THE OFFENSE: "The story is true. The story is true. The questions raised in the story are serious and legitimate questions."
CBS anchor Dan Rather was sure he had all the evidence he needed when he aired a segment on 60 Minutes featuring "official documents" calling into doubt President Bush's Texas National Guard record. The segment aired on Sept. 8, 2004 two months before the 2004 presidential election. When bloggers pointed out anachronisms in the documents and said they were most likely fabricated, Rather and CBS stood by their source and the documents for weeks. (The quote above was to CNN two days after the 60 Minutes segment aired.) But on Sept. 20 Rather conceded he was wrong in the statement below; an independent investigation later found that CBS failed to verify the documents on several levels. The publicity following the incident led to several executive and producer-level firings, and Rather's stubborn defense of the report tainted his reputation. Two months later Rather resigned from the CBS anchor position.
THE APOLOGY: "We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry."