DATE: 1/10/2005 01:10:00 PM
Heyward Must Go - I've finished much of the report and it seems obvious to me that CBS News president Andrew Heyward should be fired. The report is extremely critical of the response of CBS News after it became apparent the documents were forged and the story was collapsing. One of the major architects of the stonewalling was Heyward, who has kept his job.
The report makes it clear the story had collapsed by September 10 or so. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Heyward and CBS News engaged in a misleading defense of the story and the documents used to "prove" Bush was AWOL from his guard service. Although most of the blame was rightly placed on Mapes and other executives, Heyward has to answer for his role in the lies used to defend a bad story. At any time, Heyward could have pulled Mapes and Rather off the story and given it to someone else to investigate. Heyward could have ordered an investigation of the sources and at minimum, acknowledged the questions surrounding the story on the news.
Instead, Heyward either took part in or allowed the insipid and misleading defense of the story on the CBS Evening News. Either way, his judgment was poor and his management was sloppy. Neither reflects well on his leadership, and viewers of CBS News have reason to be suspicious of any future "scoops" that come out of that network as long as Heyward is in charge. The four firings announced today were only a good start. For a full clean slate, at least one more executive has to go.