Tue Jan 11 2005 14:56:11 ET
The panel report is part of a process — a necessary process to deal with a difficult issue — at the end of which four good people have lost their jobs. My strongest reaction is one of sadness and concern for those individuals whom I know and with whom I have worked. It would be a shame if we let this matter, troubling as it is, obscure their dedication and good work over the years.
Yet good can come from this process if CBS News, and the hundreds of able professionals who labor every day to fill an essential public service in an open society, emerge with a renewed dedication to journalism of the highest quality. We should take seriously the admonition of the report’s authors to do our job well and carefully, but also their parallel admonition not to be afraid to cover important and controversial issues.
CBS News is a great institution with a distinct and precious legacy. I have been here through good times, and not so good times. I have seen us overcome adversity before. I am convinced we can do so again. That must be our focus and priority. And we can fulfill that objective by getting back to business and doing our jobs better than ever.
Lest anyone have any doubt, I have read the report, I take it seriously, and I shall keep its lessons well in mind.