Monday, November 15, 2004

CBS News Producer Fired

But not because of anything related to Rathergate. Anthony Surace over at the Templar Pundit picked up on this story last week, but CNN just got to it today.

As I was watching CSI: New York last week, I was awestruck that the CBS News broke in with less than five minutes to go in their highly rated drama to tell us the old terrorist Arafat was dead. Well, the producer got fired:

The news report came during the last five minutes of the forensics mystery last Wednesday, prompting viewer complaints and leading CBS to repeat the show Friday.

The producer responsible ignored network policy to contact a senior executive before interrupting a regularly scheduled program for a news report, the source said.

Also, with Arafat reportedly near death for several days, CBS News had left explicit instructions for how to deal with that event: run a news "crawl" at the bottom of the screen and direct viewers to the next newscast for more information.

That's how CBS's competitors at ABC and NBC handled the news. The interruption came five minutes before local newscasts in eastern and central time zones.

CBS issued an apology to viewers the next day, blaming the "overly aggressive" producer for the interruption.

Now, the producer didn't make the best choice in the world on when to air this news, but at least it was real news. Dan Rather and those who used faked memos, or created news, to try and slander the president in an election year are still employed.

When is CBS going to give the boot to The Dan for irresponsibly reporting fake news?