The Buzz

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Two of the four staffers asked to resign by CBS in the wake of "Memogate" finally did. Betsy West, senior VP-prime time for CBS News and Mary Mapes, CBS News producer, have both left Black Rock. This week, Dan Rather, just one year shy of his 25th anniversary, will step down as well. However CBS Co-Chairman Leslie Moonves decides to replace the evening news, its likely he's not too concerned what Edward R. Murrow would think. Some of the saddest sentences Buzz has read in all the ink the CBS "Memogate" scandal has so far produced is in Ken Auletta's March 7 New Yorker story. In explaining why the investigating independent panel included one Dick Thornburgh, a former Republican Attorney General who served under Papa Bush, Auletta writes, "CBS News employees also pointed out that Sumner Redstone, the Viacom chairman and CEO, to whom Moonves reported, had endorsed Bush, saying, `a Republican administration is better for our company.' It was a reminder that Viacom lobbies the government that CBS News covers." That old journalistic tenet , comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, is hard to apply when so many media executives are the comfortable.
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