CBS News plans to issue a statement, perhaps as early as today, acknowledging that it was misled on the purported National Guard memos the network used to charge that President Bush received favored treatment 30 years ago.
The statement would represent a huge embarrassment for the network, which insisted for days that the documents reported by Dan Rather on “60 Minutes” are authentic. But the statement could also help defuse a crisis that has torn at the network’s credibility.
It is not clear whether the acknowledgement will include an apology for a story now believed to be based on forged documents, although that is under consideration, sources familiar with the matter said. The sources said they could not be identified because the network is making no official statement.
CBS has stood by the story, even as numerous document experts have called the memos forgeries and a former secretary in Bush’s Guard unit told reporters, including Rather, that the memos were fake, although she said they reflected the feelings of Bush’s former squadron commander in the Texas Air National Guard.