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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @
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September 23, 2004

CBS Investigation Will Look Into Stonewalling

Posted by Ernest Miller

Contrary to my post yesterday, the investigation will look into the post-broadcast stonewalling (CBS Investigation Only on Process to Broadcast - Not Stonewalling). According to the Wall Street Journal, which is subscriber only (Viacom Unit Commissions Republican, Ex-AP CEO For Probe of '60 Minutes'):

Mr. Boccardi, who retired from the AP in 2003, said the panel would study not only the process by which the Sept. 8 report anchored by Dan Rather was prepared and broadcast, but also the network's reaction to questions challenging the piece after it aired. CBS and Mr. Rather initially stood firmly behind the story and the documents and that has generated almost as much criticism as the report itself did.

"That is very much part of what we're going to look at," Mr. Boccardi said

A CBS spokeswoman said the primary focus of the panel is the reporting of the story itself, not the aftermath. While there is no timeline for the panel to conclude its investigation, she said the hope is "it moves along at a good pace." [emphasis added]

I'm glad that Mr. Boccardi recognizes the importance of the aftermath issues. Still, one might think that CBS News should have mentioned that in their statement yesterday and the spokeswoman not been quite so dismissive of the aftermath investigation.

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blogging and Journalism


COMMENTS

1. Richard Chaitt on September 26, 2004 12:51 PM writes...

I consider "aftermath" as important as the use of fake documents. CBS acted like a politico under attack. The way they worded follow-up stories, misstatements regarding unimpeachable sources and their 'due diligence' only made them look more foolish, when they were forced to admit their error. Where did CBS learn journalism, under the Nixon White House?

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2. BAYOU BULL on September 27, 2004 08:00 PM writes...

WHAT HAPPENED AT CBS WAS NO MORE THAN A ROLL OF THE DICE. THEY TOOK THE CHANCE THAT THE DOCUMENTS WERE 'REAL' TO BREAK THE STORY FIRST AND LOST. JUST THINK OF ALL THE TIMES THEY ROLLED & WON AND DID THE REAL FOLLOW-UP WITH ALL THE I'S AND T'S DOTTED AND CROSSED AFTER THE FACT.WHEN IS DAN RATHER AND CBS GOING TO APOLOGIZE TO THE PRESIDENT ??? SO FAR THEY HAVE ONLY TOLD THEIR VIEWERS THAT THEY REGRET THE ERROR ////

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3. PrivacyHound on September 29, 2004 07:55 PM writes...

There is *no proof* that these documents are fake. Much of the "outrage" is driven by pro Bush hysteria. While the documents may be in question, CBS had good reason to believe they are authentic. Even today, research shows that they *are not* inconsistent with contemporary document production methods:

http://imrl.usu.edu/bush_memo_study/index.htm

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