Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Does the 60 Minutes Siegelman Story Live?

The 60 Minutes report on the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is not dead, according to Glynn Wilson, at Locust Fork World News and Journal.

Wilson has spoken to four sources who are close to the news program, and they confirm the network has received pressure from Washington and Montgomery to dump the story. But Wilson's sources say they have no indication that such pressure will cause the network to cancel a story that has been in the works for months.

The Siegelman report did not run last Sunday because of the Super Bowl. And it will not run on February 10 because presidential politics, in the wake of Super Tuesday, figures to be the focus of that show. But Wilson's sources say the story could run any time after that, particularly on a week when it can be the lead story.

"We could run it this week," one source said, "But it would have to take the third slot. We don't want that."

Wilson raises a key point: Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson, a primary source on the Siegelman story, has a verbal agreement not to talk with other TV shows on the air until 60 Minutes has had a chance to run a full story. Simpson is sticking by her agreement, for now, partly because 60 Minutes' reputation and resources make it a natural choice for the story. But if CBS caves to pressure, it appears that other news programs are waiting in the wings.

Wilson's advice to Siegelman supporters and others who want to see justice issues spotlighted? Don't start freaking out and calling the network complaining, he says. "The show has not been 'killed.' At least not yet . . . "

1 comment:

Jeff (no, the other one) said...

I went to UA with Jill in the 80s. Haven't spoken with her in quite a while, but I really should look her up.