John Kerry ought not to have been hurt by the Rathergate scandal. There is no evidence that any Kerry operative arranged for the forgeries to surface or helped persuade Rather et al to run with the doctored docs.
But the scandal has indeed hurt him, badly, and not just as some talking heads suggested by denying him even the possibility of traction with the electorate at a moment when his campaign is foundering.
The forged docs have hurt Rather and CBS because he and it ought to have seen through them. They shouldn't have been fooled because they were so obviously inauthentic.
The problem here is that John Kerry and John Edwards have, for months, been trying to tie President Bush to the SBVFT with no basis in facts. They've been trying this entire time to characterize the ads as a "Republican smear machine" orchestrated by Bush and Rove.
Now we have an obvious dirty trick which was FAR beyond the pale, brought to us by Dan Rather and CBS (with known Democratic leanings), trumpeted by DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe, even to the extent of a commercial based on the forgeries. Not only that, but CBS is actually standing behind the obvious forgeries, and refusing to name the source.
By the (lack of) standards advocated by John Kerry earlier this year, there is so much evidence that these originated from his campaign that it practically amounts to a video tape of Kerry himself typing them up and then handing them to Rather.
Kerry is being hurt by the CBS forgeries scandal because he is being judged as he wanted Bush to be judged.