Monday, January 10, 2005
CBS News canned four news employees, including three executives, in the wake of Memogate. The executive producer and the No. 2 at 60 Minutes Wednesday were asked to hand in their resignations, while the producer of the piece was out-and-out fired. They also asked for and accepted the resignation of the VP of prime-time news programming. Not canned was the correspondent of the piece, Dan Rather. The usual Rather-haters and other people are going to say Rather should have been canned over this, it's always the minnows that get it in the end and never the big fish, bla bla blah. (I provided the link to Rathergate which says Rather ought to be fired.) Also not canned was CBS News president Andrew Heyward. But still, a lot of big fish got canned at CBS News today.
This reminds me a little of what happened in the Tailwind scandal at CNN: the two people who produced that bogus Tailwind piece were fired, but the correspondent on the piece (Peter Arnett) was not because all he got to do was recite the words on the piece. Mind you, Arnett's reputation was shredded and he eventually resigned in disgrace, but initially he escaped. Dunno what the future holds for Rather- or for that matter for 60 Minutes Wednesday. They might just decide to cancel the entire show, in which case the minnows really will get hurt in the end.
The report itself slams CBS News for its haste in rushing this story of George W. Bush's National Guard service on the air without properly vetting the piece or authenticating the documents involved in the story.
TVNewser should be having a field day.
Posted by John Cairns at 1:59 PM