The latest twist in the CBS document debacle had the issue moving front and center into the presidential campaigns.
Reports in USA Today and elsewhere that a CBS producer had agreed to arrange a phone call between Bill Burkett, CBS's supplier of the disputed documents, and Joe Lockhart, senior Kerry campaign adviser, as one of Burkett's conditions for turning over the memos prompted a swift reply from CBS:
"It is obviously against CBS News Standards and those of every other reputable news organization to be associated with any political agenda," the network said in a statement. "To the best of our understanding there was no deal, but this is one of many issues the independent review will be examining."
Appearing on CNN, DNC Chairman Terry McCauliffe seconded that, saying categorically that there was no deal between the DNC and CBS. For his part, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie was evoking Watergate, asking "what did the Kerry campaign know and when did they know it?" and saying there remained serious questions about the campaign and its involvement.