Monday, January 10, 2005
CBS Report...The Bottom Line
While the panel said it was not prepared to brand the Killian documents as an outright forgery, it raised serious questions about their authenticity and the way CBS News handled them.Even with this devastating report in hand CBS STILL can't state the documents are forgeries!
From the report:
Since the critics claimed that the Killian
documents were fakes, one tack was to defend the authenticity of the documents. In addition,
however, 60 Minutes Wednesday also argued from the outset that regardless of the authenticity
of the documents, the content of the documents was accurate and thus provided confirmation in
and of themselves of the documents’ authenticity. Another view, which was quickly rejected,
was that 60 Minutes Wednesday should take a new, harder look at the reporting of the story
before defending it further. Ultimately, the 60 Minutes Wednesday focus on the accuracy of the
content of the documents overtook the authenticity issue, such that 60 Minutes Wednesday came
to argue that the most important issue was that the content of the September 8 Segment was
The Panel finds that the questions and assaults directed towards the September 8 Segment
should have been answered with fresh, independent reporting to determine their validity,
certainly by or shortly after September 10. Instead, 60 Minutes Wednesday answered with an
unyielding and strident defense and lost the battle.
Behind all of the Aftermath’s missteps lay the fierce conviction of some at CBS News
that the story was true and there was a refusal by some to consider that it might be false. That
unwillingness led CBS News to ignore mounting evidence – detailed throughout this Report –
that there were problems with the documents and the adequacy of the original reporting.
Mover Mike - 3000