In the past few days, it has become increasingly obvious that CBS used (badly) forged documents in a 60 Minutes hit piece on George Bush. Each day, its defenses seem to become weaker, and the attacks stronger. As John Stossel said in an interview last night, CBS has circled its wagons, only to find them on fire.
Now comes word that Congress may join the fray: Rep. Chris Cox has asked the House Telecom Subcommittee to launch an investigation into CBS’ reporting on this matter. As wrong as CBS was to run its story, it would be even more wrong for Congress to get involved. Simply put: the government should not be policing the media. No matter how sloppy, biased or irresponsible, Congress simply should not be telling the media what it can or can’t do. Or even “investigating” what it has done. That is the road to censorship.
Dan Rather and CBS will doubtless suffer tremendously for their outrageous conduct–because of investigations by other private media outlets (including blogs), with likely sanctions being loss of reputation and credibility. A congressional investigation is neither necessary nor welcome.