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Just no hearings, please?

GOP Congressman Chris Cox has called for hearings about the actions of the CBS News division, and 60 Minutes II in particular, while publicizing the forged "Bush memos." In particular, Mr. Cox said that "despite the growing abundance of evidence that CBS News has aided and abetted fraud,'' CBS still refuses to divulge their source, or sources. (emphasis added)

Apparently Mr. Cox is upset by the idea that one of the major new organizations in this country (and the world) would stoop to fraud. Well, so am I.

The difference between us is that I think a Congressional investigation is exactly the wrong way to go about it. To my knowlege neither Congress, nor any other federal agency, has jurisdiction over the network's actions, unless the FCC fines Dan Rather for baring his chest on national TV.

And there goes my lunch...

On a more serious note: the investigation is a bad idea. Not only is there no legal precedent for such action, if held it would create a precedent of Congressional interference in reporting the news, and open the door for Federal harassment whenever a representative finds a story "suspect." Merely claim fraud, and pound the table.

I would suggest that if Representative Cox is that upset with CBS, he should file a civil suit in court.

Let's not compound the arrogant incompetance of the bungled forgeries with the absurd fatuity of Federal interference in yet one more part of our lives.

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Comments (2)

I think this is a case of "If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Cox is just doing what he thinks he needs to do in order to solve the problem. If you're in Congress, that would be to kick up a big fuss. I don't think he really wants hearings; he just wants people to notice the problem. (and him, of course)

Casey Tompkins:

I imagine he's pretty upset with CBS right now, and understandably so. The memos are blatant forgeries, and only a deep inner need to de-throne Bush and/or boneheaded stubborness can explain the network's behavior.

But it's still a bad idea... ;)

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