Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.
Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.
But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. 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.
Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.
WHAT DID DAN KNOW WHEN DID HE KNOW IT AND WHERE DID THEY COME FROM!
UPDATE: PoliPundit makes this great post!
Off with his head! Dan Rather willfully slandered our president, using cheap forgeries, 50 days before an election, in a time of war. When confronted with the overwhelming evidence about the forgeries, Rather stonewalled, called his critics “partisan political operatives,” and attempted yet more slander against the president. This man doesn’t deserve to cover a city council meetingUPDATE: There are now reports that Burkett is verified as the source of these documents. If that is the case then there is absolutely ZERO excuses for them running with a story based on fake documents! OR are they just trying to stear away from the Kerry Campaign? Was that the purpose to the whole 3 week delay in admitting the documents were fakes?