CBS 60 Minutes just pulled their entire April 19th episode, which contained their controversial segment on cold fusion research, off the web sometime tonight. Curiously, at present they still feature a promo tab for the 4/19 show referencing the cold fusion report on the 60 Minutes homepage, but when clicked on it now leads to a streaming video of the previous week’s show. The 4/19 show, which came under heavy criticism by the American Physical Society disappeared one day after the APS released the following statement:
On April 19, CBS aired a “60 Minutes” segment on “cold fusion,” a process that proponents claim could solve the world’s energy problems. The script stated that “[’60 Minutes’] asked the American Physical Society, the top physics organization in America, to recommend an independent scientist. They gave us Rob Duncan, vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri and an expert in measuring energy.” That statement is false.
None of the American Physical Society’s (APS) authorized spokespersons, including the president, president-elect, executive officer, director of public affairs, head of media relations and press secretary, provided CBS with the names of any experts. APS has learned that “60 Minutes” did receive a long list of names – that included Rob Duncan’s – from University of Minnesota Professor Allen Goldman, who states unequivocally that he never claimed to be acting in the name of APS.
APS does not, as an organization, endorse particular experiments or their results. That can only be done through publication in peer-reviewed journals, and by independent replication by other researchers. The APS does not endorse the cold fusion experiments featured in the April 19 “60 Minutes” news program. Any suggestion by the CBS journalists to the contrary is misleading and false.
The American Physical Society is the leading professional organization of physicists, representing over 46,000 physicists in academia and industry in the United States and internationally. APS has offices in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.
More: the link to the cold fusion segment stopped working a few hours before the entire show was pulled. On the other hand, at the moment the site still features a printed transcript of the segment here. Interestingly, the printed transcript has been edited to remove the “false statement” cited above by the APS.
What on earth is going on?
Addendum: Just as mysteriously as it vanished, the video report reappeared on the CBS 60 Minutes site a few moments ago. CBS edited the video in the same way they edited the transcript, removing the one sentence that was contested by the American Physical Society. Here is the new version…: