After Cable News Network unveiled its stash of al-Qaeda training videos
Sunday night, CBS News moved quickly to air similar tapes it had acquired on its
CBS procured 30 to 35 tapes from a source in Afghanistan 'a while ago,' and
it had been planning to air parts in a prime time special, according to CBS News senior vice president of news coverage Marcy
'When it was clear that CNN had them, then we had no choice but to put them out,'
she said. CBS played segments on The Early Show and the CBS Evening
McGinnis declined to identify CBS' source, but she said the network had paid a
standard video fee for the tapes.
Amid some contradictory reports, CNN reiterated Tuesday that it also paid for a cache of al-Qaeda video tapes.
'Though intermediaries were not paid, the network did pay a reasonable sum to those involved in the recovery of the tape,' CNN said.
The news net emphasized that individuals paid were not connected to Osama bin Laden or his terrorist organization.
Confusion arose after CNN correspondent Nic Robertson told the New York Times and Associated Press that CNN did not pay for the tapes, which he obtained from an Afghani source.
In other reports, however, CNN officials said they paid a five-figure sum. That figure is said to be around $30,000. CNN said it 'did not mean to leave the impression that it did not pay for the tapes.'
CBS' tapes have been in London, where experts have been analyzing and
verifying the footage.
The CNN and CBS collections are similar, including the same grotesque video
of chemical testing on dogs and ABC News' John Miller interviewing Osama bin
CNN, however, has more material, with about 64 tapes in its possession.
CBS may still use the tapes for a prime time special.
Producers are combing through the footage for additional material.