CBS Ousts Four Employees Over Bush Story

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A “myopic zeal” led CBS News to disregarded basic principles of journalism and air an erroneous story about President Bush (newsweb sites)’s military service record, said an independent report released on Monday, prompting the network to fire four employees for their roles.”

The panel was convened after anchor Dan Rather delivered a report on the “60 Minutes II” news magazine program on Sept. 8, 2004, charging that Bush received special treatment while in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Twelve days later, CBS News retracted the report and Rather apologized, saying they were duped by bogus documents. Rather, whose retirement had been expected soon, later announced he would step down in March.

The report by the independent panel found CBS failed to determine the accuracy of the documents and then waged a defensive campaign rather than get to the heart of the matter. The report added the independent panel had not determined whether the documents in question were authentic or forgeries.

“These problems were caused primarily by a myopic zeal to be the first news organization to broadcast what was believed to be a new story … and the rigid and blind defense of the segment after it aired despite numerous indications of its shortcomings,” said the report by the panel headed by former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi, retired head of the Associated Press.”

What I did not see in this article is who these people were and what steps are being taken to prevent the problem from reoccurring. I am not concerned about the names of the terminated employees, just wondering what their roles were.

More importantly, what is being done to prevent a repetition of this.

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  1. Jack's Shack January 12, 2005 at 9:11 pm

    I believe in setting higher standards.

  2. mquest January 12, 2005 at 9:09 pm

    You expect this from network news?

  3. Jack's Shack January 11, 2005 at 6:51 am

    It was shoddy journalism, it just bothers me. I don’t want to read about this kind of behavior. I want “believe” that my news is presented after a thorough fact checking.

  4. mquest January 11, 2005 at 12:45 am

    They were all high up in the 60 min organization. They from what I can tell- were all part of a golden team that everyone in the industry wanted to be part of.

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