A Tragedy of Errors-Six Words That Roiled the World
In 1988, in order to restore its credibility, CNN summarily fired producers April Oliver and Jack Smith for the bogus "Tailwind" broadcast, in which it was charged that the United States had used lethal nerve gas in Laos to kill American defectors from the Vietnam War in 1970. In addition, Pulitzer Prize -winning reporter Peter Arnett, who was flown in to read the narration on air and had nothing to do with the development of the story, wound up getting fired as well.
But Graham did not step up to the plate and restore credibility to Newsweek. As of this writing, Barry is still employed. Whitaker is still employed. Isikoff is still employed, no doubt still smarting from not only the retraction, but also from Newsweek's allowing that insouciant rascal Matt Drudge to scoop his Monica Lewinsky story so many years ago.
One further thought. When top people are fired, internal grumbling ensues with dark mutterings about how management allowed loyal employees to twist in the wind. But nobody in the organization weeps. After all, everybody moves up.