CBS Evening News for Monday, Feb 18, 1985
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(Studio) General William Westmoreland's withdrawal of libel suit against CBS reported; details given.
REPORTER: Dan Rather
(NYC) [WESTMORELAND - acknowledges strain of trial on self and wife.] [CBS Bdcst. Group executive vice president Van Gordon SAUTER - stands by 1982 documentary.] Scenes from "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception" shown; basis of Westmoreland's libel chgs., focusing on CBS documentary, reviewed. Apparent impact of recent damaging testimony against Westmoreland considered; statement issued jointly by Westmoreland and CBS outlined on screen.] [WESTMORELAND - considers himself victorious by virtue of joint stmt.] [SAUTER - doesn't view statement as apology.] [CBS attorney David BOIES - jokes about plaintiff dropping suit without achieving goal.] [Mike WALLACE - believes Westmoreland's withdrawal underlines accuracy of documentary.] [George CRILE - reacts to withdrawal.] [Libel attys. Gerry SPENCE, Floyd ABRAMS - consider implications of Westmoreland's decision.]
REPORTER: Bernard Goldberg
(NYC) Testimony against Westmoreland by his former staff members General Joseph McChristian, Gains Hawkins, CIA agent George Allen and apparent impact on Westmoreland reviewed; films shown, testimony quoted on screen. [WESTMORELAND - explains bringing suit.] [Libel attorney Richard MARKS - explains burden on plaintiff in such suits.] [Columbia law school dean Benno SCHMIDT - cites strength of CBS defense] Judge Pierre Leval's ruling on documentary's journalistic shortcomings recalled.
REPORTER: Eric Engberg Artist: Howard Brodie