CBS said Wednesday it is cancelling the Wednesday edition of “60 Minutes,” insisting the decision was made because of poor ratings and not last fall’s ill-fated story about President Bush’s military service. Dan Rather, the newsmagazine’s lead correspondent, will contribute stories to the Sunday edition of “60 Minutes,” said CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves. “This was a ratings call, not a content call,” Moonves said Wednesday.
The newsmagazine spinoff was where Rather reported last September that Bush skirted some duty while in the Texas Air National Guard and a commander felt pressure to sugarcoat an evaluation of him. An independent panel later concluded that documents used in the story could not be verified. Moonves said that story didn’t figure in the decision to cancel it, “not even slightly.”
Well gee Mr. Moonves, could it not be that “that story” led to viewers turning off 60 Mins II and further erosion of the ratings? So arguably it did figure in, however slightly.