1/20/2005

Heads Not Yet Rolled

Everyone knows that Mary Mapes was fired from CBS and three executives were asked to resign in the wake of Rathergate. What everyone might not know is that the three executives in question haven't left.

[CBS Chairman]The report's producer, Mary Mapes, was fired as a result of the panel's report. Three others were asked to resign. [CBS Chairman] Mr. Moonves revealed today that none of the three have done so. Asked what CBS will do if they refuse to resign, Mr. Moonves said he could not talk about that situation. "It's a legal issue," he said.
My only guess at this point is that the three executives in question have lawyered up and are fighting to keep their jobs. From my point of view, this is a delightful development.

If a civil action ensues over CBS's demand that these people resign, there will be depositions. No doubt these depositions will detail, for the record, much of what went on behind the scenes at CBS as the story was being put together. What just might come out is what the so-called "independent" Thornburgh report laughably failed to find - evidence of political bias on the part of the people behind the memo story.

CBS is in a tight spot here. If they reinstate the people in question, no one in the organization is going to take them seriously. If they press on in their demands for resignation, they risk civil proceedings and the further airing of dirty laundry. I will confess that I am desperately hoping for the latter. What I expect will happen is that CBS will offer the executives fat settlements severance packages attached to scary non-disclosure agreements.