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Well thank you very much for coming here and thank you for clapping. I can't tell you how nice it is to hear applause after you've been sort of publicly humiliated. Its really music to me, so I appreciate it very much. I want to start today with what's on everyone's minds. I think initially in the news this morning, I found out last night after I got off a plane from somewhere where it was snowing, I think it was Chicago, to come here, which was heaven and I'd found out about Bob Woodword's involvement in the Plamegate story, and the first thing, it just floored me because I, I thought, I thought back to when I was a student, like some of the students here, and the Watergate story exploded. And I became a journalist in part because of Bob Woodword. And now its difficult for me to see how he is less than a human metaphor for what's happened to the mainstream media in this country. I think its fascinating that the man who went from holding the government's feet to the fire has apparently turned up holding their coats at this point. So I, I find that a fascinating and troubling development but its sure something that I've thought about and seen in the last year and it's a, its something I really want more Americans to talk about and worry about and fuss about and do something about. Um, I'm gonna, I think what I would, how I would characterize what happened to me when I was fired, I was fired on January 10th. After twenty-five years in news I know a fair bit about investigative reporting. It was very difficult to do the Abu-Grabe story, as you might imagine, and a number of other stories so I do know something about investigative work. But I think what happened to me is I made the, Dan Rather also made this terrible mistake. We were trying to do Watergate style reporting in the age of Karl Rove and that's become very dangerous. Anyone who watches the Patrick Fitzgerald investigation, the Plamegate investigation and sees how that thing is unraveling, one of the things that strikes me is the irregularity with which this administration defames and ultimately destroys anyone who brings up a subject they don't want to discuss. And I think Bush, Bush's service in the National Guard essentially serves as kryptonite um, to Bush supporters and to his administration officials. And I foolishly thought it was fair game since he's the commander-in-chief and he's sending people over to fight and die, I believed it might be a good time to look at how he had served his commander-in-chief. And apparently I was wrong. As was immediately pointed out to me. But I'm gonna start by telling you how I got involved in the Bush Guard story. I've lived in Texas for fifteen years, I'm originally from Seattle so I'm a west coast girl, so you can't imagine how much it meant to me to see the mountains and the water when I came in last night or to feel the sun today, awfully nice. Course we don't see much of that in Seattle, but.. I moved to Dallas fifteen years ago for the CBS evening news, started working down there and immediately, one of the first things you find out about Texas is its got the wildest political system known to human beings. And I watched over the years as Bush went form being the owner of the Texas Rangers to being a rumored candidate for governor to being governor and literally having the power of life or death as the Texas governor seems to act on more regularly than anyone else in the country. I didn't do anything about the Bush Guard story, although it was common knowledge when he was running for governor's office, just because I felt with my job at 60 minutes it didn't really matter at that point, it didn't really reach the bar of national importance. When it became clear in 1999 that governor, then Governor Bush was going to run for president, I thought well lets take a look. Because for years we had been getting at the Dallas Evening News Bureau there in Dallas, phone calls, these cryptic phone calls that you always get, "You really need to look into the Bush National Guard.." you know, click. It was one of those stories that everyone talked about, but very few people could pin anything down on. And I decided well, I right here, I'm gonna give it a go. So in 1999 I started talking to people who had served with Bush, or who Bush had served under, or who knew something about the Guard at the time or anything. One of the people I talked to first was former Texas lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes who, I always call, actually to his face, "Fog horn, Leg Horn", because you know that terrible, ole cartoon of the southern politicians who's a giant bird Ben is not a giant bird, but he is a caricature of a Texas politician and he is very funny. But there's that glad handing, jokey, old boy, you know he's a lifelong democrat but he, he came of age in a system that, where you scratch someone's back and they scratched yours and there was a lot of back scratching during Vietnam when it came to the Texas Air National Guard. What I found out as I continued talking to people was that the Texas National Guard really functioned in a much different way, much different way than the National Guard functions now. Back in 1968 it was a hot bed of politics and patronage, it was a hiding place for the wealthy and the well connected. It was a place where you rewarded people with safety or you gave their children really a chance to live without the danger of going to Vietnam. And President Bush, young man then in May 1968, had just finished school at Yale and he was vulnerable to the draft. There was no longer a graduate school draft deferment available for folks so he had to do something. And he was, Ben Barnes said he made a phone call to a friend in the Texas Air National Guard at the behest of a Bush family friend and got Bush a slot in the Guard. From there I started talking to other people who pretty much all agreed, none of whom would go on camera but who told me this was indeed true. Conspicuously, I thought, I got the list of people in Bush's unit, a unit that was referred to as the "champagne unit", oddly enough. And in the unit they had John Connelly's son, it was a bipartisan "champagne unit" I should say. John Connelly's son, George W. Bush, H.L. Hunt's grandson, Lloyd Benson's son, the heirs to the Sakowich fortune, big department store in Houston, Texas , just a who's who of the up and coming and the children of the old and conniving, as we call them and it was also sprinkled with a number of Dallas Cowboys and other people who had that special something that someone felt should keep them out of the Vietnam war. I didn't do a story in '99 in part because I, in what is apparently my penchant for getting in trouble, I'm glad you're a rowdy crowd because apparently I'm a little rowdy. I got in a problem in Texas where I had to fight to stay out of jail when a Texas prosecutor was trying to take my notes over a story. And that was the Jasper dragging death so I was involved in a huge court fight and actually ended up spending long enough in jail that I got a mug shot that my sisters could have put on a coffee cup for me that says "Mary's mug" on the other side. But it really distracted me and it really was kind of a shocking event for someone who was a producer and who'd been a behind the scenes person so I thought, you know what I think I'm gonna do, you know celebrity interviews something, you know for a little while. In 2000, I went at the story again, developed more material but I couldn't get people to go on camera, including Ben Barnes, who I thought was absolutely crucial. By 2004, the summer of 2004 when it became clear that the republicans were making Vietnam a big issue because Senator Kerry was under intense attack from the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, which in Texas a lot of people called the Shrimp Boat Veterans for the Truth. I mean Texans may be wild but they're very funny I think. Anyway, it became clear that Vietnam was a big issue and I thought it was terribly appropriate to look at it again. There were also rumors flying around Texas at the time that had media people from the New York Times to Vanity Fair to USA Today to you name it stampeding across Texas looking for new documents because there was a rumor that there were new documents available. We all knew that in Bush's official record, which many reporters had compiled, there were gaps in his service. Documents that were supposed to be there were not there. Interoffice communications were not there. There were just these stark papers showing that this man had basically stopped flying about two and half years before he should have. And there were no papers to show that he had done his duty in Alabama or that he really had fulfilled his duty to the American people. When you go into the National Guard and train as a pilot you have more than a million dollars worth of training. And one of the things you sign is a document swearing that you will serve for a certain amount of time to give the country back the benefit of all that expensive and really important training. So in 2004 I joined the stampede looking for the documents. And this is another lesson in life for you students, its called be careful what you wish for because I got them. I got them from a man named Bill Burkett he was basically a whistleblower type and that's something I've dealt with a lot. He is a whistleblowers tend to be a combination of things. They view themselves as martyred very often. They're usually angry about something that's happened to him. in his case he felt he was treated unfairly in the National Guard, specifically by Bush and Bush's supporters. He has a narcissistic, egotistical streak, which you need to step out of the group and decide to do something. He is an imperfect person but then as I told people Mother Theresa never says, "Psst" and hands you documents. You know, its always a troubled human being like the rest of us. Anyway I got the documents from Burkett and my first thought was that this was probably some political, dirty trick because that's a regular occurrence in Texas, I've been there for so long and watched Karl Rove work and um, whose sort of left a string of political bodies across the Lonestar state through all kinds of means. And I thought it was quite possible something like that was going on here. So I vowed to be extra careful. I had a large team working with me including military analysts other producers and associate producers and researchers and we started going over these things with a fine toothcomb. We went over them for approximately, I think I got my first documents on the second of September. I visualized airing a story on the 29th of September and when I got to New York with my documents and I had by that time made arrangements for a number of document analysts to come in, I found out two things. I found out that there was no way to fully authenticate copies because that's what we had, copies. You couldn't do what's like a DNA test on a copy where you actually punch in the paper and pull out a little bit of that ink and test it to determine how old it is. But we could have experts look at it and tell us whether the format, the typeface, the font style and the signatures looked good to them. I had four document analysts look at various combinations of the documents. Two analysts saw all of them, the two most experienced analysts and they believed they looked good. The signatures and the documents looked good to them. They saw no sign of forgery, like a block that was picked up and glued back on or pasted on or something, and the typeface looked very good to them. Because I'm not a document analyst and because I don't play one on the internet as a number of people did ultimately, I really depended more on my old fashion reporting techniques. Whenever I do an investigative story I would always break it down in a very simple way. I had to either be able to sit that story on top of a table, four legs, or a three-legged stool, ideally a table. And I built a table for this in four ways. I had four different ways of authenticating this to me. I had the analysts who were telling me it was ok, I sought out corroboration from people who were in the unit at the time and the most direct cooperation I got was from a long time Bush supporter, the Commander of Bush's unit and the actual commander over Killion, the man who supposedly wrote these documents. I read these documents one by one, every word to him on the phone and asked him did any of this sound familiar to him. And he said yes, that was very familiar. He wanted to know where I had gotten them and I told him I couldn't tell him that, but we were preparing to run them. He told me not to do it because I was going to be doing nothing but making trouble, which of course everyone from my mother on has told me, and he was right. But he told me that's what Lieutenant Col. Killion had said, those were the actions he'd taken. That he had ordered then Lieutenant Bush to take a physical and Bush had not complied. That he had suspended Bush for not taking a physical and that he had been, Col. Killion had been pressured to uh, upgrade or to rate Bush in a sugar-coated way, that's the word in the memo, "sugar-coat his rating." I thought that corroboration was tremendously significant. But we continued on vetting, you know the devils and the details, with documents. So we went through, we looked up the 1972 Air force manual, paragraph and page, as referenced in the document, we found out its correct. We looked up Bush's service number as referenced in the document, that was also correct and that was not widely known. Addresses, dates, rankings post office boxes anything that we could, we could look to and see if it worked or made sense or not, we looked up and it did to us. Then I took all the official documents I had and I did what I call a meshing, where I put them together in chronological order to see if these new documents fit, because if these were phony I believed there'd be a point where they'd bumped. There'd be a date that was wrong, there'd be an action that was out of place, there'd be something that didn't make sense. And I found, once again, everything was in place. They fit together perfectly and they actually supported each other in all kinds of large and small ways. So we took our work, Dan Rather looked at it, showed it to our bosses we decided it looked good to go. My executive producer, our new executive producer decided he wanted us to run it immediately on the 8th of September, so I put it in gear like I always have done, I've rushed a lot of things onto air and that's the nature of journalism, you rush. It's why we call it a rough draft of history or a first draft of history because its not, you know, its not one of those wonderful historical books that's done twenty-five years after everyone is dead. This is something you do why the issue is very much alive. So we put it on the air and everyone congratulated me and then the next morning I came in and everything still looked good and then at about eleven o'clock, I heard that some conservative internet sites were saying that the documents were forged. Which, I was just incredulous, because even the White House and Dan Bartlett had not said anything like that. They believed, they tried to tell us that these documents actually supported President Bush's version of the story, somehow. Anyway, they started saying that the typeface and that the font style, proportional spacing didn't exist then, superscript didn't exist then, it should have had a left hand instead of a right hand signature block they basically, instead of looking at the forest and all the evidence and the content and corroboration they started looking at each individual stick in the forest and picking it apart and trying to pull down the whole story. What essentially happened then was that the entire story was hijacked and nobody looked at the story anymore, they just looked at this issue of typeface. And we had, I think nationally, some of the most mind-numbingly, boring discussions known to man, of typeface and font style superscript and kerning and words I hope I go for the rest of my life without saying after this book tour is over. But we completely lost the thrust and importance of the story and the other thing that happened is that we really got, CBS was absolutely swarmed, by what I called at the time "digital-McCarthyism". We were attacked by conservative bloggers, who, oh gosh I was called names, it was like being attacked by a, you know, a group of twelve-year old boys who had broken into their parents liquor cabinet and were absolutely drunk with power. They sent fifteen thousand emails to small CBS affiliates in various states demanding Dan's resignation and saying that I was a communist lesbian. And I don't know how they thought my husband always said no one with a Neiman-Marcus card is a communist. And its true, I have to admit. But um, and my husband was surprised about the lesbian part too, although interested! So we continued on, they continued this horrible, hateful attack, putting my home address on the internet, putting a picture of me with a rifle scope on my forehead. I have a seven-year-old boy, who was seven at the time, eight now, came by the house knocking on the door, taking pictures of my house. Got my property tax records up and all started arguing about whether I'd paid too much or too little, which was interesting but really violating and basically behaved in the most un-American sorts of ways. But it scared CBS to death. And I think CBS did something akin to what it did in a, during the tobacco, Geoffrey Wigand era., when the ownership of CBS decided that there might be a court suit that would cost them money and they wouldn't let 60 Minutes run the story, CBS caved. And I think the same thing happened here for slightly different reasons. We uh, CBS had a different ownership at that time, Viacom, but what's happened in the mainstream media and we've all heard warnings about this and I continued to work through all the warnings and feel confidant until this happened to me. When you have one conglomerate owning, or different conglomerates owning all these news departments, when they make a decision, they have so much on the line. They really don't want their news departments to do anything that rocks the boat for them. One CBS executive told me, as the blogging attack was picking up, told me in frustration, and this was after I did the Abu-Grabe story, I mean my god, that was a good story, said, "Mary do you know how many millions of dollars we spend on lobbying every year in Washington and nothing you've done in the past year has helped." So I guess I was supposed to help the lobbying effort without realizing it. So CBS, I was put under a sort of journalist house arrest, I was sent home to Dallas to do nothing but sit and fret and wait to be called before, what I called the CBS war crimes tribunal, headed by Dick Thornbird,who is, god love him, a life long Republican and I think he was named as a sop to the critics on the right, very much. I was called to speak to the panel be questioned by the panel. Thornbird didn't ask that many questions, there were about six or seven securities fraud attourneys from his firm who asked the questions and if you put everything, everyone on the panel knew about jounalism on the head of the pin you would still have room for Texas. It was, it was the oddest experience of my life. CBS executives went through their, the harddrive in my computer and the computer system at work and sent all of my emails to the panel so I had to sit there while they went through and I was questioned on jokes I'd made, grocery lists, they had my phone records and I was asked why I talked to one of my sisters Diane for seventy two minutes and the other one for thirty one minutes. I have four sister, so, you know we were talking at that time. I, Dick Thornburg personally asked me why I used a euphomism for horse manuer in my emails ane whether that kind of language was appropriate in the news room. And I was so relieved that that was the word I used. You can't imagine! I was asked whether I was a liberal, whether I had liberal friends, whether I supported liberal candidates, whether I was a Democrat, wasn't it true people thought I was a liberal, wasn't it true that people at work thought I was a liberal and then I was also asked oddly, I don't really know why this happened, whether I, they asked, and I just burst out laughing, I don't know why they asked this whether I'd ever used physical intimidation at work. And I, when I figure out how to I'm going to, but I hadn't at that point. So I went home and waited for what was gonna happen and on January 10th I got a phone call in the morning saying that the panel report was in. Andrew Hayward called me he said, "Mary", he's the president of CBS, "Mary I'm going to put you on the speaker phone." That's when I knew my god I'm being fired on a speaker phone, its like Andrew needed somehow hands free for something, I don't know what he was doing eating, or you know cooking anyway I was told I was being terminated after fifteen years and its really unclear to me still why. When you read the report my sins seem to be hurrying, my myopic zeal and confidence and those used to be my strongest points about everything I think. So I'm really not quite sure why any of this happened journalistically. I am sure why this happened politically. . I do think, and I do think we are going through a very, very difficult time in politics and journalism and I think what happened to me and what happened to Dan Rather, who by the way is one of the best men I know, he's somebody I worked with side-by-side or years and I've, I've walked into war zones with him and driven into hurricanes and fallen asleep on planes and snored together and trust deeply. I think what happened was terrible. I think it savaged the news department for absolutely no reason and I think it buckled in to the administration. What I want people to take away from this book, if they take anything away, is how important journalism is. This is my corny part, but I mean it. I grew up on a small farm in Washington state but my family was politically aware. We talked about current events all the time and I grew up believing that's what everybody did. And I was also taught that journalism was a form of patriotism. That asking hard questions was a form of patriotism. That representing Americans, rich and poor, black and white, by behaving inappropriately, by not being nice, by thinking about doing my job rather than how well something was going to hurt my career or help my career, that all of that was patriotism. And I think were in a very difficult time right now. And I think that Bob Woodworth in some ways, god bless him, represents this. I think the media in this counrty has let Americans down, certainly in the last five years. I believe if we'd done our jobs we would not be in Iraq, we would not have more than 2,000 dead soldiers we might have a different president, we certainy would have made different choices along the line in all different kinds of ways. But we, the media has not represented the kind of questioning, information-seeking Americans that were supposed to. So what I would say to you is if you read the book that's great, but what I want you to do most of all is I want you to support provocative press. I want you to support reporting that is tough and poorly behaved and I want people to know that we desperately need a lot more Helen Thomases and maybe a few less Katie Couric's, although she's so perky, and she seems very nice. But, that we need people, who, who are willing to put their careers on the line for the sake of their jobs. So do whatever you can to encourage every reporter, write a letter to the editor, support your newspapers, listen to the news, get as much information as you can and recognize that, that paying attention to journalism and demanding the very best journalism is as much apart of being American as is voting. Thanks. Q & A