New York, NY - In spite of the National Guard document controversy and the record fine levied for Janet Jackson's breast, an undaunted CBS shouted back at the world today with a tough statement which will be read by CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves on the CBS Evening News.
The following is the planned text of Mr. Moonves' statement which was provided to the media earlier today:
"CBS has a long and storied history of network excellence and I am proud to be part of writing yet another chapter today. Some might say that I am looking at the world with rose-colored glasses, that the coverage we have been receiving for our news and entertainment programming over the past weeks and months is nothing to be proud of, but I am a glass-half-full kind of guy.
"Lets review some of the issues small-minded pundits are taking potshots at shall we? Superbowl XXXVIII - now that was a great one - great teams, great game and yes, a great halftime show featuring what I think most men - and women - would agree, was a great breast. Maybe Michael Powell doesn't like breasts. Most people do. We were fined $550,000. Guess what - that's chump change. Next year, we'll have dozens of breasts all over the damn show and people will love it. Sure, there'll be a few letter-writing cranks but they'll be wasting the stamps - idiots.
"And now we have a bunch of holier-than-thou, self-appointed media Nazis out there jumping all over poor Dan Rather for his story on Sky Captain Bush from the World of Tomorrow. Listen, all that has happened is that we've said we can't authenticate the documents. No one has shown me proof that they are fake - so what's the big deal? If I had a nickel for every time one of my reporters or stories was criticized, I'd be a rich man. Which I am, but that's another story.
"Oh and don't get me started on the hand-wringing over Mary Mapes. Since when are people not allowed to be politically active? Mary is a free person, living in a free country and doing what she felt was right. Perhaps it would be best if we let John Ashcroft plant his hobnailed-heel on all of our throats now. Maybe we should follow Little Boy Blueblood like a flock of mindless sheep from one mess to the next without ever saying anything ever again.
"That's just where things are heading when real American hero's like Janet Jackson, Dan Rather, Mary Mapes and score and scores of others are pilloried by sniveling do-gooder-wannabes like Michael Powell. I'm all for responsible broadcasting - it is my business to be - but I'll be damned if I will be forced to limit CBS to clothed breasts, real documents and snot-nosed objectivity.
"From now on, you can count on CBS for more than the dross provided by our crappy so-called rival networks. We're going to have wall-to-wall boobs, 24/7; Dan Rather will be reading from the Weekly World News clad in nothing but finger-paint and a g-string starting tonight and I will be delivering a one hour rant once a day on whatever frigging topic has gotten me hot under the collar.
"News, entertainment and sports will all be merging and you can bet things are going to be a whole hell of a lot more fun on this network than anywhere else on TV. So, my friends, join me in a TV revolution - starting today, CBS means Creating Better Stories, and I think you are going to love it. If not, you can kiss our collective butts. Thank you, and good night."