DATE: 1/10/2005 11:16:00 AM
Wow - One thing has become apparent from my reading of the Rather report - Mary Mapes is an extremely bad reporter/producer.
The Panel has several concerns about whether the airing of the Barnes interview excerpts constituted fair and accurate reporting by 60 Minutes Wednesday. For example, the excerpts pertaining to Barnes conveyed the unmistakable impression that President Bush gained entry into the TexANG through preferential treatment. Barnes stated, however, that he did not know if his call to a TexANG official back in 1968 made any difference with respect to President Bush. Further, Mapes had been told previously by several former TexANG officers that President Bush entered the TexANG without any preferential treatment. Finally, Mapes confirmed to the Panel that there was conflicting information about whether there even was a waiting list to get in the TexANG as of the spring of 1968. At a minimum, these issues should have been disclosed to the 60 Minutes Wednesday management, but they were not.Gee, I wonder what could have blinded Mapes to any other interpretation of the evidence? It also makes me wonder whether CBS, like the NY Times with Jayson Blair, should go back and re-examine all the stories Mapes produced.