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View Full Version : Dan Rather Files $70 Million Lawsuit Against CBS


HometownGal
09-19-2007, 08:32 PM
Cry me a river, you pompous ass. :crying01::crying01::crying01: You play with fire, Danno - you get burned.

http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/13000/pinocchio-news--13473.jpg

http://news.aol.com/story/ar/_a/rather-files-70-million-suit-against-cbs/20070919155609990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Rather Files $70 Million Suit Against CBS
By JACQUES STEINBERG,The New York Times
Posted: 2007-09-19 17:42:46
Filed Under: Nation News

(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 Bush?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.

CBS / AP Dan Rather sued CBS Wednesday, claiming the network violated his contract by not giving him enough air time. He also claims CBS made him a scapegoat in a bid to "pacify the White House."

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.? 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 ?a scapegoat? in an attempt ?to pacify the White House,? 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 ?pressure from ?the right wing.? ?

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.

For both Mr. Rather and CBS, the filing of the suit threatens to once again focus attention on one of the darker chapters in the history of the network and its storied news division, at a moment when it is already reeling. Mr. Rather?s successor as evening news anchor, Katie Couric, has languished in third place in the network news ratings since taking over the broadcast a year ago, behind not only Charles Gibson of ABC and Brian Williams of NBC, but also the ratings performance of the ?CBS Evening News? in Mr. Rather?s final years.

The portrait of Mr. Rather that emerges from the 32-page filing bears little resemblance to the hard-charging, seemingly fearless anchor who for two decades shared the stage with Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings as the most watched and recognizable journalists in America.

By his own rendering, Mr. Rather was little more than a narrator of the disputed broadcast, which was shown on Sept. 8, 2004, on the midweek edition of ?60 Minutes? and which purported to offer new evidence of preferential treatment given to Mr. Bush when he was a lieutenant in the Air National Guard.

Instead of directly vetting the script he would read for the Guard segment, Mr. Rather says, he acceded to pressure from Mr. Heyward to focus instead on his reporting from Florida on Hurricane Frances, and on Bill Clinton?s heart surgery.

Mr. Rather says in the filing that he allowed himself to be reduced to little more than a patsy in the furor that followed, after CBS ? and later the outside panel it commissioned ? concluded that the report was based on documents that could not be authenticated. Under pressure, Mr. Rather says, he delivered a public apology on his newscast on Sept. 20, 2004 ? written not by him but by a CBS corporate publicist ? ?despite his own personal feelings that no public apology from him was warranted.?

He now leads a weekly news program on HDNet ? an obscure cable channel in which he is seen by only a small fraction of the millions of viewers who once turned to him in his heyday to receive the news of the day.

In filing his suit now ? three years after the now-disputed report was first broadcast, and more than a year after he reluctantly left CBS, as his last contract wound down ? Mr. Rather is following, by a matter of weeks, the announcement by CBS that it had settled a similar lawsuit by Don Imus.

Mr. Imus had sued CBS over his firing in the aftermath of derogatory remarks he made about the Rutgers University women?s basketball team. While some Imus associates suggested last month that his final payment was at least $20 million, CBS Radio has characterized that figure as too high.

Mr. Rather?s suit seeks $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

Among the pivotal points of contention in Mr. Rather?s suit are the definitions of the words ?full-time? and ?regular.? As quoted in the filing, Mr. Rather?s contract ? which he signed in 2002, and which called for him to be paid a base salary of $6 million a year as anchor ? entitled him to a job as a ?full-time correspondent? with ?first billing? on the midweek edition of ?60 Minutes,? should he leave the anchor chair before March 2006, his 25th anniversary in the job.

As it turned out, Mr. Rather would leave the anchor chair a year early, and would indeed be reassigned to the midweek edition, known as ?60 Minutes II.? When that broadcast was canceled a few months later, Mr. Rather?s contract called for him to be reassigned to the main ?60 Minutes? broadcast on Sunday evening, where he would ?perform services on a regular basis as a correspondent.?

Over the next year, Mr. Rather would have eight segments broadcast on the main ?60 Minutes? ? including reports that took him to North Korea , China and Beirut. While that would seem to be a substantial portfolio of work, Mr. Rather notes that other correspondents had more than twice as many reports appear on the program during the same period, and that several of his reports had been effectively buried, broadast on Christmas Day and New Year?s Day when far fewer people than usual were likely to tune in.

?He was provided with very little staff support, very few of his suggested stories were approved, editing services were denied to him, and the broadcast of the few stories he was permitted to do was delayed and then played on carefully selected evenings, when low viewership was anticipated,? the filing contends.

Among the most egregious indignities he suffered, Mr. Rather says, was the network?s response to his request to be sent as a correspondent to the scene of Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005.

?Mr. Rather is the most experienced reporter in the United States in covering hurricanes,? his lawyers write in the suit. ?CBS refused to send him,? thus ?furthering its desire to keep Mr. Rather off the air.?

GBMelBlount
09-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Dan "I crashed & burned and it's everyone else's fault" Rather may hit his big payday! What a country! Damn, why couldn't I have slipped and fell on that wet spot in Walmart today?

j-dawg
09-19-2007, 09:32 PM
:hunch: i don't get why ya'll are ticked at dan.. after reading the story, sounds to me like he's got a legitimate reason for suing. if his contract said the things he's claiming.

GBMelBlount
09-19-2007, 10:01 PM
:hunch: i don't get why ya'll are ticked at dan.. after reading the story, sounds to me like he's got a legitimate reason for suing. if his contract said the things he's claiming.

Your right j-dawg. Technically it sounds like he may have a legitimate suit. On the A-hole side of things, it reminds us that this is supposed to be a top shelf "objective" journalist with supposed "credibility." It appeared that his interest in breaking the "story of a lifetime" (especially with his obvious liberal bias) overpowered his common sense to check the reliability of his sources & document legitimacy himself. IMHO.

Renne'
09-19-2007, 10:31 PM
AMEN GB!!!!!!!!

tony hipchest
09-19-2007, 10:36 PM
and we have women (and even children) who are raped and beaten to within inches of their lives. but have they ever been so wronged that they get to sue somebody for $70 mil.?


just ride off into the sunset dan, and enjoy your life while you still can.... unless you "gotta feed your family" of course. in that case, by all means, SUE! :chuckle:

Renne'
09-19-2007, 10:51 PM
AMEN!!!! Great Tony!!!!

Godfather
09-20-2007, 11:28 AM
Dan Rather is an idiot. WIth all those years in journalism--and the increasingly hostile environment for the media--he should have known better than to run with that story. Especially since he was warned that the documents might be fake. But he has a long-standing feud with the Bush family for personal reasons, and he let that cloud his thinking.

Once he got caught lying, CBS had no choice but to kick him to the curb. The only way for a media outlet to maintain any credibility in those situations is to fire the offending reporter.

Mosca
09-20-2007, 12:01 PM
What's funny, I think, is that most everyone had forgotten about this until the lawsuit story. If he'd had just let it go, no one would have remembered, and he'd have been left with his legacy intact!


Tom

jd2
09-20-2007, 03:12 PM
:dang:$70 million, what a joke.

SteelCityMan786
09-20-2007, 03:40 PM
:dang:$70 million, what a joke.

Everyone wants money. It speaks you know.

revefsreleets
09-20-2007, 06:09 PM
This is what happens when a journalist, even a well-respected one, lets his personal bias and hatred cloud his otherwise better judgment. CBS is probably the most liberal of the networks, so they would let him go farther than most, but just making stuff up (or using made up stuff) is too far for even them. I have no sympathy for either party, I just hope that they flame each other horribly and publicly and do a bunch of damage to each other in the process.

j-dawg
09-20-2007, 08:48 PM
ahh... i see, so it's because of the story that's got everyone upset. well, from what i understand Bush H used his clout to keep Bush W out of Vietnam... you don't really need doctored documents to understand that.... i mean, every politician back than was doing that... dan was a DUMB ASS for reporting that story, but i don't think anyone in here is going to dispute Bush W got a sweet deal during the draft.

GBMelBlount
09-20-2007, 10:24 PM
ahh... i see, so it's because of the story that's got everyone upset. well, from what i understand Bush H used his clout to keep Bush W out of Vietnam... you don't really need doctored documents to understand that.... i mean, every politician back than was doing that... dan was a DUMB ASS for reporting that story, but i don't think anyone in here is going to dispute Bush W got a sweet deal during the draft.

Perhaps.