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March 01, 2005

Rather a mess, isn't it.

From NewsMax:

The top CBS News executive asked to resign for her role in the network's discredited report on President Bush's military service has quit, CBS said on Monday.

Betsy West, formerly senior vice president of prime time for CBS News, resigned nearly two months after being asked to.

"I am proud of my 25-year career in television and of my track record at CBS News, and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my professional life," West said.
Neither West's spokesman, Tom Goodman, nor CBS News would discuss whether the two parties had reached a settlement or why it took so long for her to quit.

CBS fired the report's producer, Mary Mapes. Besides West, the network had asked for the resignations of "60 Minutes Wednesday" executive producer Josh Howard and his top deputy, Mary Murphy. Murphy resigned Friday; Howard remains a CBS News employee.

Two scapegoats down, one to go. Is CBS News imploding? Would anyone notice if it did?

Due to leave his anchor spot on "CBS Evening News" after 24 years, Rather's broadcast has been running third after NBC's Brian Williams and ABC's Peter Jennings.

Now, as the New York Post reports, he's also running third among CBS brass.

Even the man he replaced, Walter Cronkite, told The New Yorker he often watched recently retired NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, and, notes the Post, it seemed viewers felt "that Dan was playing a role of newsman, that he was conscious of this, whereas the other two appeared to be more the third-party reporter."

Cronkite added bitingly that Rather was known for "showboating."

Mike Wallace is reported to have said, "Rather is a superb reporter, and dead honest, but he's not as easy to watch as Jennings or Brokaw." And CBS executive producer Don Hewitt, who in 1968 created "60 Minutes," said he favors Peter Jennings of ABC News.

Posted by Jack Lewis at March 1, 2005 06:52 AM

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