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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Marching Orders: From The Kerry Spot

Here's the Short Version:
See the link for the longer explanation:
And write your local C-bs affiliate, as I have already.

CBS News President Andrew Heyward and Dan Rather have made something of a "career suicide pact." Each one has much more to lose by admitting the memos are fake than from weathering the storm. They will ignore any criticism from here on out.

Critics of the report must focus on three alternative targets that are more vulnerable to public pressure: the local CBS affiliates, other CBS employees, and other media. Members of those groups right now are in a state similar to Rather and Heyward's — mildly criticizing Rather and Heyward, looking the other way, or shrugging their shoulders. That course of action is less painful than forcing CBS to make the hard choice about Rather and the fake memos. But a steady and intense campaign of criticism — one targeting them for not taking steps to demand a CBS admission that the network deliberately portrayed fake memos — could alter that balance. Inaction could become more painful than action.

Once the affiliates are demanding that Rather go, and the other employees at CBS are demanding that Rather go, and other media (like the editors of the Washington Post) are demanding that Rather go, Les Moonves, president of CBS, will conclude that the cost of keeping Rather outweighs the benefits of keeping him — and the ax will fall, probably for Heyward, Rather, and CBS producer Mary Mapes as well. The other CBS employees will retract the story and confirm the source.

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