Published September 24, 2004
BOSTON – Former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite (search) called the network's report questioning President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service "embarrassing" but urged patience until an investigation is complete.
"We must wait while CBS management conduct the investigation they have promised. We can then decide what our reaction should be," said Cronkite, 87, who was in Boston on Thursday night to receive an award.
"The reaction at the moment, of course, is embarrassment for everyone who is connected to CBS, and that embarrassment, I hope, will be squashed in time as we know what happened," he said.
Cronkite's successor, Dan Rather (search) apologized Monday for relying on questionable documents to support the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes" story.
The CBS report cited documents purported to be from one of Bush's commanders in the Texas Air National Guard. The documents say the commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian (search), ordered Bush to take a medical exam, which he did not, and felt pressured to sugarcoat an evaluation of then 1st Lt. Bush.
The network appointed Dick Thornburgh (search), attorney general in the Reagan and first Bush administrations and former Pennsylvania governor, and Louis D. Boccardi (search), who retired last year as president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press, to conduct an investigation into the report.
CBS has promised the two investigators full access and complete cooperation and said it will make their final report public.