dinsdag, september 21, 2004

CBS News Apologizes Over Bush Guard Story
"Fair and Balanced, We're Not"

NEW YORK Sept. 21, 2004 — CBS News apologized Monday for a mistake in judgment" in its story questioning President Bush's National Guard service, claiming it's zeal to see the "neofascist dictator" overthrown and his lies exposed, outweighed their journalistic integrity.

The network said that while it could never be as fair and balanced as, let's say Fox News, and confessed to having stooped to new lows in fabricating documents which the Bush Administration had already had destroyed "several years ago" but reminded everyone that news is, after all, "just a matter of perspective".

The story has mushroomed into a major media scandal, threatening the reputations of CBS News and chief anchor Dan Rather who, as we all know, is about as fair and balanced a reporter as they come.

As you recall, Rather is the same Rather who brought us fair and balanced reporting in the past, such as an interview with Saddam Hussein on the brink of the fair and just invasion of Iraq that led of course, to Saddam being deposed, the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, all for the glory of the impregnable President Jesus Bush. (oh yeah, and the war on terrorism, nudge,nudge) FEAR FEAR! 9/11! 9/11! FEAR FEAR!

It also has become an issue in the presidential campaign. The White House said the affair raises questions about the connections between CBS's source, retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, terrorists AND Democrat John Kerry's campaign.

Rather joined CBS News President Andrew Heyward in issuing an apology Monday.

"We we got caught, and for that I am sorry," Rather said. "A valient effort was made but we could not bring down the chimpery of the Oval Office with a handful of poorly forged documents. Nevertheless, and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism, we will just let you know instead that we intend on being very fair and balanced reporting in the future."

Almost immediately after the story aired Sept. 8, document experts questioned memos purportedly written by Bush's late squadron leader, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, saying they appeared to have been created on a computer and not on the kind of typewriter in use during the 1970s.


CBS strongly defended its story against all logic. It wasn't until a week later after Killian's former secretary said she believed the memos were fake that the news division admitted they were questionable.

Burkett admitted this weekend to CBS that he lied about obtaining the documents from another former National Guard member, the network said. CBS hasn't been able to conclusively tell how he forged them, or even definitely tell whether they're fakes or not. But the network has given up trying to defend them.

"Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot figure out a way to make inauthentic documents appear authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report," Heyward said. "We should have used better and more believable forgeries."

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