Lowell Bergman's 60 Minutes Essay

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In February of 1994, Wigand worked with Lowell Bergman on a “60 Minutes” segment on the Philip Morris fire safe cigarette. Bergman had been given internal documents anonymously and recruited Wigand to interpret information. The story aired on March 27, 1994. In March of 1995, Bergman proposes an expose on Brown and Williamson. After approval, Wigand begins working with Bergman in Louisville, KY. In August of 1995, Wigand agrees to an interview with “60 Minutes” and is reassured it will not air without his permission. In October of 1995, The Wall Street Journal released a story featuring Brown & Williamson’s internal reports revealing how added ammonia based compounds are used to enhance nicotine uptake in users. The added chemicals make the nicotine more potent when inhaled. Wigand assisted with this article but was not named in the article (2).…show more content…
Instead they aired a shortened version on November 12 not naming Wigand as the source. On November 17th, The New York Daily News does name Wigand as the source after receiving a copy of the abridged November 12 script. On February 4, 1996, CBS aired the interview on “60 Minutes” in its entirety (2). In the aftermath of the interview, Brown & Williamson hired a private investigation company to ruin Wigand’s credibility (1). Wigand describes the dark side of whistleblowing in a Vanity Fair interview in 1996 as “fear, threats, loss, ostracization” (3). He was intimidated by the private investigation firm, his children received death threats, he lost his job, co-workers turned against him, and his wife eventually left him as well (3). As he said to Lowell Bergman after the interview, “I just wanted to get the story out,” (3) Dr. Wigand spends his time travelling around the world lecturing on tobacco issues and on his non-profit organization Smoke-Free Kids,
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