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October 1, 2004
Don Hewitt: No Such Thing As Anti-War War Hero

Don Hewitt, the creator of the original 60 Minutes who recently got pushed out by CBS, spoke out in a South Dakota radio interview on Rathergate and the election:

The creator of "60 Minutes," Don Hewitt, said Thursday he would not have done the story on President Bush's National Guard service that got CBS anchor Dan Rather in so much hot water. ...

"I never would have done the story," said Hewitt, who retired in June as the show's executive producer after 36 years. "I would have been very wary injecting myself into a campaign. You've got to be very careful that you're not perceived as doing the job that one of the two candidates should be doing himself."

Hewitt told the audience that the problem with running a gotcha story like that during an election is that it has to be perfect to be successful; one mistake, and "you're dead." But that's not all Hewitt found to criticize about Mary Mapes' obsession with the National Guard angle. Hewitt dismissed it as old news that had been given enough attention during the 2000 election, comments that call into question not just the story itself and Mapes' production judgement but also the editorial judgement of CBS News -- which points the finger at Dan Rather, its managing editor.

The AP also notes that Hewitt doesn't think much of John Kerry's campaign strategy, either:

Hewitt added that it was "stupid" for Kerry to have injected his Vietnam service into the presidential race, which opened the door for anti-Kerry groups such as Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Not only have previous presidential candidate war veterans avoided such talk, but Kerry had followed up his Vietnam service by becoming an outspoken opponent of the war, he said.

"You can't play war hero if it's about a war where you threw your medals away," Hewitt said.

Absolutely correct. I am surprised to hear that from Don Hewitt. I'm not surprised that the mainstream media ignored both ends of this story. (via Drudge)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 1, 2004 7:03 AM

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He is kicking tail right now in Pennsylvania. He's already hitting the "global test" line that Kerry had the poor judgment to use last night. He's slamming Kerry for all manner of other false and misleading statements as well. The crowd ... [Read More]

Tracked on October 1, 2004 10:53 AM

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