Monday, January 10, 2005

CBS Report: False Witness 

How interesting. Just as our RCIA class beings studying the 10 Commandments, the CBS report comes out, giving us a great example of what not to do. I took the time to read the report and was surprised at the weak response of CBS. If you remember, the issue was that 60 Minutes/Wednesday reported that a Kerry fundraiser, Ben Barnes, and four faked documents proved that President Bush was a screw up in the Air National Guard and only got in because of his family name. The panel investigating wrote a report showing that nothing CBS reported could be proven. In fact, the report says that Dan Rather didn't even believe his own apology to its viewers and to this day beleives the story is true "because the facts fit."

Let's say that story wasn't about a presidential candidate just before an election, let's say it was about me or you and every single item in the report was shown to be made up and untrue. Would you want an apology? I sure would. Did the panel recommend that Dan Rather and 60 Minutes apologize to President Bush? No.

There can be no reconcilliation if there is no admission of sin. Mary Mapes, Dan Rather and CBS News were out to get President Bush any way they could. They didn't let the facts stand in their way. If an expert said a document was false, that expert was ignored. If a source said the documents came from a third party, that third part was never contacted. If a source was negative toward President Bush, that source was unimpeachable and included. If a source was positive toward President Bush, that source was considered impeached and sullied and thrown out. These type of decisions are not the type of decisions made by journalists, they are the type of decisions made by politicians. Reporting from only one side makes a report political and the fact that the panel could find no political bias is ridiculous.

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