The Hon. Dick Thornburgh and Louis D. Boccardi to Comprise Independent Review Panel Examining CBS News '60 Minutes' Wednesday Report

Sep 22, 2004, 01:00 ET from CBS News

    NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Honorable Dick Thornburgh, former
 governor of Pennsylvania and United States attorney general under Presidents
 Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and Louis D. Boccardi, retired president
 and chief executive officer of the Associated Press, will comprise the
 independent review panel that will examine the process by which a recent 60
 MINUTES Wednesday report was prepared and broadcast.
     The Sept. 8 broadcast reported that President George W. Bush had received
 favorable treatment to enter the Texas Air National Guard and had not
 fulfilled all of the Guard's requirements.  CBS News acknowledged this week
 that it cannot prove the authenticity of disputed memos featured in the report
 and that, therefore, it was a mistake to use them.
     Two days ago, CBS News and CBS announced the commissioning of an
 independent review to help determine what errors occurred in the preparation
 of the report and what actions need to be taken.  The two-person review panel
 will commence its work this week and will have full access and complete
 cooperation from CBS News and CBS, as well as all of the resources necessary
 to complete the task.  The panel will report its findings to CBS News and CBS.
 The findings also will be made public.
     Thornburgh was elected governor of Pennsylvania in 1978 and served two
 successive terms in that office.  He was attorney general of the United States
 for three years in the cabinets of Presidents Reagan and Bush (1988-1991).
 All told, Thornburgh served in the Justice Department under five presidents,
 including as U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh (1969-75) and Assistant Attorney
 General in charge of the Criminal Division (1975-77).  Under his direction,
 the Department of Justice obtained a record number of convictions of savings
 and loan and securities officials, defense contractors and corrupt public
 officials.  In August 2002, Thornburgh was appointed Examiner in the WorldCom
 bankruptcy proceedings, the largest ever filed, to report on wrongdoing and
 malfeasance that led to the company's downfall.  He also served as Under-
 Secretary-General at the United Nations (1992-93) and as a consultant to the
 U.N. and the World Bank on efforts to battle fraud and corruption.  Thornburgh
 is counsel to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP, which will assist in the independent
     Boccardi retired from the Associated Press in 2003 as president and chief
 executive officer after a 36-year career there, including the last 18 years in
 that position and 10 years as executive editor.  He oversaw the launching of
 APTN, the world's largest video news service, and the creation of The WIRE,
 AP's multimedia internet site.  Boccardi has also taken a leading role within
 the news industry on critical First Amendment and freedom of the press issues,
 as well as challenges to credibility and readership.  In 1990, he was elected
 a fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists, the highest honor awarded
 by the organization to journalists, and a Distinguished Service Member of the
 American Society of Newspaper Editors.  Boccardi is also the recipient of the
 William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit and the Overseas
 Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is a retired member and former
 chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board.