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CIA / ABC Suit / Journalism and Libel Cases #294843

CBS Evening News for Wednesday, Dec 12, 1984
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(Studio) Report introduced
REPORTER: Dan Rather

(NYC) CIA complaint with Federal Communications Commission against ABC stemming from its coverage of agent Ronald Rewald's use of Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong investment firm as CIA front for alleged arms deals and international surveillance, in which network reported prison guard Scott Barnes' claim that CIA hired him to kill Rewald examined. [1984, BARNES - relates alleged CIA instructions.] [November 21, ABC anchor Peter JENNINGS - notes Barnes' chgs. cannot be substantiated.] [CIA attorney George CLARK - explains purpose of complaint.] [Attorney Floyd ABRAMS - thinks CIA wants blood.] Potential consequences of complaint for ABC explained. [ABC News vice president George WATSON - notes government's ongoing efforts to control press.] General William Westmoreland libel suit against CBS News and Israeli Ariel Sharon's suit against "Time" magazine cited as exs. Impact of Richie Ashburn's libel suit against "Chester County Press" noted. [Publisher Irv LEIBERMAN - describes his post-suit approach to news.] Background to Ashburn's suit reviewed. [ASHBURN - resented story.] Concern over effect of such suits on media noted. [WATSON - fears biased news due to threat of legal action.] [CBS News president Edward M. JOYCE - won t be intimidated.] [ASHBURN - believes press should be held accountable.] [CLARK - claims government wants journalistic standards restored.]
REPORTER: Bob Simon

Reporter(s):
Rather, Dan;
Simon, Bob
Duration:
00:04:40

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