4 CBS Execs Fired After Memogate Report Released

By: (AP) Four CBS executives were fired Monday following the release of an independent investigation that said a "myopic zeal" led to a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about President Bush's military service that relied on allegedly forged documents.

The network fired Mary Mapes, producer of the report; Josh Howard, executive producer of "60 Minutes Wednesday" and his top deputy Mary Murphy; and senior vice president Betsy West.

In 2003, the two top editors at The New York Times were fired in wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, and USA Today's editor departed after the Jack Kelley scandal there.

Dan Rather, who narrated the report, announced in November that he was stepping down as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," but insisted the timing had nothing to do with the investigation.

The independent investigators -- former Republican Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi, retired president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press -- said they could find no evidence to conclude the report was fueled by a political agenda.

The network's drive to be the first to break a story about Bush's National Guard service was a key reason it produced a story that was neither fair nor accurate and did not meet CBS News' internal standards, the investigators said.


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