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September 23, 2004
Didn't We Just Laugh CBS Off The Air For Using Burkett?

I've received a number of e-mails from CQ readers pointing me towards this story in tomorrow's San Jose Mercury News, a reputable if small central California paper, in which disgraced news source Bill Burkett claims that senior Kerry advisor Joe Lockhart repeatedly asked for the Killian memos:

During a single phone conversation with Lockhart, Burkett said he suggested a "couple of concepts on what I thought (Kerry) had to do" to beat Bush. In return, he said, Lockhart tried to "convince me as to why I should give them the documents."

Bill at INDC Journal was the first to look into this story, as far as I can tell. I think he takes a pragmatic view -- he wants to watch as the media shreds this previously "unimpeachable" source in order to save Lockhart's (and Kerry's) hide. Bill, as always, plays it smart by not buying into the story.

Let's face it; over the past two weeks, the blogosphere has torn Burkett into little microscopic pieces, and for good reason. We wound up getting Dan Rather -- Dan freakin' Rather -- to roast his own source on air by making Burkett admit he lied to CBS about the source of the documents. Not only did we manage that, but then Burkett further assists us by telling wild stories about Lucy Ramirez, livestock-show dead-drops, and has a nervous breakdown.

And now his word trumps Joe Lockhart? I don't think so, fellas.

Put yourself in Lockhart's shoes. He gets a call from CBS saying that he should call Burkett because the Bush-hater just handed CBS documents which "prove" Bush disobeyed orders and got preferential treatment and evaluation in the TANG. All CBS promised was one phone call between Lockhart and Burkett. So Lockhart presumes that CBS has the documents and will use them -- he knows Mapes has been drooling after this story for five years, after all -- and his candidate doesn't have to get his skirts dirty in the least in order for the data to come out. He's got the Tiffany Network and Dan Freakin' Rather to deliver the joyous smear to the American electorate, and Kerry's got all the plausible deniability for which anyone can ask.

If you're Joe Lockhart, experienced campaigner and strategist, why on Earth would you ask Burkett to give the documents to you instead?

Sorry, folks. I'm not buying anything Burkett's pitching. If he greeted me with a Good Morning, I'd check out the window to be sure.

UPDATE: Keep checking back on Bill's post for the commentary and Bill's updates. He e-mailed me with this intriguing argument:

I like your post, not sure if you saw my follow-up comments, but I think that you are looking at this with a binary analysis when it has more than two dimensions (I'll give you three). Here's what I mean:

1. Burkett is clearly a wack-job, not to be believed
2. Lockhart is probably telling the truth if/when he specifically
says "I did NOT beg Burkett for the documents."
3. Lockhart is ALSO LYING to us when he says that the documents were
never mentioned, given the fact that that's all Burkett talks about,
and given his repeated public postings about trying to give the Kerry
campaign the goods.

There's more, but Bill covers it at his site. Go read.

And a hat tip to Larry F, who noted that Lucy's last name was Ramirez, not Martinez -- and totally coincidentally, I used to confuse the two when I was a kid and I had a Scout instructor whose last name was Ramirez. (Weird!) Larry also notes, "Not that it matters since she is probably a figment of`the delusional Burkett's imagination."

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 23, 2004 10:54 PM

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» Burkett Accuses Lockhart from The American Mind
Bill Burkett claims ex-Clintonists, now Kerry operative Joe Lockhart wanted the documents. Be very very skeptical of anything Burkett says.... [Read More]

Tracked on September 24, 2004 12:35 AM

» Dog Bites Man from Slant Point
Pet Bush-basher Burkett is finally biting the hand that fed him. And his masters number two. During a single phone conversation with Lockhart, Burkett said he suggested a "couple of concepts on what I thought (Kerry) had to do" to beat Bush. In return,... [Read More]

Tracked on September 24, 2004 2:14 AM

» The Feeding Frenzy Begins from I love Jet Noise
The worm has turned... This is almost as good as Survivor: Vanuatu. Bill Burkett, Official Unimpeachable Source to the StarsTM, is dishing on Dapper Dan. He now maintains he warned Rather the memos would be challenged, advising they be validated [Read More]

Tracked on September 24, 2004 5:33 AM

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Joe Lockhart's hand is stuck in the honey jar. Drudge is reporting: CONTROVERSIAL TEXAS RANCHER SAYS LOCKHART WANTED DOCUMENTS // The source of a disputed CBSNEWS report claimed Thursday that Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart tried to "convince me as to why... [Read More]

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» What Did the Kerry Campaign Know and When Did They Know it? from Infidel Cowboy
update: We already know that Burkett is probably batshit and we can't put much stock in anything he says, but watch as Legacy Media launches a Kerry-esque flip-flop and begins smearing their once unimpeachable and well regarded Texan. INDC Journal... [Read More]

Tracked on September 24, 2004 8:39 AM

» Rathergate gets bigger from BitsBlog
all we have to go on is the conflicting reports of these two men, neither one of which we can trust. Consider this question from the public's POV; we have Burkett, and Joe Lockhart, a Clinton misadministration alum. It becomes a question tothe public... [Read More]

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