Wednesday, February 16, 2005

CBS 3 fights back

Recall that when the Thornburgh-Boccardi report came out on the false Dan Rather report that Bush had skipped National Guard service, CBS President Leslie Moonves fired Mary Mapes (the report's producer) and requested the resignation of three others: Josh Howard, Mary Murphy and Betsy West. Howard was the executive producer of 60 Minutes II, Murphy was his right-hand deputy, West was the deputy immediately under news division head Andrew Heyward. Heyward was not (semi-)sacked. Howard, Murphy and West have all been relieved of their duties and sought legal counsel, but they are all still employed by CBS and drawing paychecks.

Howard seemingly has the best case of the group -- he wanted an investigation of the report shortly after Powerline and Little Green Footballs showed its falsity and he did not call for circling the wagons. His suggested directives are actually closer to the plan of action suggested by Gil Schwartz, the CBS communications exec. who called for an immediate investigation to authenticate and verify the false documents (and who said CBS had better be able to prove their accuracy), than to the bunker mentality CBS showed. But there's a question as to how much Howard tried to implement those suggestions.

This will be more and more interesting.

More here as the Captain hopes Howard's lawsuit goes forward and has massive discovery that would bring the CBS decision-making (and bias) under more scrutiny, and here.

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