Monday, January 10, 2005

CBS - The Bell Tolls At Last

CBS has fired four executives over the National Guard document flap. This should, but won't, shut up those who still insist this was a 'fringe obsession' of right-wing bloggers. From CNN:
The network fired Mary Mapes, producer of the report; Josh Howard, executive producer of "60 Minutes Wednesday" and his top deputy Mary Murphy; and senior vice president Betsy West. independent panel appointed by the network concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in putting together the piece, which aired September 8. That failure was compounded with a "rigid and blind" defense of the report, the statement continued.

The panel, which was led by former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and former Associated Press President Louis Boccardi, added that -- despite accusations of political bias against CBS -- "[the panel] cannot conclude that a political agenda at '60 Minutes Wednesday' drove either the timing of the airing of the segment or its content."

Still, "the bottom line is that much of the September 8th broadcast was wrong, incomplete or unfair," Les Moonves, co-president of CBS parent Viacom, said in a statement announcing the firings.

Moonves is right - so why not can Rather as well? (I erroneously stated in this earlier post that he was leaving CBS News - in fact, it was the anchor chair he resigned from). We'll discuss some of the reactions in a later post...

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