Duck Dan, duck!!

Rather Says Won’t Duck Controversy Despite Scandal
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anchor Dan Rather said on Tuesday he would learn the lessons from a report that slammed CBS for faulty reporting about President Bush’s military record, but said it should not lead journalists to shy away from controversial stories.
CBS News ousted four employees on Monday after an independent report found “myopic zeal” led CBS to disregard basic journalism principles when it aired the story before last year’s presidential election.
The panel was convened after a Sept. 8, 2004, report by Rather on the “60 Minutes II” program saying Bush got special treatment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. It found CBS failed to determine the accuracy of key documents used in the report.
“Lest anyone have any doubt, I have read the report, I take it seriously, and I shall keep its lessons well in mind,” Rather said in a memo to CBS news staff that was his first public reaction to the report.
Twelve days after the segment aired, CBS News retracted it and Rather apologized. CBS said it had been misled about the chain of custody and provenance of key documents in the segment and said it was unable to stand behind them.
The panel cast doubt on the documents but did not rule on their authenticity.
Rather, 73, later said he would step down as anchor on March 9, his 24th anniversary in the job. CBS said since Rather apologized and accepted some blame, “punitive action would be neither fair nor just.”
In Tuesday’s memo, Rather drew attention to a note in the 224-page report that said the panel hoped its criticism would not induce timidity at CBS.
“We should take seriously the admonition of the report’s authors to do our job well and carefully, but also their parallel admonition not to be afraid to cover important and controversial issues,” Rather said.
Rather said his strongest reaction to the report was of sadness and concern for the “four good people” who lost their jobs.
“It would be a shame if we let this matter, troubling as it is, obscure their dedication and good work over the years,” he said.