Monday, January 10, 2005

Heads roll at CBS (pronounced "See? B.S.!")

Four heads rolled today at CBS as a result of the work they did on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards campaign last fall. What work was that? You know, the umpteenth story on Bush's service in the National Guard in the 1970's...the one based on documents forged by someone with a political axe to grind against Bush. Said forger, Bill Burkett, was referred to by Dan Rather as an "unimpeachable" source...who was nearly immediately impeached as a source.

What's not surprising to me was that none of the canned were Andrew Heyward, CBS News president. Nor Dan Rather, probably because he is already quitting. But what is surprising to me is that one of the canned was Mary Mapes, the producer of the 60 Minutes II segment in question.

No, I know she most certainly deserved to be fired. I'm just surprised they actually went through with it.

According to the report (hat tip to Newsmax for the article):

The independent panel asked to investigate the "60 Minutes Wednesday" report said that CBS, in its "myopic zeal" to be first with the story, sacrificed accuracy and did not meet CBS's internal standards.

"The combination of a new '60 Minutes Wednesday' management team, great deference given to a highly respected producer and the network's news anchor, competitive pressures, and a zealous belief in the truth of the segment seem to have led many to disregard some fundamental journalistic principles," the report concluded.

Emphasis mine. They wanted to believe it, so they ran with it. The only thing that makes me mad about the report, though I knew it was coming, is that the scandal was portrayed as journalistic sloppiness instead of a politically-motivated hit piece...of which there is ample evidence to suggest such.

At any rate, four sacrificial lambs have been slaughtered. Liberals will rejoice this as proof that CBS can be trusted to do the right thing and will clean their house of the scoundrels, and that it exonerates Rather and Heyward from any conspiratorial roles they may have played.

In other words, CBS is (snicker)...Fair and balanced!