No 'objective balance' on Dan Rather

I was astounded by the Journal's whitewash (Nov. 14) of the disgraceful end of Dan Rather's CBS career, calling his use of false, forged documents shortly before the 2004 presidential election to defame a president and influence the election "a scrap over a disputed news report involving then-President George W. Bush's National Guard service" over which in 2006 Rather "departed" CBS.

Not quite. Rather falsely reported that September 2004 night that experts had authenticated military letters accusing Bush of getting favors and easy service, when in fact no one had made such authentication. The forged "Killian letters" were so obviously created on a modern-day PC using MS Word, including proportional spacing and superscripts that no 1970s typewriter could produce, that bloggers caught Rather's scam the same night the story was broadcast. CBS eventually retracted Rather's phony story and fired him as Evening News anchor a year before his contract was due to expire. He was given make-work reporting until he kept insisting that the phony story was real and CBS did not renew his contract.

Maybe he's "never been happier," but he still holds grudges -- he had the temerity to sue CBS for firing him, until the suit was tossed out. Dan Rather's entire 43-year CBS career was sullied by numerous examples of twisting and misreporting news with biased intentions, starting with falsely reporting that Texas elementary students cheered at news that President Kennedy had been assassinated (accounts say they weren't told why they were being sent home early that day) and interviewing impostors masquerading as Vietnam veterans who alleged phony American soldier atrocities.

I am sure Rather has lots of charming tales to tell, but your article should have shown some objective balance by at least accurately portraying his well-deserved professional descent into shameful oblivion.

Arthur C. Zeidman

Walnut Creek

Grateful for good corporate partner

As a parent in the Orinda school district, I know how hard our schools and the parent community work to raise much-needed funds to maintain the level of education our children deserve. Republic Services, our local refuse service provider, has sponsored two of our major fundraising events this year at Glorietta, and now an Orinda Citywide Food Drive. This wonderful corporation blessed us with much-needed funds for our school, and now it is going to match the canned food collection efforts of every school in the Orinda district and of the City of Orinda. The total amount donated by the residents of Orinda and district schools will be matched and donated to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

I felt it was important to praise such a wonderful corporation, and community partner. I wish more companies had leaders like Mr. Tim Argenti, who truly cares about making a difference and giving back.

Aimee Stevens

Orinda