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BECOMING THE STORY: Questions about Bush memos dog CBS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ^ | September 20, 2004 | David Bauder

Posted on 09/19/2004 9:36:02 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182

CBS News is trying to restore its credibility after questions arose about its report on President Bush's National Guard service - yet it may never conclusively know whether it was duped by fake documents.

For the first time, the news division has acknowledged questions about the authenticity of documents used to support the story, and it has promised a stepped-up effort to get at the truth.

"They could have saved themselves a good deal of negative publicity and attacks if they had said that from the beginning," said Charlotte Grimes, a Syracuse University professor with a specialty in political reporting.

Internet watchdogs were the first to raise questions about last week's report, and CBS anchor Dan Rather's critics have been buzzing ever since.

An editorial cartoon in the Birmingham News pictured a dour-looking Rather saying on camera: "There is not an anti-Bush media bias. And here's a memo to prove it."

The memos, purportedly written by Bush's squadron commander, the late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, indicated that he had been pressured to sugar-coat Bush's performance and that the future president ignored an order to take a physical. Experts say that several documents look as if they were written on computer, not a 1970s-era typewriter.

CBS flew Killian's former secretary, Marian Carr Knox, from Texas to New York Wednesday for an interview, in which she said she believed that the documents were fake but their content accurate.

Although backing away slightly from the documents, CBS has always maintained - and Rather repeated on 60 Minutes Wednesday - that no one has disputed the substance of the story: Bush received preferential treatment to get into the National Guard and didn't fulfill his requirements. But CBS News President Andrew Heyward said that "there obviously remain questions surrounding the documents, and we're going to redouble our effort to get to the bottom of them."

The network has done little to mollify its critics.

"CBS is now clinging to a new and pathetic defense based on the opinion of an 86-year-old woman that she believes her boss believed something," said Brent Bozell, the president of the conservative watchdog Media Research Center. "Sentiments about the spirit of forged documents are utterly irrelevant, but in the tradition of Bill Clinton's classic denials, it all depends on what CBS's definition of 'truth' is."

CBS has refused to name its source and said that the person continues to maintain that the documents are real. Without someone coming forward and admitting a forgery, it may be difficult for CBS to prove it either way.

"That's a good question," Heyward said. "I think the forensics debate may not be resolved, but maybe there's another way to do it. We obviously would not have gone on the air if we hadn't had a tremendous amount of confidence in the story."

CBS could be in the "damnable situation" of having promised confidentiality to a source "and yet they may have been manipulated by that very same source," Grimes said.

There have been calls for CBS to appoint an independent panel to examine its newsgathering process for the story, as CNN did when questions were raised about its Tailwind story.

"These people are very smart, talented and honest," said Richard Wald, a former ABC executive who is now a Columbia University professor. "But smart, talented and honest people make mistakes and get snookered like anyone else from time to time."

CBS hasn't responded to such requests, pointing only to its own reporting efforts. With every major journalistic outlet chasing the story, that independent examination is effectively going on already, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, the director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.

If CBS did rely on false documents, it would be a major blow for Rather, 70, nearing the end of his career. Coupled with the third-place ranking of the CBS Evening News, there's some speculation that it could hasten his departure.

After a strong year for 60 Minutes - the same woman who produced the National Guard story also broke the Abu Ghraib prison-abuse scandal story - it could also raise questions about that broadcast following the exit of founder Don Hewitt.

"They've got a real problem, and I think they will have to figure it out," Wald said. "There are two parts to this problem - the truth and the perception. They have to deal with both."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: memogate; rathergate
"..- yet it may never conclusively know whether it was duped by fake documents..."

We won't from CBS disclosures, that is.

1 posted on 09/19/2004 9:36:02 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182
it may never conclusively know whether it was duped by fake documents

Oh COME ON. I stopped reading here. Let me know if I missed anything.

2 posted on 09/19/2004 9:39:38 PM PDT by TenaciousZ
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To: TenaciousZ
Oh COME ON. I stopped reading here. Let me know if I missed anything.

"These people are very smart, talented and honest," said Richard Wald, a former ABC executive who is now a Columbia University professor. "But smart, talented and honest people make mistakes and get snookered like anyone else from time to time."

3 posted on 09/19/2004 9:40:47 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: Anti-Bubba182

Yes, we won't know if CBS was duped by fake documents, or if they knew they were fake all along.


4 posted on 09/19/2004 9:41:14 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Anti-Bubba182
Although backing away slightly from the documents, CBS has always maintained - and Rather repeated on 60 Minutes Wednesday - that no one has disputed the substance of the story:

Other than Killian's son, Killian's wife, Staudt, Hodges, every known document expert with a telephone, and basically everyone but big-time Dems Burkett and Barnes, I suppose CBS is right!

What a joke of a network.

5 posted on 09/19/2004 9:42:16 PM PDT by Carling (What happened to Sandy Burglar's Docs?)
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To: Anti-Bubba182
I wonder how long it'll be before anyone in the MSM questions the ethics of Rather going to interview Burkette, or of Viacom's business sense, assuming they'll question it at all.

If I ran CBS, I'd make sure Rather no longer got anywhere near the story, much less Burkette.

6 posted on 09/19/2004 9:42:58 PM PDT by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population - have them spayed or neutered.)
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To: AdamSelene235
"These people are very smart, talented and honest," said Richard Wald, a former ABC executive who is now a Columbia University professor.

Now hold on a minute. Is he talking about the CBS people here?

7 posted on 09/19/2004 9:44:34 PM PDT by TenaciousZ
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To: Anti-Bubba182
CBS News is trying to restore its credibility after questions arose about its report on President Bush's National Guard service

Good. AP admits that CBS News has lost its credibility.

- yet it may never conclusively know whether it was duped by fake documents.

That's BS and everybody knows it. It only took half a sentence for AP backslide.

For the first time, the news division has acknowledged questions about the authenticity of documents used to support the story, and it has promised a stepped-up effort to get at the truth.

The idea that CBS was duped is simply not credible.

8 posted on 09/19/2004 10:05:03 PM PDT by Ken H
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To: Ken H
"... The idea that CBS was duped is simply not credible."

Yes, especially after all that came out in the first few following days about the memos and their continuing stonewall.

I am looking for more spin from CBS, probably this Wed on 60Minutes II.

9 posted on 09/19/2004 10:12:20 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182
"That's a good question," Heyward said. "I think the forensics debate may not be resolved, but maybe there's another way to do it.

Forensics? Good god, man! Look at the side-by-sides. Jeez.

"These people are very smart, talented and honest," said Richard Wald, a former ABC executive who is now a Columbia University professor
Bwahahahahahahaha.


Every reasonable person knows the memos are fake.

I don’t think that CBS/DEMS can hold two thought in mind at the same time.
Example:
1. Its an assumed fact that Rove faked the memos.
2. To whom did Rove give the memos? Bwahahahahahaha!

Or, example:
1. Its an assumed fact that Rove was responsible for the faked memos.
2. How did Rove somehow persuade Burkett (or whomever) to fake the documents?
Bwahahahaha!

10 posted on 09/19/2004 10:44:57 PM PDT by Diddley (Buckhead is a pioneer. Pioneers get the arrows.)
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To: Diddley

Looks like CBS is going to come out and admit they were "deceived" after all. It's the smart move. I wonder who gets thrown under the train, if anybody?


11 posted on 09/19/2004 10:50:03 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182

This article, as with most AP articles, would have best been posted with a "Barf Alert". IMHO


12 posted on 09/19/2004 10:53:26 PM PDT by fetts (Getting a straight answer from Kerry is like nailing jello to a tree)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

Mapes is looking "good for dumping", but who knows?


13 posted on 09/20/2004 12:17:02 AM PDT by Diddley (Buckhead is a pioneer. Pioneers get the arrows.)
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To: Anti-Bubba182

They finally admitted they were deceived. Time to re-up the pressure.


14 posted on 09/20/2004 12:22:00 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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