DATE: 1/10/2005 10:27:00 AM
RatherGate Report Out - The report on the use of fraudulent documents by CBS has finally been released, months not weeks after the initial story was broadcast. It's available here. Four people lost their jobs at CBS, interesting wording on Mapes:
Asked to resign were Senior Vice President Betsy West, who supervised CBS News primetime programs; 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; and Howard's deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy. The producer of the piece, Mary Mapes, was terminated.I guess the interviews with Mapes didn't go well. The story was broadcast last fall - she's been there at least three months too long, in my opinion. Here is their statement on the memos, from the executive summary:
The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents are authentic or forgeries. However, the Panel has identified a number of issues that raise serious questions about the authenticity of the documents and their content. With better reporting, these questions should have been raised before the September 8 Segment aired.The panel had harsh words for CBS' reaction to the controversy over the authenticity of the memos:
the investigation quickly identified considerable and fundamental deficiencies relating to the reporting and production of the September 8 Segment and the statements and news reports during the Aftermath. These problems were caused primarily by a myopic zeal to be the first news organization to broadcast what was believed to be a new story about President Bush's TexANG service, and the rigid and blind defense of the Segment after it aired despite numerous indications of its shortcomings.I think blaming "myopic zeal" is too easy. There should have been some mention of bias, since it was so obviously a factor. There's more. I'll post my full reaction after reading the report in full.