Speaking last week at an industry gathering in Washington, D.C., Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) told those in attendance that he wants to hold hearings after the Nov. 2 election to explore partisan bias in the news.
Barton, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, made his comments after the two-week controversy over the authenticity of documents at the center of a CBS "60 Minutes II" report on President George Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War.
The report set off alarm bells on the Internet when bloggers began questioning the credibility of the documents. Typographic peculiarities made the documents appear to have been generated in Microsoft Word, which post-dated the documents by several years. Other news organizations, including television networks and newspapers, followed up with copious coverage of the controversy.
On Sept. 20, CBS issued a statement that said it could not vouch for the authenticity of the documents and that the documents shouldn’t have been used in the report.
At the 18th Annual Television Conference sponsored by the Association for Maximum Service Television, Barton expressed his desire to listen to executives from all of the major networks, including CBS, about partisan bias.
For more information about the conference, visit www.natpe.org.