Monday, September 20, 2004

CBS News claims: We were deceived

Duh!!!! I think I'm going to get dizzy from all this spinning.

Officials at CBS News now say they have serious doubts about the authenticity of National Guard documents regarding President Bush's military service, claiming the network was misled about the memos.

Published reports cite unnamed CBS sources who said the network would likely make an announcement as early as today to acknowledge it had been deceived about the documents' origins.

"The statement would represent a huge embarrassment for the network, which insisted for days that the documents reported by Dan Rather on '60 Minutes' are authentic," writes Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz. "But the statement could also help defuse a crisis that has torn at the network's credibility."

It was unclear if an apology would be included for broadcasting a report now thought to be based on forged documents, though it was said to be under consideration.

The New York Times reports network officials met last night with Rather to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before deciding on any final course of action.

The admission the network was misled into putting false information on the air is a major reversal from previous statements by CBS News chief Andrew Heyward.

"We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television," Heyward said last week on the CBS Evening News. "There was a great deal of corroborating evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing."

As WorldNetDaily reported, CBS News has stood by its claims in the face of widespread accusations that early 1970s documents used on a Sept. 8 "60 Minutes II" segment to discredit Bush are forgeries, created with a modern word-processing program.

Among the assertions "60 Minutes II" derived from the documents – four memos by Bush's late squadron commander Col. Jerry Killian – were that the commander was pressed to "sugar coat" a performance evaluation for Bush and that the future president did not follow an order to report for a physical.

According to the Times, document specialist Emily Will who inspected the memos for CBS and said she raised concerns about their authenticity, confirmed a Newsweek report that "a producer had told her that the source of the documents said they had been obtained anonymously and through the mail."

She reportedly declined to name the producer who told her this, but indicated the producer was in a position to know.

Click here to see the source of the article. WorldNetDaily: CBS News claims:
We were deceived