CBS's Andrew Heyward: I'd pander to the right again

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

NPR reports on Dan Rather's ongoing court battle with CBS over Memogate. As CF recently detailed, Rather's lawsuit has shed new light on just how far CBS went to make sure its "independent" panel investigating the matter made conservative critics happy; to make sure its principals would "mollify" the right. (CBS considered including Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh on the "independent" panel.) In other words, CBS kowtowed.

NPR asked Andrew Heyward, who was president of CBS News at the time, about the network's desire in 2004 to skew its investigation:

"This was my view of what we needed to do to cauterize the wounds and have a credible result across a broad spectrum, including our harshest critics," Heyward says. "I would do the same thing today."

Walter Robinson, the Boston Globe reporter who first broke the Bush National Guard story in 2000, remains dumbstruck by the CBS kowtowing. He tells NPR:

"It's inexcusable that CBS would attempt to rig the panel...The idea that a serious news network would consider Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh to pass some sort of fair-minded judgment on something — it's mind-boggling."

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