An open letter to CBS News
Hey CBS News folk,
You want to regain your reputation as journalists? Here's a hint--do the fucking work correctly and tell anyone who doesn't like your conclusions to go to hell, my side included.
Your journalistic integrity is in greater danger now than it ever has been before, not because you got suckered by someone with some phony documents--but because you didn't do your due diligence on those documents before you rushed to air. So learn from that mistake--get the story right next time and don't rush to judgment before you've got the facts straight. But don't start pulling your punches now.
You're screwed on the Killian story--no question. Hard line right-wingers who have been accusing you of bias for years now think they have their smoking gun, and they're brandishing it above what they believe is your bloody corpse. If you cave and stop doing your first job--reporting facts--then they really will have destroyed your reputation, and fair-minded people of all political persuasions will never trust you again.
But beyond your reputation, you have the entire journalistic community to think about as well. You can't think that NBC, ABC, CNN and MSNBC aren't watching this unfold with fear and trepidation. They know that they could easily be next if you guys fold under this pressure.
The press is supposed to be the fourth estate--the outside check on the power of the government. If you stop airing critical pieces about the people in power because you're afraid of the backlash in an election year, then you've abdicated your power and your responsibility to the people of this nation and to the people of the world. Don't fold. Don't let the ratfuckers win.