September 19, 2004
RATHERGATE UPDATE: Howard Kurtz has more on CBS's rush to broadcast while questions remained unaddressed:
An examination of the process that led to the broadcast, based on interviews with the participants and more than 20 independent analysts, shows that CBS rushed the story onto the air while ignoring the advice of its own outside experts, and used as corroborating witnesses people who had no firsthand knowledge of the documents.
This is quite embarrassing, especially given the political cast. But in my opinion, their behavior since the broadcast has been worse. Anybody can make a mistake, even a stupid one. It's their consistent refusal to admit it, amid a fog of counteraccusations, that has been really disgraceful.
UPDATE: A RatherGate Web of Connections, at PoliDock.
ANOTHER UPDATE: More from Newsweek:
CBS insiders are increasingly worried that the credibility of the network's news division has been grievously damaged by anchor Dan Rather's persistent defense of a story which relied on questionable documents about George W. Bush's National Guard service. "This has clearly hurt us," one veteran correspondent told NEWSWEEK. Network sources describe finger-pointing within the news division, with concerns greatest among "60 Minutes" producers, who fear the issue has tainted their entire program. While CBS News president Andrew Heyward has publicly backed Rather, the network has quietly assembled a team of additional producers to work the case. Rather is privately telling colleagues he remains "confident" that the story, and the memos, will be vindicated. . . .
Emily Will, a documents expert approached by CBS to examine the memos, told NEWSWEEK that she was told by a CBS News producer that the network's source had received the memos anonymously through the mail.
Hmm. Sounds like an L.A. Times headline: "Rather aides increasingly confident!"