Saturday, September 11, 2004

the "move along" strategy

In a memo from CBS to it's affiliates
Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned. We have complete confidence in our reporting and will continue to pursue the story.
Is this supposed to "ease the fears" of CBS affiliates? How does it ease anyone's fears to hear that CBS has no intention of confirming a story? That it completely unwilling to concede a possible mistake and try to correct it?

If their first concern was credibility they would be worried, not nonchalant. As the evidence mounted, they would become angry at the hoaxers. Dan Rather would go on and say, "We are aggressively investigating these allegations and if it turns out that CBS was lied to, there will be hell to pay. We owe it to our readers not to leave these questions hanging."

But they aren't doing that. They're going with the old "move along folks, nothing to see here" line. I don't see how that approach can possibly help CBS. Even if they can stonewall until the story dies, it will be a serious blow to CBS's credibility. Not just for the fact that they were probably scammed, but for the fact that they didn't care that they were probably scammed.

The only people that can be helped by this stonewalling are John Kerry and the Democrats. If the story dies without resolution, CBS still looks bad, but at least it doesn't tar the Kerry campaign.

Talk about falling on your sword...

No comments: