KCTV 5 claims to be a community activist but...
KCTV 5 has a scambusters team. The Kansas City CBS affiliate loves to go around busting the big guy for malfeasance against the public they so valiantly defend. Well I say I see more B.S.
I wrote KCTV to inquire pointedly about their stance on the CBS scandal and urged them to take some sort of action. It looks like they've set up an automated defense front there and nothing more. KCTV 5 is quite willing to let *their* guys defraud the community, and they love to find people who stonewall on camera. Well, I've got news for you guys. You won't even have to leave the office for the next report.
Below is my email to KCTV and the response from Beth Green, a program director there. I don't think the response adequately answered my questions and I am going to have to call somebody. I'll let you know how that turns out.
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 2004
To: kctv station account
Subject: The forged CBS memos
To whom it may concern:
The evidence is mounting against CBS news in this story and their insistence on stonewalling is an affront to my sense of truth. The arrogant attitude they have adopted in response to honest and serious questions about their reporting methods reflects poorly on your integrity as its affiliate.
I am curious what your position is on this matter, as I support an effort to insist on a retraction and appropriate investigation of the many questions regarding the way CBS reported this story. Using forgeries as a centerpiece of a story revival that is timed so coincidentally with the "fortunate son" campaign by the Kerry campaign is a serious issue affecting the working of our Democracy, especially in an election year.
I plan to post your response on my weblog, and I hope that you are able to reassure me that you are not an organization that accepts such blatant disregard for simple ethics.
And now the response, which again is polite yet only willing to pass my comments along. No one wants to state that this is wrong and they agree with it. Some community consideration please:
Thank you for your recent email. CBS News has released a statement on their position on the reports Mr. Rather gave on 60 Minutes Wednesday, September 8, and on the CBS Evening News on Monday, September 13. Below are excerpts from that statement:
"In light of the questions about the 60 Minutes that aired on Wednesday, September 8, regarding President Bush’s service at the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News states that it will redouble its efforts to continue reporting aggressively on all aspects of the story in an effort to resolve those questions.
The CBS News report was based on a preponderance of evidence: many interviews, both on- and off-camera, with individuals with direct and indirect knowledge of the situation, atmosphere and events of the period in question, as well as the procedures, character and thinking of Lt. Col. Killian, Bush’s squadron commander in the Guard, at the time. The report also included the first television interview with Ben Barnes, a Democrat and current fundraiser for John Kerry, who said he helped get Mr. Bush into the Texas Air National Guard at the request of a Bush family friend.
Numerous questions have been raised about the authenticity of the documents. CBS News believes it is important for the news media to be accountable and address legitimate questions.
The 60 Minutes broadcast reported that it obtained six documents from the personal files of Lt. Col. Killian, four of which were used in the broadcast. In accordance with longstanding journalistic ethics, CBS News is not prepared to reveal its confidential sources or the method by which 60 Minutes Wednesday received the documents. CBS News’ reporting determined that the source of the memos had access to the documents he provided and an opportunity to obtain copies of them. The sources included individuals who had first-hand knowledge of the events in question.
Additionally, the producer of the report has been following this story for more than five years. She has a vast and detailed knowledge of the issues surrounding President Bush’s service in the Guard and of the individuals involved in the story. Before the report was broadcast, it was vetted and screened in accordance with CBS News standards by several veteran 60 Minutes Wednesday senior producers and CBS News executives.
Four independent individuals with expertise in the authentication of documents were consulted prior to the broadcast of the story. Additionally, two more individuals with specific expertise relative to the documents were asked to examine the documents after the initial broadcast for a report in the Sept. 13 CBS Evening News. They, too, found nothing to lead them to believe that the documents did not date back to the early 1970’s.
In conclusion, the editorial content of the report was not based solely on the physical documents, but also on numerous credible sources who supported what the documents said.
Through all of the frenzied debate of the past week, the basic content of the 60 Minutes Wednesday report – that President Bush received preferential treatment to gain entrance to the Texas Air National Guard and that he many not have fulfilled all of the requirements – has not been substantially challenged.
CBS News will make every effort to resolve the contradictions and answer the unanswered questions about the documents and will continue to report on all aspects of the story."
The entire statement and an opportunity to view the documents and expert opinions can be found at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/15/60II/main643768.shtml
Also, we will pass your comments on to CBS.
Thanks again for writing.
Looks like CBS had better have one *hell* of a fall lineup.
posted by M@ at 8:16 PM