Daily Kos: IMPORTANT NOW: 60 Minutes Niger story that never aired... Let's get it aired!

More detail on the story that never aired below...

* jbalazs's diary :: ::

Here is the link to the article written by Michael Isikoff for Newsweek, September 22, 2004 about the CBS decision to bump the Niger story with the TANG documents story. There are some very interesting points in the article:

The Story That Didn't Run

Some excerpts from the article include:

A team of "60 Minutes" correspondents and consulting reporters spent more than six months investigating the Niger uranium documents fraud, CBS sources tell NEWSWEEK. The group landed the first ever on-camera interview with Elisabetta Burba, the Italian journalist who first obtained the phony documents, as well as her elusive source, Rocco Martino, a mysterious Roman businessman with longstanding ties to European intelligence agencies.

Some CBS reporters, as well as one of the network's key sources, fear that the Niger uranium story may never run, at least not any time soon, on the grounds that the network can now not credibly air a report questioning how the Bush administration could have gotten taken in by phony documents. The network would "be a laughingstock," said one source intimately familiar with the story.

Although acknowledging that it was "frustrating" to have his story bounced, David Gelber, the lead CBS producer on the Niger piece, said he has been told the segment will still air some time soon, perhaps as early as next week. "Obviously, everybody at CBS is holding their breath these days. I'm assuming the story is going to run until I'm told differently."

I think enough time has passed that CBS shouldn't be "embarrassed" anymore about the TANG forgery fiasco and get back to reporting news now that 64% of Americans actually may want to hear it!

There is also another article by Mary Jacoby dated September 29, 2004 that talks about some of the details contained in the CBS story that never aired, and shows why this story is even more imprtant NOW than ever.

The Cowardly Broadcasting System

Here is the clip from the article that shows how it ties to the current Grand Jury investigation and why airing the story is so important, not only for the public, but for CBS regaining its credibility:

After the war started, in March, Wilson, shocked that the discredited Niger story had appeared in Bush's State of the Union address, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times about the lack of evidence he found in Niger. In retaliation and in an attempt to intimidate him and any other future critic, the segment relates, "two senior administration sources gave conservative columnist Robert Novak the name of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, a covert CIA agent, which he published in his column, published in the Washington Post. The act of revealing the identity of an undercover CIA operative is a federal felony against national security. The episode led to appointment of a special prosecutor. That probe continues. Lately, the prosecutor has hauled a number of journalists who may or may not have information in for questioning."

Bradley interviews Wilson, who says that he found nothing in Niger to indicate that any purchase agreement had been signed or executed. Bradley then speaks with the former director of the Department of State's intelligence bureau (intelligence and research), Greg Thielmann, who explains why he concluded that Iraq was not attempting to reconstitute its nuclear program. In March 2002, Bradley reported, the White House received Thielmann's report, entitled "Niger: Sale of Uranium Is Unlikely."

So, please, contact CBS and get them to air this ASAP. I suspect they just might... Hey, if CNN is finally growing some, maybe CBS can too!

Daily Kos: IMPORTANT NOW: 60 Minutes Niger story that never aired... Let's get it aired!


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