Al [Gore] - just a little matter here. Did CBS perform any earnest "investigative" reporting on John Kerry or his past (we're past the fact that they did their best to protect you)? By that, I don't mean did they (Rather) ever investigate the Swift Boat folks or the Swift Boat claims about Kerry. We all know that they spent much time trying to tear that down. What I want to know, Al, is what happened to journalism here? Seem to be working fine for you folks. The only reason these so called "odd groups", "Swift Boaters of the United States .. mechanism" (thank you Donald Sutherland for that one) have reason, or need, to exist in the first place, is because the media is only investigating one group of people - the Republicans. If the news is not going to do its job, Al, then someone has to step up to the plate, be it the mechanisms of independent groups or bloggers. And yes, freedom of speech does extend to other people as well.Specifically, did Rather ever have Rear Adm. William L. Schachte (USN Ret) on for an interview? I believe that NBC's Lisa Myers, did the only interview with Schachte, whom by the way, was a heck of a lot more credible than Rather's sources. Schachte did manage to get one column printed. For the record, Schachte briefly served, in Vietnam, as one of Kerry's superiors, was present on one of the nights that Kerry claimed he earned a purple heart, and discredited Kerry's account. Did Rather have John Kerry on, in an interview, demanding that forthcoming answers be provide to the American people, before you “reported to duty?”Schachte's name remained, and is still, an unknown in the U.S. The mainstream media successfully ignored his first hand accounts. On the other hand, we all got to see the accounts, as provided from non-reliable sources, on President Bush. Schachte's name is not found in a search of the LA Times. His name is not found in a search of the CBSNews.com site. There is one hit (the title speaks for itself) in the NY Times, titled, THE 2004 CAMPAIGN: ADVERTISING; Friendly Fire: The Birth of an Attack on Kerry -- sure sounds like the NY Times had an interest in finding out about John Kerry - right? Just for fun, where was the article, THE 2004 CAMPAIGN: The Birth of an Attack on Bush?We all know that Kerry got caught red-handed lying about some incidents and misrepresenting others in Vietnam - all of which he had used to further his career, and with much friendly assistance from the media. We were not to find out this information from CBS News. Surely CBS news was aware, but Rather and executives at CBS had to make the decisions to keep the news out of the hands of the voters. It's not simply that they did not do their job - that moral obligation they owe to their public - it's that they had to actually conspire to keep information out of the hands of the American voter.Gen. Wesley Clark - Oh, I can't help myself, but we were talking about the death of democracy, were we not? We (well, a few of us) know that Gen. Clark was fired by Defense Sec. William Cohen from his career position of the Supreme Nato Commander. According to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Hugh Shelton, Clark was fired over “character and integrity issues.” Clark became the darling of the media in the early days of the 2004 campaign. Back in 2003 CBS News did indeed run a couple of stories. However, in the midst of the heated 2004 campaign, when CBS has determined that the background of an applicant (only one applicant, mind you) is so very critical to the voter, they decide that the voter need not be informed of news involving the background of Gen.Wesley Clark.We know that CBS knew of the story. They had briefly and selectively covered it before. They had investigated the National Guard story on President Bush before, in the 2000 campaign, so there is no excuse for CBS to bury the Clark story in 2004. CBS, according to themselves, have a moral obligation to investigate the story and to put it in front of their audience – during the 2004 United States presidential campaign. Ref. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1999/07/30/sunday/main52963.shtml But now Clark has been fired and embarrassed…. …The Washington Post, which broke the story, says that Cohen respects Ralston’s skills as a diplomat and troubleshooter, which certainly leaves the implication that he doesn’t see Clark in quite the same light. Cohen is now insisting that he also values Clark, and has even asked the White House about appointing him ambassador-to-somewhere. ... As one of Clark’s friends said, "this just doesn’t seem fair."Even in that story, CBS was planting the seeds of “Clark deserves more,” and “we should feel sorry for the way the administration of “peace and prosperity” treated him. CBS was careful to limit the damage to Clark. And it worked. As the months drew by and friends and associates would mention Gen. Clark, I would query them (these educated – aware people) on Clark’s firing. I never ran into a single Democrat who had ever heard the news. Big surprise. Well, it was probably some Swift Boat mechanism that spread thay story.I apologize for singling out CBS News. The rest of the mainstream media followed,and continues to follow, the same path.