Thom Hartmann writes on Dubya's master manipulation of the media:
The CBS/Rather/Bush/Guard affair - regardless of how it ultimately turns out - has brilliantly deflected the issue of George W. Bush having strings pulled to get him into the Guard, and then not fulfilling his service requirements. Anytime the issue is raised in the future - regardless of facts or context - partisan Republicans will simply dismiss it by saying, "Those documents were forged." That four-word sound byte will be remembered long after the details of Bush's failures have dimmed from popular memory. Politically, it was a masterstroke.
And not only does it hurt Bush family enemy Kerry, but also gets back at Bush family enemy Dan Rather, against whom they've nursed a 16-year grudge.
The Bush family's hostility to Rather first broke the surface of public attention back in 1988, when Vice President George H.W. Bush was confronted on network television about his various roles in the criminal affair now known as Iran/Contra. At the time, rumors were flying that in the fall of 1980 then-VP-candidate Bush had negotiated with Iran to hold the American hostages until after the election. The hostages were not only held throughout the election campaign, but were released the very hour Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. The ongoing dragged-out hostage crisis (and Carter's failed attempt at rescue) had knocked the incumbent president down so far in the polls that the long-shot ticket of Reagan/Bush won.
When it later came out, in part because of an investigation started by Senator John Kerry, that after the 1980 election Reagan/Bush were illegally selling American missiles to the Iranians "in exchange for hostages" at a time there were no hostages (the Iranian hostages had been freed, and the Lebanese hostages not yet taken), speculation intensified. The key to busting the whole deal open and indicting George H.W. Bush, some congressional investigators believed, would be Bill Casey. As the manager of the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign, he would have known of the deal, and persistent allegations floated around Washington that he'd even helped organize the initial negotiations between Bush and Iranian representatives.
Read the rest here.