In yet another embarrassment for CBS News, the executive producer of 48
Hours Mystery has apologized after the magazine program aired a doctored
photograph of an edition of the Chicago Tribune. The producer, Susan
Zirinsky, told the Tribune that she had not been aware that the photo
had been altered until she received a complaint from the newspaper's managing
editor, Jim Robertson. She maintained that while allowing the photo to air was
"an egregious oversight," it did not change the editorial value of the story.
She later told the CBS News blog Public Eye that the alteration was the work of
a freelance editor, who had only worked on one previous program and was was not
sufficiently aware of CBS News's standards. "If it had been brought to anyone's
attention, it never would have made the light of day." She added, "This kind of
thing has never happened at 48 Hours before because most of our people
have been here a long time." Linda Mason, who in the wake of the Dan Rather
"memogate" scandal, was appointed to the newly created post of vice president
for standards and special projects at CBS News, told the Public Eye blog, "We
consider this a very serious offense and disciplinary action will be taken."
However, it was not clear whether such action would be limited to the freelance
editor or to others involved in the news magazine's production.