Tuesday, January 11, 2005

CBS: Scared Straight?

Giving the Devil his Due:

What if a grand jury has been empaneled? CBS cannot disclose the testimony they've made before a grand jury. So what is the current status?
1)They've indicated that Mary Mapes' behavior is dfferent in degree (she got fired) from those higher up (they were asked to resign). Mapes is a criminal! The other criminals are not CBS employees.
2) They've teed themselves & Dan Rather up for a libel suit by the Killian family by the concession that Rather's statement was false (i.e. libelous). It's too much to expect they'd negotiate with themselves!
3) They've blown away the upper management of both 60 Minutes shows that came in after Don Hewitt retired. These are the individuals that have zero respect for the stockholders.
4) They've taken the first tentative steps to reform by appointing a VP in charge of Standards.
Obviously, they would need to do much more (e.g. investigate Mary Mapes' Abu Ghraib story), but it is not a bad start. The question is have they made a commitment to go straight? The answer will be quickly evident. Do they respond to the demands of the Blogosphere for additional changes. To wit,
1) Do them make the new VP an ombudsman with a public address, not just an internal cop? From their point of view, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
2) Do they start to retract stories that are rehashings of the DNC talking points? An example, do they acknowledge that President Bush did respond almost immediately to the tsunami crisis by dispatching the U.S. Navy while Kofi Annan skied in Jackson Hole?
The answers to these questions could come Tuesday. Or not! By Wednesday, we'll know if CBS has turned over a new leaf. If so, then expect a grand jury indictment of Mary Mapes et al sometime in the future! If not, let the fisking begin!!
Warning to Sumner Redstone - George Soros or others of his ilk may have supported Viacom's share price yesterday, but he can't do it forever! We'll know who was buying and who was selling within days.


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