CBS - Controversy

Controversy

In 1995, CBS refused to air a segment of 60 Minutes that would have featured an interview with a former president of research and development for Brown & Williamson, the nation's third largest tobacco company. The controversy raised questions about the legal roles in decision making and whether journalistic standards should be compromised despite legal pressures and threats. The decision nevertheless sent shock waves throughout the television industry, the journalism community, and the country. This incident was the basis for the 1999 film by Michael Mann, The Insider.

In 2001, Bernard Goldberg, who was a reporter with CBS for 28 years, had his book, Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News, published. This book heavily criticized the media, and some CBS reporters and news anchors in particular, such as Dan Rather. Goldberg accused CBS of having a liberal bias in most of their news.

In 2004, the FCC imposed a record $550,000 fine on CBS for its broadcast of a Super Bowl half-time show (produced by then sister-unit MTV) in which singer Janet Jackson's breast was briefly exposed. It was the largest fine ever for a violation of federal decency laws. Following the incident CBS apologized to its viewers and denied foreknowledge of the event, which was broadcast live on TV. In 2008, a Philadelphia federal court annulled the fine imposed on CBS, labelling it "arbitrary and capricious."

CBS aired a controversial episode of 60 Minutes, which questioned U.S. President George W. Bush's service in the National Guard. Following allegations of forgery, CBS News admitted that documents used in the story had not been properly authenticated. The following January, CBS fired four people connected to the preparation of the news-segment. Former network news anchor Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS in 2007, contending the story, and his termination, were mishandled. Parts of the suit were dismissed in 2008, the suit was dismissed, and his motion to appeal was denied in 2010.

In 2007, retired Army Major Gen. John Batiste, consultant to CBS News, appeared in a political ad for VoteVets.org critical of President Bush and the war in Iraq. Two days later, CBS stated that appearing in the ad violated Batiste's contract with them and the agreement was terminated.

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Famous quotes containing the word controversy:

    Ours was a highly activist administration, with a lot of controversy involved ... but I’m not sure that it would be inconsistent with my own political nature to do it differently if I had it to do all over again.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)

    And therefore, as when there is a controversy in an account, the parties must by their own accord, set up for right Reason, the Reason of some Arbitrator, or Judge, to whose sentence, they will both stand, or their controversy must either come to blows, or be undecided, for want of a right Reason constituted by Nature; so is it also in all debates of what kind soever.
    Thomas Hobbes (1579–1688)