Thursday, September 16, 2004

Keep Writing The Affiliates--Dan and Mary are on the window ledges

--Trying to allay the fears of CBS affiliates across the nation who have been deluged with telephone calls and emails from angry viewers, CBS News sent out a much more comprehensive (but still unconvincing) defense of itself via the internet, including the disclosure of the name of a previously unidentified "document expert," one James J. Pierce of Newport Beach, California.

CBS even took the steps of sending out scanned images of letters vouching for disputed memos' authenticity. We will soon be posting these images after redacting the individuals' addresses. (View the defense here.)

The document drop comes as CBS News has come under fire from some of its own affiliates, including the largest Houston talk radio station KPRC 950, which has forwarded all of its angry emails to CBS and demanded an answer. The station has yanked Dan Rather's radio news summary from its lineup and replaced it with Fox News Radio.

Meanwhile, external critics have continued to apply the pressure to CBS News nationally and to their local affiliates, coordinated in part by a newly launched web site,

In the face of the worst media coverage in CBS News history, the network news division is facing severe credibility problems according to a survey done by Rassmussen Reports.

Among voters who are following the story very closely, over half (56%) believe the CBS documents are faked. Just 27% believe they are authentic.

The story also appears to have attracted a large amount of interest among the public. Nearly three-quarters (72%) say they are following the story either "very closely" or "somewhat closely
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