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Will CBS report Amnesty's war crimes charges?

June 13, 2000

Shortly after last year's NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, CBS News anchor Dan Rather discussed the war at the National Press Club in Washington, DC (6/25/99). When FAIR associate Sam Husseini asked about possible war crimes committed by NATO forces, Rather explained that "If our government engages in war crimes, it's at least as important, and I would agree with you more important, that we report the war crime."

When Husseini asked whether there would be room on the CBS Evening News for a guest to express the opinion that NATO had committed war crimes during their bombing of Serbia, Rather replied: "I do have a different view, but I never rule out the possibility that the other fellow is right. And you may be right about this."

Now, almost a year later, Amnesty International has released a report concluding that "NATO forces...committed serious violations of the laws of war leading in a number of cases to the unlawful killings of civilians" during last year's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia. In particular, Amnesty concluded that NATO's April 23 attack on Radio-Television Serbia (RTS) was a "direct attack on a civilian object... and therefore constitutes a war crime."

Yet the Amnesty report, which was published on June 7, has so far received no mention on CBS News. If alleged U.S. war crimes are news, in Rather's view, why has the Amnesty report gone unmentioned?

To read the Amnesty report, go to

To read the full transcript of the exchange between Husseini and Rather, go to:

Source: Fair - Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

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