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Friday, September 10, 2004

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX FRI SEPT 10, 2004 12:01:25 ET XXXXX RATHER DIGS IN: THE DOCUMENTS ARE AUTHENTIC CBSNEWS anchor and 60 MINUTES correspondent Dan Rather publicly defended his reporting Friday morning after questions were raised about the authenticity of newly unearthed memos aired on CBS which asserted that George W. Bush ignored a direct order from a superior officer in the Texas Air National Guard. CNN TRANSCRIPT: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: I know that this story is true. I believe that the witnesses and the documents are authentic. We wouldn't have gone to air if they would not have been. There isn't going to be -- there's no -- what you're saying apology? QUESTION: Apology or any kind of retraction or... RATHER: Not even discussed, nor should it be. I want to make clear to you, I want to make clear to you if I have not made clear to you, that this story is true, and that more important questions than how we got the story, which is where those who don't like the story like to put the emphasis, the more important question is what are the answers to the questions raised in the story, which I just gave you earlier. (END VIDEO CLIP) CBS NEWS executives on Thursday launched an internal investigation into whether its premiere news program 60 MINUTES aired fabricated documents relating to Bush's National Guard service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. "The reputation and integrity of the entire news division is at stake, if we are in error, it will be corrected," a top CBS source explained late Thursday. Developing...

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