CBS Internal Investigator: "Mr. Rather, are these documents authentic?"
Mr. Rather: "Yes. We vetted them through experts."
CBS Internal Investigator: "Experts?"
Mr. Rather: "Yes. Experts."
CBS Internal Investigator: "Which experts?"
Mr. Rather: "Top experts."
CBS Internal Investigator: "Please reveal the names of these experts."
Mr. Rather: "A journalist never reveals his sources."
CBS Internal Investigator: "But these aren't sources, they are experts."
Mr. Rather: "These experts are the source for my claim that these documents were, I mean, are authentic."
CBS Internal Investigator: "Thank you for clearing that up."
CBS Internal Investigator: Prepare the press release absolving Mr. Rather and CBS from any wrongdoing. And get a copy of President Bush's honorable discharge papers to Mr. Rather's experts. I've got a hunch...
DOWNDATE: Not a CBS Internal Investigator: "Strike that investigation!"
"This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence, including documents that were provided by unimpeachable sources, interviews with former Texas National Guard officials and individuals who worked closely back in the early 1970s with Colonel Jerry Killian and were well acquainted with his procedures, his character and his thinking," the statement read.
"In addition, the documents are backed up not only by independent handwriting and forensic document experts but by sources familiar with their content," the statement continued. "Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned."
Not a CBS Internal Investigator: "Just issue the press release. And keep digging."