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01/04/2005 Archived Entry: "CBS"
On Monday, the media watchdog site RatherBiased speculated on whether CBS was trying to repair its relationship with the Bush Administration in the wake of Dan Rather's Memogate scandal....
Remember? -- the discredited "60 Minutes" story in which George Bush's National Guard service was severely slammed on the basis of a memo that bloggers immediately spotted as a forgery. RatherBiased promised to get back to its readership with a hard answer. (The reason CBS would want to make a groveling, desperate play for forgiveness is clear. Rather has been banned from the White House. And, as Newsweek reported, "Bush seemed to be enjoying the discomfiture of Dan Rather and CBS over the phony documents. At a press conference in mid-September with interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Bush called out, 'Is anybody here from CBS?' He sounded more needling than gracious." Clearly, CBS wants to be there again.)
This morning RatherBiased confirmed the rumor...at least, part of it. "A spokeswoman for CBS News told RatherBiased.com that news president Andrew Heyward and Washington Bureau chief Janet Leissner did meet with White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett as reported below." The unconfirmed part: what was discussed. Not that it takes investigative journalism to come up with a working hypothesis. An additional rumor has been floating: CBS is trying to set up a swan song for Dan Rather before he retires from news broadcasting. As it stands, the man will leave in disgrace with news sites and bloggers giving him a slew of "the worst of --- " awards as his final remembrance. Unless, of course, the last interview of his career is with George W., an interview which would indicate Presidential forgiveness and allow CBS to wipe the now-hardened egg off its face. Anyway, that's the rumor according to Broadcast and Cable: Rather may be trying to interview Bush.