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Saturday, September 25, 2004

CBS: story debating war rationale is "inappropriate"

CBS has abruptly cancelled a scheduled news special questioning Bush's rationale for going to war in Iraq, news outlets reported today. The segment was originally scheduled to air Sept. 8.

Apparently, in light of CBS's own dubious documents debacle, the network feels it cannot criticize a president for launching an entire war based on bogus documents.

"We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election," said CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards in a written statement released to the press.

Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball report on Newsweek's website:

"In its rush to air its now discredited story about President George W. Bush’s National Guard service, CBS bumped another sensitive piece slated for the same '60 Minutes' broadcast: a half-hour segment about how the U.S. government was snookered by forged documents purporting to show Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium from Niger.

The journalistic juggling at CBS provides an ironic counterpoint to the furor over apparently bogus documents involving Bush’s National Guard service. One unexpected consequence of the network’s decision was to wipe out a chance—at least for the moment—for greater public scrutiny of a more consequential forgery that played a role in building the Bush administration’s case to invade Iraq."

Journalist Joshua Micah Marshall, one of the contributor's to the uranium story, said, "This is like living in a Kafka novel."


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