I’ve been following the Dan Rather saga ever since my news intakeÂ of the 2004 US elections was rudely interrupted by this weird thingy called blog opinion. I followed it so much that I even did a dissertation on what has since become known as Rathergate and followed that up with an exclusive interview with the instigator of it all, the incomparable Harry MacDougald (click on the link on the right or here)
When I started on this journey I felt a considerable lack of sympathy for Dan Rather . . . Of course he was duped by a weirdo with an agenda but he was the USA’s top-dog journalist, the man not just with the questions but often with the answers, if Dan said something then the US believed it. Of course his producer Mary Mapes and her assistants didn’t help but, as many have pointed out, Dan should have questioned the memos. He should at the very least have been suspicious. He shoulda twigged. Alas, the problem with Rathergate wasn’t that Bill Burkin’s fake documents were just too good not to print, it was that the wily Burkin made them fit the profile exactly of what an exclusive-hungry CBS anchorman would want.
Following last week’s news that Dan is nowÂ resurrecting the whole sorry saga in a $70m lawsuit against his former employer, I now feel real sadness. Even if he wins (does he need the dough?) it will be Pyrrhic.
According to the above-linked NYTimes article Dan says:
“I’dd like to know what really happened”, he said, his eyes red and watering. “Let’s get under oath. Let’s get e-mails. Let’s get who said what to whom, when and for what purpose.”
Who said what to whom? Dude, all anyone interested in Rathergate needs toÂ do is click here, it’s all there in black and white . . . just like those memos.
It’s sad that after 3 years Dan hasn’t realised that.
I won these boots a few months ago. They are one of 100 pairs made for Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonnen as part of his 100th race celebrations when he was with McLaren.
Now 20years ago what would you have done with such boots if you were me? If you’re an F1 freak you might have kept them as mementoes to be shown at dinner parties . . . however, if, like me, you find them grotesquely hideous and an affront to good taste, you’d have tried to offload them asap. But pre-internet, what options would I have had? Specialist magazines? Sure they exist and probably did back then, but would I really have had the time and inclination to seek them out, phone them, place an ad for a fee and sit back and wait for the phone calls most of which I would have missed. I could have gifted them to someone but I don’t know anyone who loves F1 that much.
Bit of a dillema huh?
Thankfully these days we have what Chris Anderson has termed the Long Tail: a never-ending and always-lengthening demand for niche products and services glued together by internet-enablers such as Google and eBay.
I’ve no idea how the guy to whom I flogged these boots found my eBay ad: Google, Yahoo, a personal e-Mail, an eBay “Formula 1 memorabilia alert” or plain ‘ol fashioned word of mouth, but thank God he did.
Otherwise I’d never have gotten the Â£350 he gave me.
Long live the long tail.
It’s not often you see something interesting on Facebook, but this caught my eye:
I’m not sure how this list is calculated butÂ what does it say about BBC tastes & demographics?
That we’ve a penchant for US pomp-rock, sensitive indie for bed-wetters ((c) Liam Gallagher), preachy posh-rock, introspective drone-rock or past-their-best dad rock?
Or is it just that the average age of a BBC employeeÂ is 35?Â
Many moons ago I described SCO as a free falling litigation machine.Â Â
Well, the thump has now been heard around the world.
As I said back in my 2004 piece, it’s the employees of SCO I feel sorry for. Taken on a hellish helter-skelter ride by a management determined to bank everything on a dodgy premise.
I hope they get looked after . . . somehow.
UPDATE: the incomparable Pamela Jones at groklaw identifies SCO’s top #20 creditors. Numbers #1 and #2 on the list are law firms. Looks like some folks will get looked after.