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Posted: 9/21/2004 3:48:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/21/2004 3:54:07 PM EST by TheKill]
hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CBS_GUARD_MAPES?SITE=WIMIL&SECTION=HOME


CBS Producer on Thin Ice After Guard Story

By DAVID BAUDER
AP Television Writer





NEW YORK (AP) -- The fallout from CBS's doomed story about President Bush's National Guard service most endangers a woman few viewers know but who played a key role in two of the biggest television stories of the year.

Mary Mapes, a veteran producer at CBS News, reported most of the National Guard story, including obtaining the documents CBS now says it can't authenticate. She also passed on the phone number of her source, former Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, to the Kerry campaign.

Mapes, 48, was described by colleagues on Tuesday as a dogged and talented journalist who made no secret of her liberal political beliefs.

She's only a few months removed from a career-defining highlight. Mapes took a story that had received little attention - the abuse of prisoners by American soldiers in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison - and unearthed the photos that gave the story its visceral impact.




"She pursued stories very aggressively always," said Jeff Fager, executive producer of "60 Minutes." "She definitely has an investigative sense. She was responsible for the bulk of the work on Abu Ghraib. That was her story."

The Dallas-based producer, who declined through a spokeswoman to talk with The Associated Press, also landed the first TV interviews with Strom Thurmond's biracial daughter and Hillary Rodham Clinton after her husband's impeachment. Mapes was almost jailed in 1999 for refusing a judge's order to turn over a videotape of Dan Rather's interview with a white man convicted of killing a black man by dragging him behind a pickup truck.

She worked at Seattle's KIRO-TV before coming to CBS in 1989. In the "60 Minutes" tradition, producers like Mapes wield tremendous influence on the stories and operate with a great deal of independence - a status earned after many years of proving themselves, Fager said.

John Carlson, a former commentator at KIRO-TV who is host of a conservative radio talk show in Seattle, remembers Mapes as a talented producer with whom he often argued politics in the newsroom.

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Mapes was "quite liberal" and disliked the current President Bush's father, he said.

"She definitely was someone who was motivated by what she cared about and definitely went into journalism to make a difference," Carlson said. "She's not the sort of person who went into journalism to report the news and offer an array of commentary."

Carlson spoke with Mapes about the National Guard story a week ago, and said that he believes she "put so much time into it that she wanted something to come of it."

"This was a woman with a good reputation," he said. "The mistakes she made were so obvious. This was a story that was rushed because they clearly believed it was true. They wanted it to be true."

Rather acknowledged Monday that Burkett didn't come to CBS. The network approached him about the documents, knowing he had been trying for several years to discredit President Bush's military service record, he said.

In a USA Today story, Burkett said he agreed to turn documents impugning Bush's service - widely considered now to be fake - over to CBS on the condition CBS would help arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign. Burkett's lawyer, Gabe Quintanilla, said he could not immediately confirm that Tuesday.

CBS acknowledged Mapes passed on Burkett's number to Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart, and Lockhart called him. Spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said CBS wasn't aware that this was part of any deal, but it's one of the things that will be examined by an independent commission CBS will soon appoint to look into the incident.

"It is obviously against CBS News standards and those of every other reputable news organization to be associated with any political agenda," Edwards said.

It had to be tempting: get key documents you've long been seeking to nail down a story, and all you had to do was set up a phone call.

Still, it's a lapse in journalistic ethics if true, said Marvin Kalb, senior fellow at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

"Journalists do all kinds of odd things these days to get a news story," Kalb said, "but one of the things they should not be doing is paying the price of a political contact."

It's particularly damaging when news coverage is being scrutinized by both sides of a bitter political divide, said Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief and professor at George Mason University. Even before this story, Rather and CBS News were targets of groups concerned about an anti-Republican bias in the media.

The Lockhart contact "is going to cast more doubt on not just the practices, but the motives behind the story," Sesno said.

"She's done many, many solid stories in her career," Fager said. "How this went so horribly wrong is a mystery to many of us and I look forward to hearing the details."

© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:25:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/21/2004 4:28:59 PM EST by warlord]
Well, that would explain why the stories have been so biased to the left, the producer had an agenda and an unholy alliance to the left. But that is bad for the news media industry because they are suppose report the news and not create the news and now everything they report will always have a cast of doubt.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:30:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By warlord:
and now everything they report will always have a cast of doubt.



now? just recently?
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:31:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/21/2004 4:33:15 PM EST by Da_Bunny]
Sounds like the Kerry campaign OK'd the documents and worked with CBS to create the story. So CBS is a Democratic PAC.

Goodbye CBS...
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:35:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By Da_Bunny:
Sounds like the Kerry campaign OK'd the documents and worked with CBS to create the story. So CBS is a Democratic PAC.

Goodbye CBS...



More like: (DN)C-BS IMHO
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:38:42 PM EST
Hmmm, maybe the timing is such that we'll have 2 "October Surprises" to look forward to, not just one. Hopefully a link between Kerry and CBS can be uncovered here that proves without a shadow of a doubt that they conspired to create this story. Then hopefully the swiftboat guys can add whatever they have to the mix.

Either way, if it can sink Kerry further or send CBS down the toilet, I'm all for it. It's time these bastards get a taste of their own medicine.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 4:42:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/21/2004 6:09:28 PM EST by warlord]
As suggested in another thread, fire all of the CBS staffers and hire Baghdad Bob as their spokesman.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:22:49 PM EST
"Rather acknowledged Monday that Burkett didn't come to CBS. The network approached him about the documents, knowing he had been trying for several years to discredit President Bush's military service record, he said."

This speaks volumes about CBS and their sense of ethical journalism.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 5:34:50 PM EST


Bernard Goldberg vindicated, at last.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:04:07 PM EST
It's a shame how they shit-canned Goldberg. I bet hes laughing his ass off at them now!
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 7:02:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheKill:
© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




I just think it's kinda funny that you even reprinted this part.

In response to the point of this post, I agree that CBS needs to step up the the plate and admit that they intentionally sought to improperly influence the outcome of the upcoming election, if that is indeed what happened.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 7:15:44 PM EST
To summarize the whole thing:


Mapes was "quite liberal" and disliked the current President Bush's father, he said.

"She definitely was someone who was motivated by what she cared about and definitely went into journalism to make a difference," Carlson said. "She's not the sort of person who went into journalism to report the news and offer an array of commentary."

"The mistakes she made were so obvious. This was a story that was rushed because they clearly believed it was true. They wanted it to be true."

Link Posted: 9/21/2004 7:34:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By soupersnake:

Originally Posted By TheKill:
© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




I just think it's kinda funny that you even reprinted this part.

In response to the point of this post, I agree that CBS needs to step up the the plate and admit that they intentionally sought to improperly influence the outcome of the upcoming election, if that is indeed what happened.




The article is freely distributed. I could have just posted the link, and anyone can click on it to read the article. I figure better to credit the source. The text is simply for convenience, not gain, personal or otherwise. Plus, it looks like the AP is taking the high road.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:06:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By TheKill:

Originally Posted By soupersnake:

Originally Posted By TheKill:
© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




I just think it's kinda funny that you even reprinted this part.

In response to the point of this post, I agree that CBS needs to step up the the plate and admit that they intentionally sought to improperly influence the outcome of the upcoming election, if that is indeed what happened.




The article is freely distributed. I could have just posted the link, and anyone can click on it to read the article. I figure better to credit the source. The text is simply for convenience, not gain, personal or otherwise. Plus, it looks like the AP is taking the high road.



After what AP did here, they'd better be on the 'High Road'...

(AP reported that people booed at the rally when Bush offered condolences/prayer to Clinton's recovery from his heart problem. This did not happen (I know, I was there), but they reported it anyway...)
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 10:15:39 PM EST
Just the fact that Mary Mapes is such good friends with Democratic operatives that she can contact them for favors and they respond quickly to the requests brings up question of propriety in my mind.
Oh yeah there's no slant/bias in the newsrooms of the big3.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:06:12 AM EST
Mapes own father went on the record and said she is a radical feminist and has a huge axe to grind against conservatives. Her own father said he's very disappointed with what his daughter has become. makes her sound like a carpet-muncher.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:11:19 AM EST
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