return a call for comment by deadline last evening.
Hinchey said he has no plans to stop making allegations against Rove and the Bush administration.
"What we are seeing is very new and very dangerous," Hinchey said. "No administration has attempted to manipulate the facts and information and to manipulate the news media to distort the facts ... as what we are seeing in this administration."