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CBS Apologizes for Talk Show's Violent Bush Joke

CAMPAIGN 2000

August 10, 2000|PAUL BROWNFIELD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CBS and the producers of "The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn" apologized Wednesday for putting the words "Snipers Wanted" under footage of George W. Bush's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention during a mock newscast portion of the program.

The footage ran as part of the late-night talk show's "In the News" segment on Friday night, during which Kilborn tweaks topical news. As a clip was shown of Republican presidential nominee Bush giving his speech, "Snipers Wanted" appeared under his image for about five seconds.

"This graphic--which was not accompanied by any remarks from Mr. Kilborn--should not have been included in the telecast and is not consistent with our broadcast standards," CBS said in a statement released Wednesday.

A CBS source called the joke "a misguided attempt at humor." The network said it is conducting an internal review of the matter.

According to the network, no one from the Bush campaign had called to complain. Indeed, the CBS decision to apologize--five days after the episode--came after the network was called by a Fox News Channel reporter.

"The Late Late Show" airs on CBS weeknights following "The Late Show with David Letterman." Letterman's company, Worldwide Pants, produces both programs.

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