Skip to comments.KEEP PRESSURE ON C-B.S. AFFILIATES!!!
Posted on 09/22/2004 7:13:27 AM PDT by Deo et Patria
Guys, we need to keep the pressure on C-B.S. affiliates. It's working (see the article below), and it may determine the fate of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes.
Media fear '60' fallout
Tue Sep 21, 6:21 PM ET
Pamela McClintock, STAFF
Frustration and ire gripped CBS News on Tuesday, with staffers and the main "60 Minutes" newsmag trying to distance themselves from the scandal that has embroiled the spinoff edition of the show.
Across the country, CBS affiliates continued to be bombarded with mail from viewers expressing their outrage over Dan Rather in particular and the journalistic debacle in general. Affiliate board is sure to take up the subject at its next meeting, set for Oct. 5.
"Some people broke the cardinal rule and screwed us all," one "60 Minutes" veteran said Tuesday.
Throughout the day, CBS News prexy Andrew Heyward and others worked to appoint members to an independent review panel that will dissect the circumstances leading to the decision to air documents pertaining to President Bush (news - web sites)'s service in the Air National Guard.
A spokeswoman said the names could be released as early as today.
Apologizing on Monday, Heyward and anchor Rather admitted after a week of sticking by the segment that they had erred in broadcasting the memos, failing to meet the division's own journalistic standards.
Rather reported the story for the Sept. 8 edition of "60 Minutes."
CBS said the source of the docs, former National Guard officer Bill Burkett, deliberately lied to "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes about the origin of the memos.
So far, no one at CBS News has been fired. Industryites don't believe Rather will resign over the flap, but they concede the final chapter is far from written.
Mapes -- who is otherwise well-respected and who produced the newsmag's story on the Abu Ghraib prison abuses in Iraq (news - web sites) -- has come under additional fire with the damaging revelation that she contacted John Kerry (news - web sites) campaign adviser Joe Lockhart before the story aired to suggest he talk to Burkett about potentially harmful material on Bush.
Burkett extracted the promise that Mapes would contact the Kerry campaign during their meetings.
Lockhart disclosed his conversation with Mapes after the White House demanded the Kerry campaign reveal its connection to the "60 Minutes" documents. Defending his candidate, Lockhart said he only called Burkett at Mapes' behest.
Lockhart said he doesn't remember Burkett talking about the "60 Minutes" memos during their brief conversation. He and other Democratic officials adamantly deny they had anything to do with the documents.
Even within CBS News, Mapes' call to Lockhart is seen by many as one of the most damaging disclosures of the scandal, because it makes the news org even more vulnerable to Republican attack.
"It makes me realize how out-of-control things were," one producer said.
The GOP has long painted Rather as someone who hates the Bush family.
'Against our standards'
CBS News issued a statement Tuesday saying it is "obviously against CBS News standards and those of every other reputable news organization to be associated with any political agenda. As to what actually happened here, it is one of many issues the independent panel will look at."
Several longtime "60 Minutes" correspondents -- including Morley Safer, Steve Kroft and Andy Rooney -- have gone on the record saying the segment never would have passed muster with them or the original newsmag.
That mood is prevalent throughout the offices of the original "60 Minutes."
"Are you kidding? Of course, we are trying to distance ourselves," one exec said.
Although the two newsmags are independent editorially, they now have the same name. Until recently, the Wednesday show was called "60 Minutes II." The decision to rename it coincided with the retirement of "60 Minutes" creator and longtime producer Don Hewitt, who still has an office at CBS News.
Jeff Fager, who was the exec producer of "60 II," took Hewitt's job at the Sunday show. Josh Howard, Hewitt's No. 2, is now exec producer of the Wednesday show, which has assumed the informal moniker "60 W."
(The Sunday edition of "60 Minutes" announced Tuesday that its first show of the new season, airing this weekend, will feature Mike Wallace interviewing Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly, who is himself a news biz lightning rod.)
Affils wait and see
CBS Affiliates Assn. prexy Bob Lee said Tuesday the affil board has not taken any formal action. He said affils want to see the results of the independent review completed before discussing their position.
Affils could influence how many heads ultimately roll over the incident.
"Stations are being hammered, and we are taking a beating," said Lee, who is general manager of the CBS affil in Roanoke, Va. "It's a multimedia event. There are tons of e-mails and phone calls after phone calls.
"What viewers say to us is, 'We still have faith in our station, but I'm not sure I believe in CBS News anymore,' " Lee said.
Three men picketed Columbus, Ohio's CBS affiliate WBNS on Monday, irked by the network's reliance on unauthenticated documents to report on Bush's National Guard service. The men called a local radio station and encouraged others to join them, though none did.
One bright spot for CBS News was Madison Avenue: Media buyers said they didn't expect the controversy to cause advertisers to pull ads or stop buying time on CBS News programs.
"I don't think this one incident will have a long-term effect," one buyer said. "People will forgive them if they clean up their mess."
(Willa Paskin contributed to this report.)
Now when he was a young man, he never thought hed be
Spouting all his bs on national TV
His eyeballs never blink
His politics are pink
Born in little Iowa
Ruined CBS Eyea
Now if Id known that Danny boy would flop
Id tape me all his newcasts and throw them down the block
Hes the man, that Dan
Argued with George Bushie
Sits upon his tushie
He spoke a Dem fundraisers, then said it was his bad
Just couldnt understand why folks like me was mad
Playing with some honey
Raising dems some money
He makes up his stories
To increase out worries
Now one fine day he got hisself some memos
Made up one real big story and showed it with some bozos
He tried to swing the election
Got kicked in the midsection
Now hes in big trouble
Looking for a double
The bloggers in pajamas, now they aint so dern dumb
They know that old Dan Rathers duping days are done
Traded with dem spies
Can you say bye bye
Can save the station
Read that again. They are saying that the call is the most damaging because it provides ammunition to Republicans. Man, these folks are even trying to keep up the appearance of objectivity anymore.
THE DOCUMENT ISSUE IS DEALT WITH, FINISH THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR dnCBS... THESE ARE THE ISSUES THAT SHOULD BE IN THE PRESS EVERYWHERE AND IT WILL FINISH dnCBS
The other issues expose HOW THE MEDIA WING OF THE DEMOCRAT PARTY ACTUALLY WORKS! CBS' "gold standard" included:
1. The widow and son were IGNORED
2. Document experts were IGNORED
3. Hodges was MISLED
4. The old secretary was NOT INTERVIEWED until afterward
5. Staudt, who had his character attacked in one memo, was never contacted
6. The opinions of the experts were MISREPRESENTED
7. The swift boat veterans were MALIGNED
8. George Bush's roomate DURING HIS GUARD YEARS, who AGREED TO SPEAK TO THEM WAS TURNED DOWN BECAUSE HE WAS TOO "PRO BUSH"...
And the list goes on. Fact is, this was a HIT PIECE ON BUSH. And just because dnCBS owns up to fake documents does NOT CLEAR THEIR PROPAGANDA / DNC REPORTING!!
Here is my attempt at a limerick:
There once was a reporter named Rather,
about forged memos he did blather.
He set out to trap,
which caused a big flap.
Now he's caught in an impregnable lather.
Let's see, Jamie Gorelick, Bob Kerrey, Richard Ben-Veniste, etc.
very good. the more the merrier!
Mapes is obviously guilty - she can't claim ignorance of Burkett's bias if he is demanding to talk to the Kerry campaign - this show of bias was a giant red flag that only someone with blatant political motives would ignore. Her firing will be the minimum required for CBS to ride this out.
"...appoint members to an independent review panel..." Would someone please explain how C-onstant B-S can appoint a non-partisan, non-biased review panel to review themselves??? Fox guarding the hen house alert!!!
WRITE THE SPONSORS!, RIGHT THE SPONSORS! THE SPONSORS HAVE THE SAY IN THIS.
See-BS will HAVE to fold and do something. There are hundreds of millions on the table.
Add to yor list:
CBS contacted Burkett looking for the documents, Burkett did not call CBS. (can you say set up?)
The affiliates have no other place to go. Rather could scoop the competion by eating his gun on 60 minutes.