Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Dear Josh

If you think your situation differs from that of Mary Mapes, think again:

In a further sign of the turmoil at CBS, some staff members at the original Sunday "60 Minutes" say their program has been unfairly blemished by the Wednesday spin-off, which began in 1999 as "60 Minutes II."

"I think it is safe to say that the overwhelming feeling among correspondents and producers on the Sunday program is that we would not have made the same mistakes," correspondent Steve Kroft said. He added: "It's hard to know at this point exactly what went wrong, because the Wednesday show is an entirely separate broadcast with entirely different people, and brand-new management. But something clearly went wrong with the process."

Josh Howard, who runs "60 Minutes" Wednesday, said producer Mapes had not told him that Burkett was the source and that this was "probably one of many things I would do differently next time." As for Burkett's charge that Mapes, who has declined all interview requests, pushed him too hard, Howard said: "If anything, we didn't push hard enough."