Now the activist — “water-rights expert Maude Barlow” — is spreading the idea that it’s because CBS News is afraid to feature Bush critics since the fake-memo incident:
“This producer admitted to our media officer that I was canned because of my criticisms of Bush,” Barlow, chairwoman of the Council of Canadians, told me yesterday. “Since the Dan Rather situation, I think generally CBS is so nervous about offending the Bush administration.”
Sure. So nervous that Ed Bradley had Joe Wilson on 60 Minutes last fall and let him repeat all his wild and fact-free accusations virtually unchallenged.
But “CBS Evening News” executive producer Rome Hartman says Barlow is all wet.
“In the course of preparing a report on how water is, in some places, becoming so dear that it’s treated as a commodity – with futures trading just like corn and oil – a CBS News producer contacted many people,” Hartman said in a statement. “Since this report was a scientific one and not a political one, it was determined that a scientist and not an activist was appropriate. … Our producer made this decision on her own, for completely sound editorial reasons, and it was a good decision. The allegation that CBS management had any role in the decision is absurd.”
If only more producers took Hartman’s approach — especially in reports on global warming.