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If the CBS documents are frauds should CBS expose the source?

  1. Sep 14, 2004 #1
    The heading says it all. What journalistic purpose can be served by continuing to protect the ultimate source of fraudulent documents? If CBS does not produce the source of these documents, by what logic could they reasonably take this position? As the evidence mounts that these documents are in fact fakes, I for one, am beginning to see a mounting conflict of interest in CBS's position in this matter.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2004 #2
    None, which is why CBS is clinging to their pathetic story that the documents are genuine.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2004 #3
    But wouldn't that imply a liberal bias on the part of CBS? Aren't Dan Rather and the CBS crew at 60 Minutes journalists to the highest principle – just giving us their unbiased news reports and not attempting to be "movers and shakers" in the election process? Isn't that what they tell us?

    No – actually, and sadly, I feel certain you're right. CBS is protecting it's own.
     
  5. Sep 14, 2004 #4
    Admitting the documents are forged would expose their bias even more.

    CBS has no choice but to stick to their guns on this matter, no matter how compelling the evidence that stacks against them. The paper could have a Wal-Mart watermark and they would craft some bull**** reasoning to explain why. They have hitched their cart to this horse.
     
  6. Sep 14, 2004 #5

    russ_watters

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    Yes, I think if they know/think the documents are fake and wish to preserve some semblence of integrity, they should reveal their source.

    But I tend to agree that there is no benefit in it for them right now. They cooked their own goose and they're going down with he ship (can I get some props for the mixed metaphor?). Had they come clean right away, it would have been better. Still, 4 months from now (after it can no longer affect the election), we may see a page 17 retraction in an obscure newspaper somewhere.

    Caveat: it appears their source was the DNC, so really the onus would be on the DNC unless they told CBS. Classic buck-passing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2004
  7. Sep 14, 2004 #6

    kat

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    Falsifying government documents is a felony. They really need to come clean otherwise they are complicit in fraud.
     
  8. Sep 14, 2004 #7
    Great mixed metaphor!
     
  9. Sep 14, 2004 #8

    Gokul43201

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    I haven't seen that leaks about the identities of CIA agents lead to the revealing of a source.

    Maybe they (CBS) need time to figure out exactly what happened and who was responsible for the forgery...maybe if the source is found to be deliberately misleading and/or unreliable, CBS will eventually reveal the identity. Maybe that will be too late to reclaim lost respect...but then, that would be the safest way for them.
     
  10. Sep 14, 2004 #9

    GENIERE

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    I don’t think that CBS should reveal the source. The DNC and Kerry’s campaign simply wished to have this issue brought before the American public. I’m perfectly content to witness their embarrassment on a daily basis until November. Hopefully the DNC will field a viable candidate in 2008.
     
  11. Sep 14, 2004 #10

    Gokul43201

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    If polls put you within 10% of an incumbent "War President" you're viable.
     
  12. Sep 14, 2004 #11
    Is Kerry within 10%? I haven't followed any of the polling.

    But no matter, Kerry was a poor choice. What excuse does he have for trailing? The only possible selection from this field of candidates would have been Joseph Lieberman. At least he would have been smart enough to realize that playing off of Bush' National Guard service wouldn't get him elected.
     
  13. Sep 14, 2004 #12

    russ_watters

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    Just a little clarification here: since the Democratic comittee gave the docs to CBS, its possible that CBS took the "see no evil, hear no evil" approach and really doesn't know where they came from. Obviously its a breach in ethics to not try to check the source, but its not a crime.
     
  14. Sep 15, 2004 #13
    That may not help them in a civil trial, for it smacks of gross negligence.
     
  15. Sep 20, 2004 #14
    Well the source to CBS (if you believe these guys) seems to be Burkett. Burkett says he innocently got the counterfeit documents from another source whom he will not reveal. On top of this, CBS, it is just revealed, contacted Mr. Joe Lockhart (a top aide to Kerry's campaign) regarding these documents and Mr. Burkett days before CBS ‘went public’ with the faked military documents on their 60 Minutes program. First – who is Burkett’s alleged confidential source? (If this person actually exists) Second – why did CBS decide it was ethical to contact Mr. Lockhart about this matter before airing. Third – why was it ethical for CBS to act as a go between for Burkett and Lockhart?


    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicselections/nation/president/2004-09-20-cbs-documents_x.htm
     
  16. Sep 20, 2004 #15
    With the new questions regarding CBS’ contact with a top aide with the Kerry campaign just coming out --- here’s a little history regarding CBS' "unimpeachable source." I do not think that a reasonable person can contend that CBS acted in good faith in this matter. In fact, CBS now appears to have some serious ethical issues to deal with – considering the Lockhart contact, their failure to make a timely acknowledgement, and their misrepresentation of Burkett as an "unimpeachable source" BEFORE it became clear to them that the latest information (the source) would be made public.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36908-2004Sep20.html
     
  17. Sep 21, 2004 #16
    Well, considering that Michael Moore is an unimpeachable source within the liberal camp, what do you expect? Hell, they would consider Joseph Goebbels an unimpeachable source if he had "the goods" on George W.
     
  18. Sep 21, 2004 #17

    russ_watters

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    Like I said in the other thread, I have (had) a good opinion of "60 Minutes" (and I was also wrong in that I expected this to be largely ignored) and I didn't expect the Kerry campaign had much to do with this, but this new development is really, really bad. Its a mainstream media outlet conspiring with a campaign to influence an election. Its tampering with the electoral process. It could (should) bring Rather and Kerry down.
     
  19. Sep 21, 2004 #18
    The Problem: Kerry and Rather wanted to win this election too badly.
     
  20. Sep 21, 2004 #19
    I don't see a direct hit on Kerry yet. Not yet. But the timing of the Kerry campaigns 'Operation Fortunate Son' (Kerry's attempt at alleging that Bush received favorable treatment during his National Guard Service) - in relation to the airing of the documents on the 60 Minutes story is very suspicious. It appears corrdinated in fact. In fact, a commerical was run by the Kerry campaign which mentions the CBS docs just hours after their first airing. How could they do that? -- CBS gave them advance notice. It appears that the Kerry campaign's decision to start their 'Operation Fortunate Son' when they did was a product off CBS' headsup on the memos.
     
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