NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker slammed rival CBS News over the Bush National Guard scandal, insisting that the story would never have made the air at his network.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles Friday, Zucker says it is was "shocking" to see "the degree to which responsibiltiy was abdicated on the a piece about the President of the United States, six weeks before the election." He specifically cited Rather’s "lack of involvement on a piece like that."
Zucker expressed surprise rn that CBS seemed to have none of the safeguards that his own network put in place after its own 1991 scandal involving NBC Dateline.
The newsmagazine failed to disclose that a General Motors car had been rigged to explode during a crash test or that the order of some footage had been switched.
Zucker contended the Bush National Guard scandal would never have happened under Tom Brokaw or Brian Williams.
Regarding CBS Chairman Les Moonves’ comment that he’s considering a mult-anchor approach after Rather steps down from the CBS Evening News, Zucker says if he were in that position "we’d be looking at many of the same things."
Zucker drew a laugh when asked about CBS’ approach to lure Katie Couric away from NBC’s TodayShow to anchor the Evening News."If CBS goes after Katie Couric, we’re going after Julie Chen." The CBS Early Show anchor recently married Moonves.