Loose Nukes, v.2: The Dan Rather-ization of ABC

By October 14, 2005General

Loose NukesWouldn’t you think ABC would have breathed a “there but for the grace of God” sigh of relief when Dan Rather was carried out feet first from his CBS duties after the botched Mary Mapes non-story last Fall? You’d think they would’ve sworn off the stuff, no? Ah, see — they can’t — they’re hooked.

All week, as we’ve noted, ABC is running this asinine “Loose Nukes” piece, a completely fabricated piece of hysteria intended to show that the security at some university nuclear research facilities is porous. Well, unfortunately, in telling this tale it was ABC’s logic and methods that proved porous.

Go to Google News and type in “Loose Nukes” and — like Rather, at the end — the first or second choice is our highly critical piece on this bogus story. But wait — there’s more. Here’s a link to Media Bistro’s story, and here’s a link to Little Green Footballs, which has written about it today, as had the excellent RatherGate. The latter knows a thing or two about journalism without standards, having been down this road with Rather. Here is a post from the Daily Kos, a left-leaning blog. It is written by someone who used to work at the MIT nuclear research facility, one of the public tours “infiltrated” by ABC’s rogue interns. For more on the flaws in the story (there are way too many to mention here), go to NEI’s blog, the first ones to break this story. They actually have the technical expertise, which is especially dangerous for ABC’s reputation at this point. They also have listed the contact names of where to send your letters of complaint to ABC. Finally, right in their own back yard are the ABC message boards on this topic, where you’ll see comments that are especially harsh and stinging. NEI has alleged, however, that some critical comments have disappeared altogether. Can’t imagine that ABC would take them down, could you? Give it a try and see.

As you’ll see from the NEI blog, the drip, drip, drip of information from the facilities “investigated” is starting to come in, with allegations of outright violations of law and — gasp — blatant disregard for the facts. Stop us if you’ve heard this one.

If the wheels are not off at ABC, they are soon to be. The blogosphere is buzzing. Wonder what Dick Thornburgh is doing….?