Roger L. Simon

Where They "Stopped the Buck" at CBS

Well, the long-awaited CBS internal report on Rathergate is out, at least an extensive article on same is up on the network’s site. It seems at first glance pretty thorough. Heads (from Senior Vice President Betsy West to zealot producer Mary Mapes) have rolled. But the buck, as it always does, stopped somewhere, in this case at Ms. West, sparing CBS News’ president:

The panel believes a turning point came on Sept. 10, when CBS News President Andrew Heyward ordered Betsy West to review the opinions of document examiners who had seen the disputed documents and the confidential sources supporting the story.

But no such investigation was undertaken.

“Had this directive been followed promptly, the panel does not believe that 60 Minutes Wednesday would have publicly defended the segment for another 10 days,” the report said.

We’ll see if this holds up.

UPATE: This is the complete report. Have at it.

MORE: Of interest, I think, is that, as of 9AM, Google News contains no reference to the CBS internal investigation on their front page, which references such “important” things as a football player “mooning” Packers fans after a touchdown. The NYT, however, runs it high on its front page, linking this AP story.