Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

cBS investigation will be a whitewash

According to a comment from Viacom president Leslie Moonves in Variety, it looks like the cBS investigation of the Rathergate mess will be a whitewash.

"CBS News is awaiting a final report from an independent committee investigating a story on President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard that was sourced, in part, with documents that were found to have been forged.
Moonves said he's confident that any level of negligence found in the decision to air the documents would not prevent Rather from continuing as an investigative reporter for '60 Minutes.'"

The network's position is that Rather's upcoming resignation from the anchor chair is unrelated to the forged documents and coverup case. Now, Moonves is saying that the "investigation" will not disclose anything that would affect Rather's ability to continue on as a full-time investigate reporter; in fact, probably spending the next four years working with Mary Mapes to find the "real documents".

Or maybe the cBS investigation will result in Mapes' termination but, given the delays in the report being issued (likely waiting until interest in the case diminishes), even that might not happen. If Mapes is sent packing, it will likely be with a generous severance payment.

It doesn't look like cBS management is treating this whole episode as anything very significant. Perhaps the fact that the story was attacking George Bush was justification enough to use forged documents.


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