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Rather Slaps CBS With $70M Suit

Posted on Sep 19, 2007
AP Photo / Suzanne Plunkett

Back in the day: Rather on the CBS set in 2001.

It’s been 15 months since Dan Rather’s former host network forced him out of the top spot on the “CBS Evening News,” and now he’s giving his erstwhile employer a number of strong reasons why he thinks that was no way to treat an anchor—70 million reasons, to be precise.

The New York Times:

Mr. Rather, 75, asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on “60 Minutes” after forcing him to step down as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” in March 2005. He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a “biased” and incomplete investigation of the flawed Guard broadcast and, in the process, “seriously damaged his reputation.”

The suit, which seeks $70 million in damages, names as defendants CBS and its chief executive, Leslie Moonves; Viacom and its executive chairman, Sumner Redstone; and Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News.

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By Iaukea, September 20, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Thank you Farmtx. Yes, Rather did choose to right a wrong with another wrong. I do agree with you 100%. With all we have to contend with here at home and globally, it is difficult to stay grounded.

This recent Blackwatrer Incident is troubling as well. It reveals what happens when Corporate Civilians with no military experience is given command and authority of waging wars.

ALL the politicians in Washington DC and the 50 Statea and the MEDIA are ALL responsible for the millions that have died.

My soul is very hurt.

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By farmertx, September 20, 2007 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

Re:#101601 by Iaukea on 9/20 at 9:49 am
(5 comments total)

Thanks. I understand your frustration with Shrub and his uncanny ability to do as he pleases with no real consequences in the normal sense.
That he does so just proves that we live in an imperfect world.
The Democratic Party has joined the Republican’s in letting their constituents down by failing to actively do the right things.
Hearings and investigations are all well and good, but we don’t need to have any more proof that Shrub is clueless and incapable of rational deeds.
We need impeachment and removal from office, followed by criminal charges.
The criminal charges will come to naught simply because he and his sycophants will flee to Paraguay or the Emirates. But that would allow for the stoppage of any pension money and the long term costs of Secret Service protection, as well as making his Library a moot point.
But our current political system is geared towards politics as usual rather than what is best for America.
Dan Rather had a long standing animosity towards the whole Bush Family, and who could blame him?
But he allowed that animosity to get in the way of integrity. Thus bringing him down to Shrubs’ level.
Well, closer, as none outside the administration could be on that level.

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By John Borowski, September 20, 2007 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the old days, the right-wing goon squad would wait outside the New York City TV studio and beat him up. Their venomous hatred was directed towards Dan Rather because he had the number one TV program “60 Minutes” and their opinion was that any one who at least wasn’t slightly to the right of Hitler in their political beliefs was considered a Leftist. Because it was number one on the TV hit parade, he had access to millions of peoples’ minds. With virtually all TV stations controlled by the British right-wing and their right-wing lackeys in this country it was agitating. They had one of their right-wing lackeys feed Dan Rather false information and unfortunately, he took it hook, line, and sinker. No charge for this information folks, (Like the song) I just want to tell it like it is.

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By Iaukea, September 20, 2007 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Farmertx, your comment is well received. I understand the circumstances surrounding Mr. Bush and the National Gaurd Issue reported by Dan Rather.

My thoughts and feelings, though controversial, are based on dynamics and facts in a far broader perspective.

Without going into a lengthy thesis, I look at the elements of this discussion. Dan rather, CBS, the Issue of Jouralist reporting Bush’s Service in the National Gaurd, and most importantly in the here and now….Bush himself and all his dishonest and evil people that have made horrific…criminal acts.

I question…I doubt…I have Zero…ZERO CONFIDENCE in the words of Bush or any of his defenders. IN EVERY PART OF MY BEING, THEY ALL HAVE ZERO CREDIBILITY!

These are the same people who have lied about Iraq, vilated the Rule of Domistic and International Law and literrally gotten away with murder thus far….why should I not trust them or the people that supposedly defend them and their actions?

I remain stunned that these people with no credibility are still running the country.

JT brought sexyback….we need to bring CREDIBILITY BACK!

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By moe, September 20, 2007 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m very happy to see him do this, although a bit late. He was penalized for saying the truth and that is definately un-american.

Now the country should see clearly that everything he and the old lady said was the truth….

You go Dan, stick it to them…deep and hard!!!!

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By Lee Driver, September 20, 2007 at 4:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rather’s a poser, always was. He still gets some mileage out of pretending to be a real journalist but with him it was always, still is, just all about Dan. Breaking the big story was never about championing the principles of the fourth estate as he would have us believe, but about getting attention, for himself. Danny Pearle he ain’t. Walter Cronkite he most definitely ain’t. He gambled early on, looking for all the world like he was the brave guy out there pushing the envelope. And he rose high. But then he fell, because the good he did do, he did for the wrong reasons. All his risks were calculated ones. His maneuvering of Cronkite entirely off the stage at CBS as a prerequisite for taking over the top anchor spot, said it all. It was not about journalistic integrity with him, it was about power. Everyone in journalism or anyone with any sense at all knew the truth about George Bush’s military service, but the tipping point had not yet been reached. Dan miscalculated. If he wins any money from this lawsuit, if he’s truly interested in any real kind of redemption, that money should go to Cronkites foundation. Or Jimmy Carter’s for that matter. Or for a homeless shelter for vets. Let Dan take off his expensive coat and roll up his sleeves, not just for the camera for once.

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By rowdy, September 19, 2007 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

never liked dan.loved peter jennings. when peter died network news really went down the toilet. aside from that it is obvious dan got screwed. hope he wins.

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By farmertx, September 19, 2007 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

Re:#101466 by Iaukea on 9/19 at 5:12 pm
(4 comments total)

You missed the point about Rather. He lied.
If he had told the true story, that he had received a letter purportedly written by a Texas ANG officer detailing Shrubs’ “acceptance” into the ANG and that he was not the type of person that should have been accepted, but vetting of that letter revealed that it was a forgery.
That the letter was forged was confirmed by the secretary of the officer who had supposedly written it, who said that she never typed such a letter BUT, the comments made in the letter reflected opinions that she had heard the officer make about Shrub.
There was the story.
But Dan chose to ignore that and tell a lie. And he should have been taken off the air. Right then.
A major network anchor must have a sense of honesty.
Faux News anchors do not and can only reach the dumber of the die hard Republican’s. But a real News department must have a record of always telling the truth about all things.
No one needs to make up a lie to make the Shrub look incompetent, dumb, cowardly, clueless or egotistical beyond belief. His actions, past and present, do all that quite well.
All Dan had to do was tell the real story and the part about Shrub asking, albeit indirectly, for special consideration to keep from having to serve his country just like all the other young men were doing during that terrible time would have come out.
But, no, Dan had to pretend to have the smoking gun and the truth got buried by the forgery. That the forgery was based on true fact was ignored once folks heard forgery from someone outside CBS.

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By cyrena, September 19, 2007 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

#101457 by jbart


As all of your posts, this is an excellent one. And, I’m actually giving this a whole lot of thought, (as I have been) about solutions to take back our country.

And, as a left-over from the 60’s and 70’s, I’m still pretty stuck on avoiding violence. (although I admit that’s an oxymoron, since we’re in the midst of it right now.) In other words, we’re all like caught in the worst sort of domestic abuse different from the individuals who remain in violent relationships, because they haven’t figured another way out, or because part of them doesn’t really WANT to escape the relationship, or because they really have no “practical” choice. (no income, no shelter, no safety for self or children, etc, etc).

In the cases of a few individuals, they DO in fact choose the violent approach, and just take the SOB’s out. But, that comes with so many hassles that I’ve yet to find it worthwhile. It’s fine to know that the abuser is dead, and can’t hurt them any longer, but what good does that do if we’ve just traded that for another prison? So, that’s why I like to avoid violence.

But “radical” isn’t necessarily off the table, because ‘radical’ doesn’t have to mean violent. Radical would be just convincing a few million people to march on DC or Houston, or any number of other places.

Radical would be if a whole bunch of people didn’t go to work, school, or spend a single dime for an entire week, and they could even rotate the weeks, so that nobody takes the full brunt.

And then there’s the boycott tactic. We could do a whole bunch with that as well. Now, I’m just tossing this stuff out off the top of my head, ONLY because these things have actually worked in the past. Unfortunately, we’re faced now with a political apathy amongst ourselves, and while I think this has been an ongoing problem for decades, I think it’s all so much worse now, because everybody is in a state of shock. (even if they don’t know it)

So, that’s just for now, some stuff to consider. Not that it hasn’t been mentioned before, only to be put down by the naysayers, who don’t believe that such things can achieve anything. Meantime, this is a really good video from a trailer for Naomi Kleins ‘Shock Doctrine’. It explains very well, what has been done to US, and I figure it could be equally beneficial in our own hands.

They shocked us, so we’ll just have to shock them back, and take back our country.

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By ProTester, September 19, 2007 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am glad that this issue is back up for discussion.
If my memory serves me, the whole Rathergate incedent could have be engineered by a single person at the network.
No conspiracy.
Just a good old-fashioned set-up.
Without Rathergate, the dems would be in the oval office.
It all could off be spoiled by a single soul.
I am glad that this issue is back up for disuccion.

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By Iaukea, September 19, 2007 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Dan Rather, like the brave people who stood up and spoke out against Bush & his evil followers’ll win! You’ll be vindicated.

The reality of the lies that killed millions of innocent people in the last 7 years by Bush, Chenney, Rumsfeld, Rice etc. etc. etc. has begun to surface.

Those like CBS, FoX, CNN and the fanatical Right-Wing Christian NeoCons have Zero Credibility.

The Dixie Chicks stood their ground….and they won a bunch of Grammy’s. You hold your ground….and use all those years of media expereince to fight back. Help save this country’s fundamental principle, The United States Constitution from being lost forever.

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By jbart, September 19, 2007 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

farmertx on 9/19 at 3:36 pm

Good summary of what really needs scrutiny.  Rich kid, party animal, without the sense to come in from the rain, gets “special” treatment in an America that called on all to do their “patriotic” duty in participating in the “way wrong” Vietnam “war”. A lot of rich kids used that advantage to avoid harm or, in SHRUBS case, even “surface” involvement.  He’s the worst of the worst in that scenario.  Yet, he’s a 2 term U.S. President.  How sad are we, the electorate?  We, by allowing this to occur, must accept blame.  We have become the “herd” mentality that Frederick Nietsche (sic- God is dead phiosopher) warned us about all those many years ago. Woody Guthie recorded “this land is YOUR land, this land is OUR land…” Remember?  It is. Your land, our land. We need to reclaim what is OURS, folks.  I’m open to suggestions as to how to reclaim it. My solutions are all radical, as it is how I handle my personal conflicts.  But, knowing that to be the case,I’m open to any,and all,suggestions.

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By farmertx, September 19, 2007 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

I must be confused, because I thought that Rather initially said that HE received, from a confidential source, the letter in question. Afterwards, I remember watching one expert that said Rather had the letter shown to her and that she refused to authenticate it, whereupon he decided to go with it anyhow.
I’m guessing Rathers’lawyer smelled a settlement after CBS settled with Imus.
As to CBS losing ground, it ought to have lost ground when it didn’t pull Rather, pending a full investigation, after doubts began surfacing.
The hell of it is, if he had of gone with the real story, he would have done some damage to Shrub.Instead he went with a lie and damaged himself and CBS.
Everybody who was alive and not tripped out 24/7 during ‘Nam in Texas was aware that that Lt Gov Ben Barnes greased the way for Shrub to jump to the head of the line for Texas ANG. As soon as he had his photo taken in his poopy suit, he asked to transfer to AL ANG, where he asked for early dismissal so he could work on political campaigns.
They figured, what the hell, the guys a cipher and doesn’t show up sober half the time, so cut him loose.
It remains unknown how much and to whom Shrubs daddy paid to have those records vanish,all except one Dentist visit record from AL.
The Siver Boot (in lieu of the Silver Spoon that most Yuppies are born with) had been removed from his mouth years before and no mention was made on the report as to the reason for the visit.
I’d bet it was insurance so he could “prove” that he actually served his country.
And, we all must bear in mind, during the brief time that Shrub “served” no North Vietnamese planes attacked Texas nor Alabama. That’s gotta count for something, right?

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By dasm, September 19, 2007 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s about time!  Rather was totally scapegoated when Bush & Fox et al went on the attack for a story by Rather which—frankly—had more truth to it that not.  So sad when a government bullies & intimidates real journalists into submission, or plants crap to incriminate them.  Think about it- the gov’t forces a highly-esteemed journalist to resign—a gov’t that has almost no approval rating & has been caught explicitly in many, many lies.  So why don’t they resign?  What they have done is infinitely worse than what Rather is “supposed” to have done, and there’s no real proof for Rather anyway, as opposed to Bush & co., for whom there is ample proof of their lies, deceit, killings, & more.

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By ib, September 19, 2007 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good for him!!!

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