CBS arranged for a confidential source to talk with Joe Lockhart, a top aide to John Kerry, after the source provided the network with the now-disputed documents about President Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard.
Lockhart, the former press secretary to President Clinton, said a producer talked to him about the 60 Minutes program a few days before it aired on Sept. 8. She gave Lockhart a telephone number and asked him to call Bill Burkett, a former Texas National Guard officer who gave CBS the documents. Lockhart couldn’t recall the producer’s name. But CBS said Monday night that it would examine the role of producer Mary Mapes in passing the name to Lockhart.
Burkett told USA TODAY that he had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS if the network would arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign.
So, let me get this straight. CBS just spent more than a week “protecting” the identity of Burkett, refusing to release his name to the general public–but they did put him in touch with a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign, before their story ran? The same week when the DNC started running ads based on the CBS story, which built on Burkett-supplied forgeries?
That’s the tipping point. This is officially a major political scandal, not just an embarrassment to a dinosaur news outlet.
CBS is toast. Dan Rather is toast. Joe Lockhart is toast… and John Kerry is burned French toast about to be tossed out in le dumpster.
Stick a fork in all of the above. They’re done.