Campaign '04: How Did Dan Rather Get in This Fix?


The morning before Dan Rather went on the air with his flammable story, senior staff at CBS's 60 Minutes gathered to consider whether it was true. Network producers, lawyers and Betsy West, a CBS News senior vice president, among others, met in a screening room to decide whether to broadcast the story about President Bush's record in the National Guard. Five days before, they had received copies of new and intriguing memos suggesting that Lieut. Bush had ignored a direct order to get a physical and that his superiors were pressured to "sugar coat" his evaluation. No one talked much about...

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