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's role: Off the hook or get the hook?
A sample of your responses:
Dan Rather has lost the credibility he has worked so hard to attain and maintain by supporting these obvious false accusations. He has not properly apologized for his actions. I used to watch CBS News but will no longer even if it is just to see what the left is presenting as factual. I am fed up with their lies.
Oklahoma City, OK
It seems to me that Dan Rather is being unfairly attacked for a document he read. Reporters are supposed to read the news, not have an opinion and scrutinize every aspect of it. As for the document itself, I am appalled by it; it's almost as offensive as the Swift Boat ads, but not nearly as offensive as finding out there were no WMDs and that our country got duped by Dubbya. Personally, I try to watch all the news channels and am capable of making my own opinion that is not influenced by anyone else's political affiliation.
This is the man CBS pushed Walter Cronkite out for? Time for Dan to go as well. We, the American people need fair and balanced reporting to be able to come to an educated decision of our own without people like Dan Rather screwing with the facts to promote his own liberal point of view. Dan Rather appears to have perpetrated a fraud on the American people. No matter who started the story, he reported it and people depended upon him for the truth.
Morris Plains, NJ
I think Dan Rather should get the hook. Even though they are admitting that the documents might be false, he continues to stand for what they stated. What really bothers me is that it is more important for them to cover their butt rather than really care about the truth. It doesn't bother them that they have presented something that might not be true. How many other people have they accused of something and the truth was never revealed? Just can't trust them anymore!
I think Rather should be off the hook. I do think that he is sorry about this. And I don't believe he would ever say a forged document was true unless he believed it to be so. I also feel that the media is keeping this going and that the media is more interested in this than the American public. I do not believe that most Americans are talking about this at their tables every night. I have been talking about those poor children in Russia. More military being sent to Iraq and better health care for Americans. We are discussing the election and who can best make our future better. In my opinion, it's time to put an end to this.
I vote him off the island.
I'm a huge fan of the show and watch every morning when I wake up. But if I have to wake up to Memogate again, I'm gonna start sleeping in. How much more can there be to say about this subject?
Let Dan stay with CBS. He personally drives more people like myself to Fox News. You cannot afford any ad campaign this effective.
Rather should get the hook. It is clear he is no longer being objective. Despite the opinion of numerous experts he continues to insist the documents are true.
Newport News, VA
Dan Rather has enough experience and seniority at CBS News to recognize his own complicity in the document scandal. He should be fired.
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