Poor, poor Dan Rather! He’s part of an attempt by CBS News to throw the 2004 election to John Kerry, gets busted for his part in a story based on forged documents, and now he wants to sue because he lost his job.
- Rather Files $70 Million Suit Against CBS
By Jacques Steinberg,The New York Times
(Sept. 19) – Dan Rather, whose career at CBS News ground to an inglorious end 15 months ago over his role in an unsubstantiated report questioning President Bushâ€™s Vietnam-era National Guard service, filed a $70 million lawsuit this afternoon against the network, its corporate parent and three of his former superiors.
Mr. Rather, 75, asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on â€œ60 Minutesâ€ after forcing him to step down as anchor of the â€œCBS Evening Newsâ€ in March 2005. He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a â€œbiasedâ€ and incomplete investigation of the flawed Guard broadcast and, in the process, â€œseriously damaged his reputation.â€ As plaintiffs, the suit names CBS and its chief executive, Leslie Moonves; Viacom and its chief executive, Sumner Redstone; and Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News.
In the suit, filed this afternoon in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Mr. Rather charges that CBS and its executives made him â€œa scapegoatâ€ in an attempt â€œto pacify the White House,â€ though the formal complaint presents virtually no direct evidence to that effect. To buttress this claim, Mr. Rather quotes the executive who oversaw his regular segment on CBS Radio, telling Mr. Rather in November 2004 that he was losing that slot, effective immediately, because of â€œpressure from â€˜the right wing.â€™ â€
He also continues to take vehement issue with the appointment by CBS of Richard Thornburgh, an attorney general in the administration of the elder President Bush , as one of the two outside panelists given the job of reviewing how the disputed broadcast had been prepared.
Mr Rather, who had taken the number one evening newscast that he inherited from Walter Cronkite, and turned it into a solid number three (I guess that he thought a third place finish earned him the bronze medal), had already announced that he would be retiring from the CBS Evening News program, and while some of the CBS executives who were involved in that repugnant story were shown the door immediately (one was directly fired, while three others were allowed to resign, not that they had any choice in the matter), Mr Rather was allowed to plug on to his honorable retirement.
If you read the linked story, you’ll find that Mr Rather, who wanted us all to believe he was a real journalist, a tough investigator, claims he was barely more than a narrator for the infamous “Rathergate” story, and that the on-air apology he delivered a couple weeks after the event was written not by him but by a corporate publicist, and he disagreed with the idea of apologizing.
So, why didn’t he have the cojones to refuse to deliver it? Mr Rather is a wealthy man, a millionaire many times over, and could easily have afforded to risk being fired if he didn’t obey his bosses. Instead he swallowed what little pride he had, and delivered the apology. And now he’s filing suit — just a few weeks after CBS announced that it had settled a lawsuit with Don Imus. Am I the only one who thinks he’s just after easy money?
Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007: Ed Morrissey has the wonderful retort of :
- Bernard Goldberg, whose book Bias exposed Rather as a brooding martinet, scoffed at Rather’s lawsuit. He noted that Rather has never taken responsibility for his failures. “This is the man who signed off his newscast with ‘courage,’Â¹ and now he’s alleging ‘they made me do it, they just put the words in front of me.’ This is ridiculous on so many levels.” Even after he did take responsibility, in his apology in which he claimed that “I want to say personally and directly, I’m sorry,” Rather now says he lied on the air and only said that because CBS forced him to do it.
Regardless of which way you read it, Dan Rather has admitted to being a liar. If you believe Mr Rather’s version, he lied in making the apology; if you don’t, Mr Rather lied in filing the lawsuit.
Â¹ – The link to “Courage” from Brian.