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Rocketta
Sep 19th, 2007, 11:17 PM
Dan Rather files $70M suit against CBS

By SAMUEL MAULL, Associated Press Writer
19 minutes ago


Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and his former bosses Wednesday, claiming they made him a "scapegoat" for a discredited story about President Bush's military service during the Vietnam War.


The 75-year-old Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the story, said the actions of the defendants damaged his reputation and cost him significant financial loss.


The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, claims the network intentionally botched the aftermath of the story about Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard and had Rather take the fall to "pacify" the White House. He was removed from his job at "CBS Evening News" in March 2005.


Besides CBS Corp., the suit names former CBS parent company Viacom Inc., CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, and Andrew Heyward, former president of CBS News. The suit seeks $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.


"These complaints are old news, and this lawsuit is without merit," said CBS spokesman Dana McClintock. Viacom had no comment.


Rather narrated a September 2004 report saying that Bush had disobeyed orders and shirked some of his duties during his National Guard service and that a commander felt pressured to sugarcoat Bush's record.


In his lawsuit, Rather maintains that the story was true, but that if any aspect of the broadcast wasn't accurate, he was not responsible for the errors.


The story relied on four documents, supposedly written by Bush's commander in the Texas Air National Guard, the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Critics questioned the documents' authenticity and suggested they were forged.


A CBS review determined the story was neither fair nor accurate. CBS fired the story's producer and asked for the resignation of three executives because it could not authenticate documents used in the story, and Rather was forced out of the anchor chair he had occupied for 24 years.


Rather's lawsuit says he was forced to apologize, although "as defendants well knew, even if any aspect of the broadcast had not been accurate, which has never been established, Mr. Rather was not responsible for any such errors."


By making Rather apologize publicly, "CBS intentionally caused the public and the media to attribute CBS' alleged bungling of the episode to Mr. Rather," the lawsuit claimed. As a result, some news media called the event "Rathergate."


He also claimed that after removing him as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," the network gave him fewer and less important assignments and little airtime on "60 Minutes" and "60 Minutes II."


At the time, Rather was making $6 million a year, the lawsuit says.
Rather claimed in the suit that his departure was ultimately caused by Viacom Chairman Redstone, who found it best for the company to curry favor with the Bush administration by damaging Rather. An "enraged" Redstone said the newsman and anyone associated with him had to go, according to the lawsuit.


Richard Thornburgh, the former U.S. attorney general who made up the two-man investigative panel with Louis D. Boccardi, the retired chief executive of The Associated Press, said he was unaware of Rather's lawsuit.


Reached at his home in Washington, Thornburgh said only: "Our report speaks for itself."


Boccardi did not return messages left by The Associated Press.


Issued in January 2005, the 224-page report portrayed Rather as "pushed to the limit" with other stories at the time of the "60 Minutes Wednesday" report. He relied on a trusted producer and didn't check the story for accuracy or, apparently, even see it before he introduced it on the program, the panel said.


CBS rushed the story on the air and then blindly defended it when holes became apparent, said the panel, which was unable to say conclusively whether memos disparaging Bush's service were real or fake.


The fired CBS News producer, Mary Mapes, later wrote that the panel's examination of the story "read more like a prosecutorial brief than an independent investigation." Her book surrounding the controversy was published in 2005.


Rather, who didn't return messages Wednesday, worked at CBS News starting in 1962, then replaced Walter Cronkite in 1981 as "CBS Evening News" anchorman until signing off March 9, 2005.


He always considered himself a reporter first, and the habit of news anchors to travel to the scene of big stories is largely his legacy. His interview with Saddam Hussein in 2003 was the last given by the Iraqi leader before he was toppled.


With his intense on-air demeanor, Rather also had his detractors, and his broadcast was a distant third in the evening news ratings when he stepped down. CBS News' ratings rebounded under short-term successor Bob Schieffer, but they have plummeted under Katie Couric, who took over the broadcast in September 2006.


Rather has moved on to a weekly news show on cable's HDNet channel, "Dan Rather Reports," but the effort has garnered little attention. When the show launched, it was available in only 4 million homes, a small fraction of his potential audience while at CBS.
___
Associated Press Television Writer Frazier Moore contributed to this report.

venus_rulez
Sep 19th, 2007, 11:22 PM
Dan Dan Dan...I like Dan Rather a lot, but if his biggest concern is this not tarnishing his legacy, it might be better just to let it go.

Scotso
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:13 AM
Doesn't he just READ the news? If so, obviously he isn't to blame for inaccuracies. So he probably has a valid complaint.

venus_rulez
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:44 AM
Doesn't he just READ the news? If so, obviously he isn't to blame for inaccuracies. So he probably has a valid complaint.

True. But it's also true that as the anchorman of The Evening News and as a leading correspondent for 60 Minutes, he does represent the face of CBS news. Sure, they shouldn't have left him out to dry, but of course they would have him apolgize for the error, he's the face of CBS. What would having some high profile exec come ut and apologize do for anyone? But like my sister said, he's 75, what is he going to do with $70 million lol.

Sally Struthers
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:46 AM
oh Dan, just go away gracefully. You've made all the money you need. Just go.

CondiLicious
Sep 20th, 2007, 03:08 AM
Doesn't he just READ the news? If so, obviously he isn't to blame for inaccuracies. So he probably has a valid complaint.

Yeah but when you anchor you become the "face" of whatever news station you work at. The anchor is usually made the scapegoat.

I miss Rather. He was better than that Couric mess. The ladies at my local news station are better than her and they are medium-market.

David55
Sep 20th, 2007, 03:36 AM
Oh brother. :rolleyes:

Scotso
Sep 20th, 2007, 05:43 AM
True. But it's also true that as the anchorman of The Evening News and as a leading correspondent for 60 Minutes, he does represent the face of CBS news. Sure, they shouldn't have left him out to dry, but of course they would have him apolgize for the error, he's the face of CBS. What would having some high profile exec come ut and apologize do for anyone? But like my sister said, he's 75, what is he going to do with $70 million lol.

What is anyone going to do with $70 million? I don't think his age matters, and I don't think it's about the money. He's trying to make a point.

Still, you can never be too rich or too thin.

nhissan
Sep 20th, 2007, 11:44 AM
What is anyone going to do with $70 million? I don't think his age matters, and I don't think it's about the money. He's trying to make a point.

Still, you can never be too rich or too thin.

with 70 millions man you can buy an Island :D

Scotso
Sep 20th, 2007, 04:38 PM
What would I do with an island? :shrug: :p

samsung101
Sep 20th, 2007, 07:34 PM
Discredited story?
Fake story.
False story.

A story, leads, all the other networks and news outlets passed on because
the source was questionable, and with some research, they figured out the
document was likely fake.

Not Dan. He ran with it. He hated Bush so much, he just ran with the
story w/o the usual necessary checking and cross checking. He was burned.

He then threw others under the bus, who were fired, suspended, etc. He didn't
lift a finger to help them out. Then, finally, his retirement was pushed up
a few years. CBS said sure, we'll get some 60 Minutes stuff from you once in
a while Dan. Like never. But, here's your check, see you.

He won't take that anymore!



1. Dan saw what Don Imus got from CBS, and he's ticked off. He wants cash.
2. He's been stewing in anger after being politely asked to leave - sort of.
3. He doesn't have Walter Cronkite's life after leaving the news desk.
4. He's bitter.
5. He's old.
6. He hates Bush.
7. He was replaced what he considers a lightweight in Katie.
8. His own lawsuit makes him look like a dolt- a guy who wasn't really in charge
of his own broadcast, that others did all the work, etc. NIce Dan.

9. Are we to believe CBS is really a cover for the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy? Please,
Dan,even Democrats - like you - know CBS is very liberal on the news side.

*JR*
Sep 20th, 2007, 09:06 PM
No, Dan did not just "read the news" or was merely the face, he was the Chief Editor for the CBS Evening News. Incidentally, Cronkite wanted Roger Mudd to succeed him, and said later that Rather getting the Saddam interview B4 Desert Storm that all the networks were seeking saved his job back then.

samsung101
Sep 26th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Walter Cronkite was forced to retire by CBS because he hit the then mandatory
retirement age. He was a young gun compared to Dan and the 60 Minutes geezers of
today.


Now, old Dan is complaining and whining because his multi-million dollar deal, and his
hurried exit didn't compensate him enough, and kind of insulted him.

Too bad.

Imus got millions.
Old Mike Wallace is still working.
You're teed off because Andy Rooney
still gets prime time, and you don't.
Admit it, this is about jealousy and envy, not
journalistic integrity.


The story was false.
Several people were fired or suspended.
Dan, you sat quietly there, as your friends
were fired, slammed, and took the heat for
the false story.

You were allowed to stay on, and retire
later on. With millions in your pocket.

CBS is liberal Dan. Not conservative.
It ain't the big bad govt. out to get you.
You screwed up.

They agreed with you to hurry and run the story
to have an impact on an election where they hated
the sitting President. Where's the govt. bias in that?
Dan, CBS like you, wanted that story to be true, even
if it meant skipping some very basic checks and balances
to dig into the source.


The lawsuit is pointless, it only reminds us all of the
fake story you wanted desperately to be true to slime a
guy you hate. Is your daughter still a Texas DNC delegate?
Oh yeah, that's not a problem though in being unbiased is it?

Cam'ron Giles
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:28 PM
Samsung...All do respect...You do know that this primarily a tennis site right? I would just about piss my pants if I saw a post from you GM...:lol:

samsung101
Sep 27th, 2007, 04:35 PM
Well, yeah, it is .... WTA, duh.

But, this section is called 'non-tennis'.
Moreover, someone else posted the thread.
Not me.


So, don't read it.


Dan Rather is not one of my favorites.
I think the guy has taken a lot of potshots at Katie Couric,
who has bad ratings. Well, do did Dan Rather in the same slot.


Old Uncle Walter Cronkite did not take potshots at Dan when he
was forced to retire, and then youngster Dan took his plumb
assignment. Dan didn't apologize for stepping over Walter.


But, now Dan is, as of yesterday, slamming Katie again.
Saying she doesn't know the facts. About the news she is giving
us. About Iraq, the world, etc.

That's nice. Old man Dan is bashing the little lady for not being
as smart or worldly as him.

Well, say what you will about Katie.
She is a nutroot liberal, her late sister was active in the DNC,
she is pals with Hillary and Bill, etc.
She worked her way to the top. She isn't a pushover.
She's wealthy as can be.
She has your old job Dan. Get over it.
Jealousy and envy are not becoming.

He was even on Dirty, Sexy, Money, last night on ABC. That's
a career booster.


Since when is it okay for old white guys to slam younger white women
for doing the same job, getting paid more, and doing it okay. She's
not horrible at it. How hard is it to read the teleprompter? Dan did
it fine. So, does Katie.