Investigators appointed in CBS Memogate

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Main Question or Discussion Point

CBS has appointed two investigators to the Memogate story. According to Reuters, it's former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and former Associated Press chief executive Louis Boccardi. Considering how close it is to the election – I have to wonder how long this investigation will take? Will the results come out as they’re discovered or all at once? Considering all of the questions left unanswered by CBS this may take some time.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=entertainmentNews&storyID=6307710

Still, this story may be allowed to die without CBS addressing a few obvious, but unanswered MAJOR questions.

Here's a start.

Who or what caused CBS to contact Burkett?

Did Burkett originally indicate to CBS that he would not identify the source of the documents? (No questions asked by CBS?)

If Burkett indicated George Conn as the source, did CBS verify with Conn?

Does anyone know how CBS came to the conclusion that Burkett was an "unimpeachable source?"

Was Lockhart the only Kerry aide contacted by CBS? If not, who else did CBS contact?


Answers here MIGHT fill some of the gaping hole left by CBS' "apology" / explaination.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
GENIERE
Collusion among the DNC, the Kerry Campaign and CBS has occurred and is criminal. The FCC, FEC, Congress, and the FBI must all be involved in the necessary investigation.

- -
 
  • #3
BobG
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Here's all the analysis that has to be done.

CBS worked six months preparing a story on how the Bush administration was duped by a forged document suggesting Iraq tried to purchase Uranium from Niger.

They bumped it to do a higher priority story: documented proof of something 99% of the US population already knew was true - George Bush got an easy out from the Vietnam War because his dad could get him into the National Guard and the young George Bush was not very diligent in performing his Guard duties.

Believe it or not, this was a good decision.

What's left of Bush's bounce from the Republican Converntion? 0. What's Dan Rather's bounce resulting from the Bush Guard story? +14 points.

The forged Bush documents turned a lame story into a 14 point story. The producer gets the axe to save face, but this is the best thing to happen to Dan Rather's ratings in years.
 
  • #4
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They bumped it to do a higher priority story: documented proof of something 99% of the US population already knew was true - George Bush got an easy out from the Vietnam War because his dad could get him into the National Guard and the young George Bush was not very diligent in performing his Guard duties.
You meant to say "... documented proof of something 99% of those who hate Goerge Bush already thought was true.."

As for me, I don't know if he received preferential treatment or not. It is certainly possible, maybe even likely. But I don't know for sure, and I really don't care. If Bill Clinton is electable after dodging the draft and high-tailing it to England, then George W. Bush should be electable after serving in the Air National Guard.

Do you agree?

So what is the difference? Well, Bill Clinton loathed the military. John Kerry stabbed them in the back. George W. may not have been killing Communists, but he has displayed nothing but admiration for our troops. Can't say the same about Clinton and Kerry, can you?
 
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  • #5
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The forged Bush documents turned a lame story into a 14 point story. The producer gets the axe to save face, but this is the best thing to happen to Dan Rather's ratings in years.
Sure, for maybe one week. If you think CBS is popping Champagne bottles over this, you're nuts.

By the way, I admire your spin. The way you made it appear that it would have better for Bush if no one had ever discovered the memos were forged is incredible. I admire your imagination and spunk. You have a future in the Democratic Party.

Let's see... Sonny Liston was lucky to be knocked out by Cassius Clay. The best thing that ever happened to him. More notoriety, right?
 
  • #6
BobG
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No, I wasn't implying it would be better for Bush if no one discovered the documents were forged. It was more a cynical comment on the relationship between TV and reality.

In a logical world, discovering the documents were forged would be better for Bush than for CBS ratings. And, of course, the spike in ratings is sure to last about as long as the candidates' bounce from their conventions. Within a few weeks, this story has no effect on CBS at all.
 
  • #7
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You didn't answer my question:

If Bill Clinton is electable after dodging the draft and high-tailing it to England, then George W. Bush should be electable after serving in the Air National Guard.

Do you agree?
 
  • #8
BobG
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Yes, both are electable in spite of their feelings about going to war in Viet Nam. It wasn't a popular enough war to make avoiding it an irreparable black mark.

By the way, making a Bush to Clinton comparison is like saying 'His behavior is above reproach' (reproach means disgrace). It's pretty weak praise. But, both were pretty disappointing nominations for their overall lifestyle and character, not any single incident.
 
  • #9
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BobG said:
...Believe it or not, this was a good decision.

What's left of Bush's bounce from the Republican Converntion? 0. What's Dan Rather's bounce resulting from the Bush Guard story? +14 points.

The forged Bush documents turned a lame story into a 14 point story. The producer gets the axe to save face, but this is the best thing to happen to Dan Rather's ratings in years.
A "good decision?" I doubt that it was a "good decision" by any standard.
Unethical contact, like live TV murders, is not a way to raise TV market share. Gees, we've had enough of Lacy Peterson type storys, lets not sink it to new, untested depths of trading ethics for ratings. Yet our opinions matter little to CBS or Dan Rather when compared to those of Sumner Redstone.

Viacom Chairman and self described liberal democrat, Sumner Redstone, appears ready to take the results of the pending investigation into CBS' mishandling of the document and contacts with the Kerry campaign seriously. Sumner indicated that he was “very concerned” about the 60 Minutes report. I suspect the appropriate action and consequences he vows might very well speed up the date of Rather's retirement party.

This is from Forbes

HONG KONG - Here's one breaking story that Dan Rather will be watching closely.

Reacting to the document scandal at CBS News, Sumner M. Redstone, chairman and chief executive of Viacom (nyse: VIAb - news - people ), CBS' parent, vowed that the results of a recently announced probe would be "appropriate--and the consequences will be appropriate."

Speaking before the Forbes Global CEO Conference here, Redstone told delegates he has been "very concerned" about a Sept. 8, 2004, 60 Minutes story reported by Rather that suggested lapses in President George W. Bush's military record. CBS has since conceded that the documents on which the story was based could not be authenticated. Rather has apologized, and CBS News has said the story was a mistake…
http://www.forbes.com/business/2004/09/23/cz_sp_0923cbs.html?partner=yahoo&referrer [Broken]
 
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  • #10
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AAAAAAAAAAAAAH ----- ANNNNND --- HERE WE GO!!!

The top ten questions we ALL have wanted to ask Sumner Redstone. Right?

OK – not what you expected. So, just grab a beer, read the first two, then click the link and settle back --- if you’re – ah - inclined.

Beer makes everything more interesting.

10 QUESTIONS FOR SUMNER REDSTONE:

VIACOM CEO SUMNER REDSTONE’S REACTION TO CBS BACKING DOWN FROM BUSH SERVICE STORY ‘WAS ONE OF SEVERE DISTRESS,’ HE TELLS TIME

NEW YORK: “My reaction from the beginning was one of severe distress,” Sumner Redstone, chairman and CEO of Viacom, says when asked about his reaction to when CBS News backed down after defending its story on Bush’s service record. Redstone spoke with TIME’s Neil Gough in Guangzhou, China, where Redstone announced new business ventures in China country for MTV and Nickelodeon.

Asked if Dan Rather would be able to remain as long as he wants as anchor Redstone said: ”I already said that I would wait for the report to try to determine whether there should be any consequences to anybody at CBS News. I have found him, by the way, to be a very good reporter over the years. And, frankly, a very good friend. And I grieved all the more because of that friendship.” …
And oh god ---- I feel Sumner’s pain! And I mean something other than the pile of money ass hurting pain I’d be sitting on as Sumner Redstone. I’m talking about REAL PAIN ---the pain liberals practice in front of mirrors.

http://www.time.com/time/press_releases/article/0,8599,702106,00.html

Oh, and you can buy Al Franken’s book at this site. The one where Al is pictured on the cover, arms crossed, doing that smarmy, I’m the liberal intelligentsia with his mouth. Yes - "mouth" and yes "Al" - every prisoner's dream -
 

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