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This should be pursued aggressively." and broke into mass media outlets, including the Associated Press and the major television news networks.
It also was receiving serious attention from conservative writers such as National Review Online's Jim Geraghty.
The film was, however, not approved by current CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves.
The memos, allegedly written in 19, were obtained by CBS News producer Mary Mapes and freelance journalist Michael Smith, from Lt. Bill Burkett, a former US Army National Guard officer.
On September 5, CBS interviewed Killian's friend Robert Strong, who ran the Texas Air National Guard administrative office.Among other issues covered in his interview with Rather and Mapes, Strong was asked if he thought the documents were genuine.Strong stated, "they are compatible with the way business was done at the time.At that time, Burkett told Mapes that they were copies of originals that had been obtained from Killian's personal files via Chief Warrant Officer George Conn, another former member of the Tex ANG.Mapes informed Rather of the progress of the story, which was being targeted to air on September 8 along with footage of an interview with former Lieutenant Governor of Texas Ben Barnes, who would publicly state for the first time his opinion that Bush had received preferential treatment to get into the National Guard.