CBS Disallows White House Rebuttal To Kennedy Tirade

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WASHINGTON (Talon News) — Embattled television news network CBS is again at the center of controversy after snubbing a White House request to allow a Republican to appear with one of President George W. Bush’s greatest adversaries, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), on “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Kennedy was allowed to fire away at Bush on Social Security and Iraq without any rebuttal during his appearance on the Sunday morning talk show.


Maintaining that Bush and the Republicans are making up a crisis with Social Security in order “to make a crisis on any political problem,” Kennedy said there is not a funding issue with the government retirement program that was started by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Declaring the crisis in Social Security as “nonexistent” because it will provide 80 percent of current benefits through 2075, Kennedy said the Republicans are fabricating a sudden crisis so they can pass their private investment account program for younger taxpayers.

But there was no Republican reaction to these charges made by Kennedy because CBS denied a White House request to have a representative on the show.

Brit Hume reported on “Fox News Sunday” that the White House was “happy to put [White House Communications Director] Dan Bartlett or somebody else on that program and CBS said, ‘Thank you, No.'”

Bartlett had been assured by CBS News President Andrew Heyward just one week prior to this incident that “neither CBS News nor [Dan] Rather had a vendetta against the White House” and that CBS “would do everything it could to be fair and balanced.”

However, despite the firing of four CBS News employees last week over the forged document scandal regarding the airing of a “60 Minutes” episode during the height of the 2004 presidential election calling into question President George W. Bush’s service in the National Guard, CBS has once again stepped into a controversy which seems to go against their promise to treat the White House more fairly.

Bartlett responded to Kennedy’s criticism of Social Security crisis by stating it is “a matter of math, not ideology.”

Speaking on Iraq, Kennedy said it “clearly is George Bush’s Vietnam” that is the “result of blunder after blunder after blunder.”

“Until Iraqis are going to fight for their own country, we are going to have a very, very dangerous situation,” Kennedy declared.

Kennedy warned, “[I]s the face of the United States part of the liberation and security and the stability in that country, or are we a force that is perceived to be expanding the kind of uncertainty and savagery and revolution that’s taking place there?”

Bartlett again responded to Kennedy on “Fox News Sunday” rather than on CBS that regarding the concerns over Iraq there were “two very different, competing versions or visions of what was happening.”

“The American people agreed with [Bush’s] assessment,” Bartlett commented, reminding Kennedy and others that Bush’s decision to go to war was vindicated by his reelection in November. “It was heard by the American people, and they embraced President Bush’s vision.”