Sweating Bush II at CBS11/07/2004 07:00:00 PM Eastern
Players involved in the notorious 60 Minutes-on-Wednesday segment, reported by Dan Rather, that employed dubious documents regarding President Bush's National Guard service may have been rooting for a John Kerry victory.
No, it wasn't that old bugaboo, liberal media bias, so much as a bias toward saving their own skins. The report from an internal investigation into the documents mess was purposely being held until after the election.
Pre-election, the feeling in some quarters at CBS was that, if Kerry triumphed, fallout from the investigation would be relatively minimal. The controversial piece's producer, Mary Mapes, would likely be suspended or fired, but a long list of others up the chain of command—from 60 Minutes II executive producer Josh Howard, to Rather and all the way up to news division President Andrew Heyward—would escape more or less unscathed.
But now, faced with four more years of President Bush, whom CBS News maligned with dicey documents, executives at CBS parent Viacom are more likely to take a harder line on the executives involved.