September 20, 2004

Too Little, Too Late

First, CBS News:

CBS News on Monday said it regretted broadcasting a story about President Bush's military service based on documents whose authenticity is in doubt, saying the source of the material had misled the network.

CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, the reporter of the original story, apologized.

In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett "has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents" and "admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."

The network did not say the memoranda purportedly written by one of Mr. Bush's National Guard commanders were forgeries. But the network did say it could not authenticate the documents and that it should not have reported them.

"Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report," said the statement by CBS News President Andrew Heyward. "We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret.

"Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting," Heyward continued. "We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust."

Additional reporting on the documents will air on Monday's CBS Evening News, including the interview of Burkett by Rather. CBS News pledged "an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken."

And then, Dan Rather:

In a separate statement, Rather said that "after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically."

"I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers," he said.

"We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry," Rather added.

Where's the apology to the people who's motives you questioned Mr. Rather? I don't detect anything but being sorry you got caught in trying to peddle a lie that was obvious to anyone not drinking the Kool-Aid. The Alan Parson's Project had this latest fiasco with CBS News nailed over twenty years ago with Eye in the Sky, just think of CBS News as the chorus in response to what the rest of the blogosphere has been singing for a while:

Don't think sorry's easily said.
Don't try turning tables instead.
You've taken lots of chances before,
But I'm not gonna give anymore.
Don't ask me.
That's how it goes,
'Cause part of me knows what you're thinkin'.

Don't say words you're gonna regret.
Don't let the fire rush to your head.
I've heard the accusation before,
And I ain't gonna take any more.
Believe me.
The sun in your eyes,
Made some of the lies worth believing.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you,
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools,
I can cheat you blind.
And I don't need to see any more
To know that,
I can read your mind, I can read your mind.

Don't leave false illusions behind.
Don't cry, cause I ain't changing my mind.
So find another fool like before.
'Cause I ain't gonna live anymore believing,
Some of the lies, while all of the signs are deceiving.

I am the eye in the sky,
Looking at you,
I can read your mind.
I am the maker of rules,
Dealing with fools,
I can cheat you blind.
And I don't need to see any more
To know that,
I can read your mind, I can read your mind.

Posted by Charles Austin at September 20, 2004 12:48 PM
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