TVNewser has learned that tonight on The O’Reilly Factor, Bernard Goldberg will discuss what previously had been a little-mentioned part of a now-famous 2005 report. In focus: a section of the 234-page report by a CBS-commissioned panel looking into the 2004 60 Minutes II “Memogate” story on President Bush’s military service, reported by Dan Rather and produced by Mary Mapes.
“Until now,” Goldberg writes on bernardgoldberg.com, “the controversy over the Rather/Mapes story has centered almost entirely on one issue: the legitimacy of the documents [shown in the report] — a very important issue, indeed. But it turns out that there was another very important issue, one that goes to the very heart of what the story was about — and one that has gone virtually unnoticed….”
Goldberg says he was given a tip by “a source, Deep Throat style, [who] told me to ‘Go to page 130 [of the commissioned panel's report].’” What was on page 130?
“Mapes had information prior to the airing of the September 8  Segment that President Bush, while in the TexANG [Texas Air National Guard] did volunteer for service in Vietnam but was turned down in favor of more experienced pilots. For example, a flight instructor who served in the TexANG with Lieutenant Bush advised Mapes in 1999 that Lieutenant Bush ‘did want to go to Vietnam but others went first.’ Similarly, several others advised Mapes in 1999, and again in 2004 before September 8, that Lieutenant Bush had volunteered to go to Vietnam but did not have enough flight hours to qualify.”
Goldberg notes that this section was mentioned on a few Web sites and in two newspaper opinion pieces (in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the Miami Herald). “But that was it!” he says.
“If [Mapes] knew that George Bush had volunteered for service in Vietnam,” Goldberg writes, “she obviously had an obligation to share that with her viewers.”
“Now the question is,” Goldberg continues, “did she share what she knew with her correspondent, Dan Rather…What did Rather know — and when did he know it?”
Both Rather and Mapes are on the record as criticizing the panel’s 2005 report, with Rather stating in his 2007 lawsuit against CBS that the network and its executives turned him into “a scapegoat.” The lawsuit, in its current form, continues to make its way through the courts today, almost five years after the original 60 Minutes II story aired.
> Update: Goldberg tweeted last night that after the story brought so much traffic to bernardgoldberg.com that the “crush crashed site”, the site was subsequently back up and running.
> Click continued to see the video of Goldberg’s The O’Reilly Factor appearance…