Hugh Hewitt has aked readers to send him their ideas for an analogy between Lord of the Rings and Rathergate. The temptation to use LOTR to describe the CBS Memo mess is strong--especially since the CBS logo is similar to Sauron's Eye in the books, and Hewitt has a great picture of it.
I would like to propose, however, that Rathergate is actually more similar to the Harry Potter Books, and here's why:
In book 4 of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we are introduced to Rita Skeeter, an unscrupulous reporter who twists the words of her interviewees; who knows what she wants to say in her stories BEFORE she gathers the "facts"; and who enjoys "sliming" people if it will get her readers. Skeeter is a bug-faced reporter who has a secret. She is an "animagus" who can transform into an animal. Supposedly all animagi are registered, but she has managed to keep her talent a secret. She can turn into a beetle and is small enough to be a "bug" on the wall and find out information that would otherwise be unavailable to her. Then she can twist it the way she wants to suit her own agenda. Rita is clever, but in the end she is outmaneuvered by the brilliant Hermione, who figures out her secret and is able to capture her in beetle form, and thus keep her from using her ill-gotten information to distort the truth.
I like to think that the blogsphere is Hermione and that we, too, have captured Mr. Rather in his beetle form and exposed him for what he is. Harry Potter, like the Lord of the Rings, is a fable about good and evil. But Rowling's world is not as dark or menacing as Tolkien's (at least not yet). All you have to do to realize this is to see the movies.
I think that the incredibly powerful and moving story in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is far too dark, serious, and complex in its portrayal of evil to use as an analogy to Dan Rather and CBS. LOTR is the story of an incredible, pervasive evil that is so malignant and horrible that it murders and destroys everything for the pleasure of it, without remorse. Dan Rather is simply not important enough that he should be compared to an evil like Sauron--or even Saruman and Denethor. I would prefer to use the LOTR story as an anology for the evil of Islamofascist Terrorism.
Dan Rather is a petty. venal and dishonest man. His actions enable evil, but I think you credit him with too much power to compare him to Sauron, Saruman--or even to Denethor. In the food chain of evil, he is simply a lower level stooge, like Rita Skeeter.