RatherBiased has published a rush transcript of Dan Rather’s chat with David Letterman on Thursday’s Late Show. In this excerpt, Rather explains what happened:
|“We put it on the air with what we thought was credibility. We had things besides the documents, but for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly, the focus became the documents. We were not able to authenticate the documents as thoroughly as I think we should have, given a little more time perhaps we could have. My experience with elections is no one thing turns it around. I think that in this case, the case of this particular election, whatever was going to happen, let me say below the surface, that the American people were going to be very reluctant to turn out a president as commander-in-chief in wartime. Until and unless it was demonstrated to them that the war was unwinnable, which was not the case. Bottom line, I think George Bush was destined to be reelected whatever happened in august and September.”|
|LETTERMAN: In a situation like this, it was so public, right or wrong, left or right, people early on making up their minds about it, such a high-profile story and such a great journalistic institution, should the president of CBS News have stepped down? Should he have stepped forward and taken the bullet and stepped down?|
RATHER: He’s on vacation right now, but when he gets back, you can ask him.
( Laughter )
( Applause )
> Update: 10:50am: The AP sums up Rather’s appearance…