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[] WPO 4.05.04 CBS Delayed Report At Myers's Request,

Washington Post
May 4, 2004
Pg. 26

CBS Delayed Report At Myers's Request

By Associated Press

NEW YORK, May 3 -- CBS News delayed for two weeks airing a report about
U.S. soldiers' alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners, following a personal
request from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Gen. Richard B. Myers called CBS anchor Dan Rather eight days before the
report was to air, asking for extra time, said Jeff Fager, executive
producer of "60 Minutes II."

Myers cited the safety of Americans held hostage and tension surrounding
the Iraqi city of Fallujah, Fager said, adding that he held off as long
as he believed possible given it was a competitive story.

With the New Yorker magazine preparing to run a detailed report on the
alleged abuses, CBS broadcast its report last Wednesday, including
images taken last year allegedly showing Iraqis stripped naked, hooded
and being tormented by U.S. captors at the Abu Ghraib prison near

Fager said he felt "terrible" being asked to delay the broadcast.

"News is a delicate thing," he said. "It's hard to just make those kinds
of decisions. It's not natural for us; the natural thing is to put it on
the air. But the circumstances were quite unusual, and I think you have
to consider that."

Rather revealed the two-week delay in a postscript to viewers at the end
of Wednesday's broadcast.

Fager said he believed the story was better because of the delay; CBS
was able to interview Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt about the alleged
incidents because the network waited.

Myers, speaking on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, confirmed that he asked
CBS for the delay. "You can't keep this out of the news, clearly," he
said. "But I thought it would be particularly inflammatory at the time."

Olivier Minkwitz___________________________________________
HSFK Hessische Stiftung für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung
PRIF Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
Leimenrode 29 60322 Frankfurt a/M Germany
Tel +49 (0)69 9591 0422  Fax +49 (0)69 5584 81                         pgpKey:0xAD48A592
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