CBS Mocked on House Floor


One Florida Republican congressman looking to Capitolize (pun and spelling intended) on CBS News' troubles made sport of the network and its 60 Minutes on the House floor last week.

While some representatives were pushing CBS News chief Andrew Heyward for an explanation of the use of possibly fraudulent documents in a story on President George W. Bush's National Guard service, and California Republican Rep. Christopher Cox was seriously pushing for a congressional investigation, Rep. Tom Feeney took the stand-up route.

"Mr. Speaker, it is very rare that I come to the well to encourage my colleagues to pay attention to television in general or the news in specific," said Feeney, "but I do that here today because there are unconfirmed reports that there are some shocking documents that may be produced tonight on 60 Minutes and CBS News concerning some American presidents.

"It turns out that, reportedly, CBS News has documentary evidence that Washington did not cross the Delaware to surprise the British, but rather, in an attempt to surrender in the American Revolutionary War. We are waiting to see the specifics of these documents.

"Apparently, President Eisenhower, on the day of D-Day, was not commanding the American and allied troops but, rather, was golfing somewhere in the British Isles, and the allegations are that there may be a golf scorecard produced tonight on CBS and 60 Minutes.

It turns out that President Nixon, apparently, we again have not seen the evidence, never did have a dog named Checkers. Actually, the Nixon dog was named Alger Hiss, for [sic] whom the Nixons were secret admirers...."

There was more in the same jugular vein, ending with "I would urge my colleagues not to always believe what you hear. And sometimes, do not even believe what you see."

Since the "but, rather," was only used as a rhetorical device in Feeney's first two examples, it is hard to know whether they were sly jabs at Dan Rather, who has been at the center of the 60 Minutes controversy.  If so, it may have been too hip for the Rotunda.