CBS Stands By Story, Investigates Criticisms - Broadcasting & Cable

CBS Stands By Story, Investigates Criticisms

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CBS continued to defend its story questioning President George W. Bush's National Guard service Wednesday night amid growing criticism that the story was based, in part, on bogus documents.

In a release to the press, the network said two of the four document experts it consulted had since "misrepresented their conversations and communication with CBS News," while two others stood by their assessments. Still, CBS said, "for now, the disagreements among 'dueling experts' have not been resolved."

CBS said it had obtained six memos from the personnel files of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian from a source with "access to the documents he provided [seeming to suggest the source was a man] and an opportunity to obtain copies of them." CBS continued to protect him, however, saying it does not reveal confidential sources.

The network featured an interview with Marion Carr Knox on 60 Minutes Wednesday night in which the 86-year-old former secretary to Killian said she did not believe the documents were genuine, but that the sentiments they expressed were.

"In light of the questions about that original 60 Minutes Wednesday report," the network said, "CBS News states that it will redouble its efforts to continue reporting aggressively on all aspects of the story in an effort to resolve those questions."

CBS News President Andrew Heyward said the network would not have run the story if it hadn't vetted it thoroughly, but he also pledged to "redouble our efforts" to answer the network's critics.

Newsman Dan Rather said that if the documents were a fraud, he wanted to be the one to break that story.

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