Sweating Bush II at CBS

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Players involved in the notorious 60 Minutes II story, reported by Dan Rather, which 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 as much as it was 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, executives at CBS parent Viacom could take a harder line on the executives involved.

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