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CBS wins Peabody for Abu Ghraib report

Producer Mary Mapes was later fired; 'Daily Show,' 'Deadwood' also win
/ Source: The Associated Press

CBS News won a Peabody Award on Thursday for its report on abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, a story anchored by Dan Rather and produced by Mary Mapes, who was later fired by CBS for her role in the story about President Bush’s military service.

Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart won his second Peabody Award, for his satiric take on the 2004 election campaign, while HBO’s Western “Deadwood” also won.

The George Foster Peabody awards, for broadcasting excellence in both news and entertainment, are given by the University of Georgia. Thirty-two awards will be handed out at the ceremony May 16.

The controversy over CBS’s discredited story about Bush’s National Guard service played no part in the judges’ determination that the Abu Ghraib report on “60 Minutes II” deserved honor, said Horace Newcomb, Peabody Awards director.

“We feel that this story stood on its own merit,” Newcomb said. “It was really an important moment in television this year.”

The Abu Ghraib story aired last April, while the story about Bush’s military service ran in September. Mapes was fired in January 2005 and Rather was admonished for his role in the Bush story.

CNBC, HBO take honorsStewart’s show, which also won for its “Indecision 2000” coverage, “provides the kind of cathartic satire that deflates pomposity on an equal opportunity basis,” judges said.

CNBC won its first-ever Peabody for an insider’s look at Wal-Mart, and the networks Trio, Link TV and Univision were also first-time winners.

HBO won three awards. Besides “Deadwood,” the pay cable outlet was honored for “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks,” a biography of actress Beah Richards, and “Something the Lord Made,” a documentary about two men who fight racial prejudice doing pioneering work on heart surgery in the South in 1944.

HBO’s sister company, Cinemax, won two awards for documentaries.

The Peabodys also gave a rare individual award to Grant Tinker, former NBC chairman who was cited for fostering “creative opportunities that led to some of television’s most exciting work — and workers.”

The winners were announced at the Museum of Television & Radio. The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia has administered the Peabodys since the program’s inception in 1940. CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer will be host of the 64th annual awards ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

List of the 2005 winners
Winners of the George Foster Peabody Awards, announced Thursday by the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

  • “The Darfur Crisis,” BBC Television News, London; series of reports on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
  • “Mosaic: World News from the Middle East,” Link TV, San Francisco; a collection of unedited daily newscasts from the Middle East.
  • “State of Denial,” WFAA-TV, Dallas, Tex.; a 19-part series on questionable practices by state agencies and insurance companies involved with Texas’ workers compensation system.
  • “Friends in High Places,” WTVF-TV, Nashville, Tenn.; a three-year investigation into the awarding of state contracts to friends of the Tennessee governor.
  • “Chesapeake Bay Pollution Investigation,” WBAL-TV, Baltimore; Investigative reports on rapid development and pollution in a small eastern Maryland town.
  • “60 Minutes II: Abuse at Abu Ghraib,” CBS News; Dan Rather report detailing abuses at the Iraqi prison, showing for the first time pictures of the prisoners.
  • “Deadwood,” Red Board Productions and Paramount Television in association with HBO Entertainment; HBO’s profane and violent Western drama about men and women in the Deadwood mining camp.
  • “The Age of Wal-Mart: Inside America’s Most Powerful Company,” CNBC; reports on the corporate culture and business practices of the nation’s retail giant.
  • “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Indecision 2004,” Comedy Central; series of satirical reports on the 2004 presidential election by Stewart and his team of “correspondents.”
  • “Black Sky: The Race for Space,” Discovery Channel and Vulcan Productions in association with Gemini Productions and Antenna Films; a documentary about the reinvention of space travel by the privately funded aircraft SpaceShipOne.
  • “The N-Word,” Trio and Post Consumer Media; the Trio documentary tracing the history of racial dialogue through the use of one inflammatory word.
  • “American Experience: Tupperware!,” Filmmakers Collaborative, Blueberry Hill Productions for American Experience, WGHB-TV, Boston; Kathy Bates-narrated documentary about how a plastic food container has become a cultural icon.
  • “Rwanda: Do Scars Ever Fade?,” Bill Brummel Productions for The History Channel; a “Time Machine” documentary about how a nation heals from a traumatic event.
  • “Bus 174,” Zendo Entertainment in association with Cinemax Reel Life; Cinemax documentary about the disintegration of a violent hostage situation in Brazil that was covered live on television.
  • “Balseros,” Televiso de Catalunya, Bausan Films in association with Cinemax Reel Life; Cinemax documentary examines the lives of seven Cuban refugees who arrived in the United States on rafts.
  • “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks,” Clinica Estetico and LisaGay Inc. in association with HBO; biography on actress, poet and teacher Beah Richards.
  • “Something the Lord Made,” a Cort/Madden Production in association with HBO Films, a documentary on white surgeon Dr. Alfred Blalock and black lab technician Vivien Thomas, who do pioneering work in heart surgery in the face of racial prejudice in the south in 1944.
  • “Human Cargo,” Howe Sound Films and Force Four Entertainment in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.; six stories on the lives of refugees and people who deal with them.
  • “State of Play,” Endor Production in association with BBC, BBC America; a political thriller looking at the relationships between politics, law enforcement and the media.
  • “The Kumars at No. 42,” Hat Trick Productions, BBC America; part-comedy and part-interview, series about an exaggerated Indian family who run their own TV show.
  • “Nursery Tap, Hip to Toe,” Nursery Tap, LLC; a collection of 30 nursery rhymes introducing children to a full range of performing arts.
  • “The Suffering of Sudan,” Channel One Network; News reporter Seth Doane’s stories on Sudan’s civil war, prepared for middle school and high school audiences.
  • “Takalani Sesame Presents ‘talk to me...’,” Sesame Workshop (USA) and Kwasukasukela (South Africa); documentary that was the culmination of a South African public service campaign designed to get adults and children talking about AIDS.
  • “The Bully Project,” WITI-TV, Milwaukee; series of reports on playground violence in southeast Wisconsin.
  • “Univision Communications, Salud es Vida ... Enterate! (Lead a Healthy Life ... Get the Facts!), Univision, Miami; Univision’s health education public service campaign.
  • “On the Media,” WNYC Radio, New York, National Public Radio; reports, commentary and satire about the media.
  • “Studio 360 American Icons: Melville’s Moby Dick,” WNYC Radio, New York, Public Radio International; part of the “American Icons” series, it reports on Herman Melville’s classic tale.
  • “The War in Iraq,” National Public Radio, Washington; coverage by NPR’s team of foreign correspondents on the war.
  • “Leonard Bernstein: An American Life,” CultureWorks, presented on WNYC, New York, and the WFMT Radio Network, Chicago; an 11-part radio documentary anchored by Susan Sarandon that looks on Bernstein’s life, career and music.
  • “Let the Good Times Roll,” The Rhythm and Blues Foundation, Washington, Public Radio International; a 13-part radio series on jazz, gospel and blues in the post-World War II era.
  • “To the Best of our Knowledge,” Wisconsin Public Radio, Public Radio International; a radio magazine about arts and culture.
  • Grant Tinker, former head of MTM Enterprises in the 1970s and NBC chairman in the 1980s, he provided creative opportunities to a generation of writers and producers.