September 23, 2004


CBS Appoints 2-Man Panel to Investigate Guard Report (JIM RUTENBERG and JACQUES STEINBERG, 9/23/04, NY Times)

CBS announced yesterday that Dick Thornburgh, a former attorney general, and Louis D. Boccardi, a former top executive of The Associated Press, would investigate the journalistic breakdowns that led to the broadcast of a flawed "60 Minutes" report about President Bush's National Guard service.

While the network characterized the two men as constituting an independent panel, Mr. Thornburgh's appointment upset Dan Rather, the anchor who broadcast the report and initially vouched for documents at its heart, according to four colleagues and associates.

Mr. Rather considers Mr. Thornburgh a confounding choice in part because he served two Republican presidents, Mr. Bush's father, and Richard M. Nixon, with whom Mr. Rather publicly clashed, the colleagues and associates said.

Mr. Rather, who reportedly was a speaker at Mr. Boccardi's retirement dinner, would have preferred that the panel co-chair be Ben Barnes, Terry McAuliffe, Max Cleland or Joe Lockhart.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 23, 2004 2:09 PM

Although there's apparently bad blood between Thornburgh and Carl Rove. Rove had to sue Thornburgh to collect on a campaign debt.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 23, 2004 2:13 PM

Somebody needs to hire a research staff: Mr. Rather or his 'colleagues and associates' or the N.Y. Times (maybe all of them).

'Mr. Rather considers Mr. Thornburgh a confounding choice in part because he served two Republican presidents, Mr. Bush's father, and *Richard M. Nixon* ...'

Nixon was President 1969-74.

Thornburgh held a state office (Attorney General for Western Pennsylvania) beginning in 1969. In 1975 President Ford appointed him Assistant United States Attorney General, Criminal Division.


Gee, N.Y. Times, that wasn't hard, was it?

Posted by: old maltese at September 23, 2004 2:29 PM

The amazing thing about google is that it has revealed not so much that the MSM is biased, but that it's incompetent. Quite obviously some "friends and associates" of Mr. Rather told Mrs. Rutenberg and Steinberg the Thornburgh had worked for Nixon, and they didn't bother to check. Pathetic.

Posted by: brian at September 23, 2004 3:08 PM

Given Rather's mix of arrogance and seeming cluelessness, I wouldn't be surprised if he actually manages to alienate Boccardi by stonewalling even the smiplest of questions before this whole thing is over.

Posted by: John at September 23, 2004 6:19 PM

The ultimate question is who forged the documents. I don't think CBS' probe will answer that.

Posted by: George at September 23, 2004 6:37 PM

Dan Rather: "You can't put Thornburgh on the panel, he's not objective. Besides, he's on my enemies list."

Posted by: Robert Duquette at September 24, 2004 1:01 PM