November 22, 2013

When the extent of the phone hacking scandal at News of the World began to be just hinted at, heads at the Rupert Murdoch-owned News International rolled. To be sure, there's still much that hasn't been revealed (and I suspect will indicate a even more heinous breach of journalistic ethics), so the final head count has yet to be determined.

The "60 Minutes" Benghazi report, headed by Lara Logan, did not reach the level of criminality as News of the World, but it is arguably the biggest breach of journalistic ethics in recent history. There was absolutely no way that the Benghazi story should have gone to air as it did, and argues for gross incompetence and clear conflicts of interest.

And yet, not one person is being held accountable.

Which tells me that the cancer at CBS News stems from the top: Jeff Fager, Chairman of CBS News and Executive Producer of "60 Minutes". Read this laughable statement from Fager at his stepping into the chairmanship:

FAGER What we want to do is restore CBS News to where it should be, where it needs to be.

What do you mean by "restoring" CBS News?

FAGER CBS News has drifted for quite some time without quite appreciating its own identity. I'm not conflicted about what we stand for, and 60 Minutes is a great example of that. We're a lot more current than we used to be.

Apparently to Fager, the identity of CBS News is compromised, crappy propaganda substituting for journalism.

So it's time for a little accountability. CREDO has a petition asking Leslie Moonves, President of CBS and Sumner Redstone, Majority stockholder, to dismiss Fager. I don't think there is any other move that could be made to restore even some of CBS News' credibility. This goes far beyond Lara Logan in the way that CBS News handled this story.

Considering how quickly CBS News got rid of Dan Rather, Mary Mapes and others after the Bush National Guard story, their inaction and obsfuscations are telling here. The right was quick to collect their scalps on that story.

But here? Even though congressional members and other news agencies have cited the one unverified, now debunked source of "60 Minutes" story, CBS has refused to hold anyone accountable.

It's time for that to change. Please join me in signing CREDO's petition.

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