Marvin Kalb, former CBS and NBC newsperson extraordinaire, insisted on the Fox News Channel this evening that there were TWO stories in CBS Memo fiasco: the first was the question of what Bush did for all those months in the National Guard in 1972-3 and the second was the way CBS reported it.
Mr. Kalb readily admited that the way CBS reported it was wrong wrong wrong. But he hastily returned to his theme that the REAL questions about Bush's Guard Service STILL NEEDS TO BE ANSWERED! What nefarious behavior was George Bush engaging in when he should have been at Guard meetings and was he shirking his ANG duties?
Leaving aside the fact that apparently NO AMOUNT OF INFORMATION, NO FACTS, NOT EVEN REASON OR LOGIC WILL BE ABLE TO CONVINCE THESE NINCOMPOOPS IN THE MEDIA THAT THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD, LIKE ALL NATIONAL GUARD UNITS WAS NOT, IS NOT AND WON'T EVER BE --A FULL-TIME OCCUPATION FOR MOST OF ITS VOLUNTEERS. They are not called the "weekend warriors" for nothing. None of these "journalists" are willing to actually do their homework before they spout off their conclusions. Apparently it is just too much effort for them to try to understand how the Guard works (this is actually a special example of a more general problem related to their unwillingness to bother to understand how any of the military services work --and this includes journalists whose main function is to report on the military). Why bother? They ALREADY KNOW that Bush must have shirked his duty--why should they need evidence to proclaim it?
For those whose brains are capable of processing it: there is a minimum number of hours to meet each year (50); and because the guard wants to continue to recruit people it tends to make their obligations flexible--meaning that anyone can and does get permission to "make-up" hours if their real-time lives require it. In real life, people move to other states; get special dispensation to go to school. There are many reasons why such requests are made. Everyone in the Guard has an outside life/job.
And anyone can go here to see how many hours the President put in each and every year of his service between 1968 - 1973. In most of his years he earned more than double and up to 9-times the requirement. Any questions? HE MET HIS OBLIGATION PERIOD, END OF SENTENCE.
There is only one story, Mr. Kalb. But I do have a second question to be answered: how can a person of your credentials be so clueless--or is it simple intellectual laziness? Like Dan, you should have done your homework.