Roger L. Simon

The Big Pinocchio Moment...

… in the Rathergate Report is the assertion that the network’s blunder was not caused by political bias, but by mere competitive zeal–as if a normally intelligent person could not see how both motivations could co-exist, even enhance each other.

The reasons for this silly conclusion are obvious and I think have little to do with Producer Mary Mapes (already thrown overboard) and or even Dan Rather himself (the lamest of ducks), but everything to do with the top brass – Les Moonves and News Director Andrew Heywood. They need to continue the illusion of “unbiased” news for economic reasons above all. (See the internal Moonves memo here.)

But I’m not concerned about these latest prevarications. And not just because CBS has already imploded to some degree. Network News in general is losing its influence at an extraordinarily rapid clip and this is not likely to stop. Lucky for all of us, there is too much competition.