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Paid College Athletes

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Mass Comm.

November 5 2004


On September 8, 2004 60 Minutes hosted by CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather aired a show questioning President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. Rather interviewed Ben Barnes a former Texas House Speaker and Lt. Governor who testified that George W. Bush received special treatment by being admitted in to the Texas National Guard to avoid being drafted for the Vietnam War. Barnes a Democrat who was an active supporter in the Kerry campaign said Sid Adger a close friend to the Bush family asked him if he would recommend young George Bush to the Aired National Guard in order to prevent him from being shipped overseas. Barnes believed his actions were of preferential treatment because there was a list of hundreds of names who wanted to enter the Air National Guard.

Dan Rather claimed following the Barnes interview that 60 Minutes had obtained a number of documents from Col. Jerry Killian who was commander at Texas Air National Guard during Bush's tenure. One of the documents was from May 1972, where Killian wrote that Lt. Bush had asked him if he can get out of coming to drills from May through November in order to work on his campaign in Alabama. The memo also stated that Bush said he may not have time to take his physical. In a memo from August 18, 1973, Col Killian wrote that Col. Buck Staudt, the man running the Texas Air National Guard was pressuring him to "Sugar Coat" the evaluation of Lt. Bush. The document that brought up the most controversy was a memo written by Col. Killian put in his own personal files stating that Bush was failing to perform to U.S. Air Force and Texas Air National Guard standards. Since Killian died in 1984, 60 Minutes hired a team of individuals with expertise in handwriting analyst and document authentication claimed the memorandums were authentic.

Immediately following the 60 Minutes episode aired on September 8, 2004, the documents used for the program became under heavy scrutiny. The information from the documents used by 60 Minutes did not comply with the military records of Texas Air National Guard. For instance, the official record of the Air National Guard shows that Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on Aug. 1, 1972. That date contrast to a memo given to CBS News, ordering that Mr. Bush be suspended on Aug. 1, 1972. Another example of conflicting reports was discovered by The Dallas Morning News. The memo reported that the officer Staudt, the man named in a previous memo as exerting pressure to "sugar coat" Mr. Bush's record had left the Texas Air National Guard 1Ð... years before the memo was dated. The Dallas Morning News said it obtained an order showing that Walter B. Staudt, former commander of the Texas Guard, retired on March 1, 1972 so therefore could not have pressured Killian to promoting Bush, on the date given in the CBS document dated August 18, 1973. The L.A. Times reported that handwriting analyst; Marcel Matley hired by CBS did not vouch for any of the typography in the memos used by 60 Minutes.

Following the testimony of Marion Carr Know the secretary of the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian she confirmed she did not type the memos regarding President Bush's failure to fulfill the responsibilities of the Air National Guard. Along with the testimony of Bill Burkett, a retired lieutenant colonel of the National Guard who supplied the documents admitted he deliberately misled CBS News and 60 Minutes by giving false account of the documents' origin. Two weeks after the controversial 60 Minutes episode aired Dan Rather admitted the documents' authentication can not be proven.

In addition to the false documents Senior White House Correspondent John Roberts added that there was not truth or evidence that President Bush received preferential treatment to enroll in the Texas Air National Guard. Roberts spoke out to say that this is the same recycled garbage by the Democrats used against Bush every time he runs for re-election.


Media biases in the news have become an unwanted and unpopular aspect in broadcasting. News reporting shows carry an underlying slant in journalism in attempt to change to mood of the country. Republicans have spoken out about the liberal media in attempt to ratify change. In the United States, of the four major entertainment networks (Foxs, NBC, ABC and CBS) three are consider being liberal media outlets. The one company of the quartet to report on a conservative view is the Foxs network. Between Peter



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