Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Well the CBS "independent" investigation report was released yesterday. And surprisingly it was released to the public in full. It's a big report and I haven't read the whole thing yet. But the gist of it is clear: CBS ignored the basic principles of journalistic integrity when running this story, however they were not politically motivated. The second part is ridiculous of course, but we really didn't expect them to admit to that did we? The report goes on to describe "Myopic zeal" as the major failing of CBS. Funny how CBS will rush to pin political partisanship to bloggers but won't even admit the possibility of having it themselves. Even when it is this blatantly obvious. Senior Vice President Betsy West, who supervised CBS News primetime programs; 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard; and Howard’s deputy, Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy were all asked to resign. Mary Mapes, the producer of the story and phone buddy with Joe Lockhart, was fired. But not for political partisanship, remember it's called "myopic zeal". Also it's being talked about that Rather deciding to resign was directly related to this investigation:
Moonves explained in a memo: "Dan Rather has already apologized for the segment and taken responsibility for his part in the broadcast. He voluntarily moved to set a date to step down from the CBS EVENING NEWS in March of 2005... after examining the report and thinking about its implications, we believe any further action would not be appropriate."
Rather will deny it to his dying day, but the fact is that the bloggers shot him down off his high horse.

This is a true sign that the news paradigm is shifting away from the monopolistic network news services. The New Media, bloggers and talk radio, have forced this shift. The idea that people can get news in their email or from a website that is just as good or better than the evening network news is so inconceivable to the network big wigs that I predict that we will have more Rathergates un the future. Especially with the bloggers wielding the awesome fact checking power of the internet. Roger L. Simon thinks that Anchormen will soon be extinct, or should be. Scrappleface has an interesting idea: Reality TV style news.

Here's the Instapundit roundup of reactions. I will link editorials as the become available.