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Thursday, September 23, 2004

FEC Complaint Filed Against CBS and Kerry

More probelms for See BS
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004

FEC Complaint Filed Against CBS and Kerry

The Center for Individual Freedom today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging CBS and Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign with illegal coordination.

The two Democrat organizations "violated federal campaign finance laws when they colluded to attack President Bush based on claims and documents now believed to be fake," the center announced from Alexandria, Va.

"It's obvious that CBS and the Kerry campaign acted improperly. That much is clear to anyone with a pulse," said Jeffrey Mazzella, the center's executive director.

"But what's been lost is that CBS and its executives blatantly violated federal election laws when they overtly ignored basic journalistic ethical standards and coordinated with the Kerry campaign in order to run an attack story in an effort to affect the outcome of the November presidential election. Our complaint makes this very clear," he said.

The organization noted: "As a condition for handing over the documents, CBS's source, Bill Burkett, required that CBS arrange for a conversation between him and a senior advisor of the Kerry campaign. On September 4, just four days before the segment aired, a CBS producer spoke with Joe Lockhart, a senior adviser to the Kerry campaign. Lockhart admits that during the conversation he and the CBS employee discussed the upcoming segment attacking President Bush. Lockhart also admits that he later called Burkett at CBS's urging."

Mazzella pointed out: "If there had been no coordination, there would have been no attack story. CBS would not have been able to use the documents it so desperately needed for its assault on President Bush if one of its producers hadn't coordinated with the Kerry campaign. Mr. Lockhart's conversations with CBS and Mr. Burkett raise additional questions that must also be answered."

'Arm of the Kerry Campaign'

The center further observed that just two days after CBS aired its dubious attack on President Bush, Democratic National Committee released a strikingly similar attack video, "Fortunate Son," along with accompanying anti-Bush propaganda.

"Under campaign finance law, media organizations are exempt from provisions barring corporations from engaging in 'electioneering communications” within 60 days of a general election. However, in its complaint, the Center argues that CBS forfeited its exemption by illegally coordinating a partisan attack on the President only 55 days before an election," the organization said.

Mazzella added: "Under normal circumstances, the media exemption is in place because it presumes that the press is impartial, and that the public relies on impartial reporting of the ideas and actions of the candidates. However, this is no normal circumstance. CBS threw its impartiality out the door, ignored basic journalistic standards and coordinated with the Kerry campaign, all in an effort to run a bogus story in an attempt to affect the outcome of a federal election.

"Our complaint argues that CBS forfeited its exemption when it chose to become an arm of the Kerry campaign."

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