As I neared the end of the new book, Dear Senator by Strom Thurmond’s daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, a passage jumped out. It has nothing to do with Ms. Washington-Williams’ story about her private relationship with her father who, shamefully in my view, never publicly acknowledged her existence although he communicated with her and helped her financially for decades. The passage on page 218, which describes the logistics between Washington-Williams’ attorney (Frank Wheaton) and CBS on the very day Saddam Hussein was captured, further reveals the tunnel vision of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, which of course, we’ve seen before, as our own Paul Chesser has described. Here is the passage from Dear Senator:

“A few hours later, one of the CBS producers called. The two producers, Mary Mapes and Dana Robertson, had been relentless. Mary told Frank that Dan Rather still wanted me. I meant more to him, and to America, than Saddam Hussein, she told Frank.”

Clearly, the Strom Thurmond/Washington-Williams story was huge, valid, and important, but more important to Dan and Mary than bagging Saddam Hussein? One has to wonder why.