Apologizing for a "mistake in judgment" in its story questioning President Bush's (search) Vietnam-era service in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News said Monday it was misled by the source of documents that many experts have singled out as fakes.

The network said it would appoint an independent panel to look at its reporting about the memos. The story has mushroomed into a major media scandal, threatening the reputations of CBS News and chief anchor Dan Rather (search).

It also has become an issue in the presidential campaign. The White House said the affair raises questions about the connections between CBS' source — retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett — and Democrat John Kerry's campaign.

Rather joined CBS News President Andrew Heyward (search) in issuing an apology Monday.

"We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry," Rather said. "It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism."

Rather added: "It was a mistake CBS News deeply regrets. Also, personally and directly, I am sorry."

Rather sorry: Does he owe the president an apology?

A sample of your responses:

Even though I don't like Rather, I don't feel he owes the president an apology unless he personally forged the documents. What Rather owes to all of us is a commitment to reporting accurate news, something he and the major networks' news stars haven't done for years.
Ken F.
Clare, MI

Not only does Rather owe the president an apology, but he owes America a resignation. What little credibility he had is completely gone. Remember his words "our source is unimpeachable."
Larry M.
Chardon, OH

Dan Rather not only owes the President an apology, more importantly, he owes his viewers an honest apology. He's said he's sorry, but for what? I think he's sorry he got caught. If he was truly sorry, he would admit the documents are a forgery, not just claim that he can't authenticate them. It's a non-apology apology.
Norm S.
Marlboro, N.J.

I am so glad Dan Rather did not apologize directly to President Bush. It would have been such a great gesture way above what I would expect of Rather. Thanks Dan for living up to my expectations.
Jerry W.
Atlanta, GA

Rather should not apologize; The Bushes should apologize to America:
1) Neil Bush and the savings and loan crisis
2) George Bush wimping out in Iraq in 9/11
3) Jeb Bush and thousands of votes not counted in 2000
4) President Bush for misleading America on Iraq
Joe K.
Clinton, MA

Enough already. To anyone who has been paying attention, we know what Dan Rather and John Kerry are all about. Lets spend more time talking about the beheading of another innocent American. I don't want to become "desensitized" to the beheadings. Our way of life is being threatened and we are more concerned about Dan Rather? Let's talk about what really matters.
Edie M.
Atlanta, GA

Rather need not apologize, but CBS should register as a 527.
Kirt G.
Guilford, CT


Dan Rather's apology did not go far enough. Yesterday, he looked as though he had eaten glass, when he offered his apology to the public. He definitely owes President Bush an apology.
Linda M.
Jacksonville, FL

Am I the only one in America that considers CBS' attempted manipulation of the election as a treasonous act? No, an apology's not good enough.
Bob C.
North Little Rock, AR

Absolutely Rather should apologize to the President, as should McAuliffe. I have been wondering about this ever since the fake docs came to light. It seems as though disrespecting our President has become acceptable and fashionable and I'm disgusted.
Eileen C.
Jacksonville, NC

I am quite sure most American would like to hear about the real news. Small things like the economy, education, heath care. Can all of you guys get a clue and talk about things that matter? I don't think that what Kerry or President Bush did or did not do 30 years ago will make my life better or worse.
Ginny D.
Sherrill, NY

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