Dan Rather Sues CBS

Dan Rather is suing CBS for $70 million, alleging the network intentionally botched the aftermath of a discredited story on George Bush's military service record in order kiss the Bush Administration's ass and get back into their good graces.

The Yahoo!/ Asspciated Press article states that Rather claims he was used as a "Scapegoat" to placate the Bush adminstration and was forced to resign back in 2005:

Rather narrated the September 2004 report that said Bush 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 the story was true but says if any aspect of the
broadcast was not accurate, he was not responsible for the errors. By forcing Rather to apologize publicly, "CBS intentionally caused the public and the media to attribute CBS' alleged bungling of the episode to Mr. Rather," the lawsuit claimed.

A little background (courtesy Wikipedia):

On September 8, 2004, Rather reported on 60 Minutes Wednesday that a series of documents concerning President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service record had been discovered in the personal files of Lt. Bush's former commanding officer, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, in which Bush was found unfit for flight status after failing to obey an order to submit to a physical examination.

The authenticity of these documents was quickly called into question by both conservative and liberal bloggers; by September 10, stories in media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times examined the documents' authenticity. Rather and CBS vigorously defended the story, insisting that the documents had been authenticated by experts. However, CBS was contradicted by some of the experts it originally cited, and later reported that their source for the documents, former Texas Army National Guard officer Bill Burkett, had misled the network about how he had obtained them.

Rather held a one-on-one interview with Killian's personal secretary who vouched for the contents of the documents although she did not authenticate the documents in question themselves, which suggested that the documents were recreations of originals made from poor reproductions or from memory.On September 20, CBS retracted the story with Rather stating, "if I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question."

Following an independent investigation commissioned by CBS, CBS fired story producer Mary Mapes and asked three other producers connected with the story to resign. Rather's retirement was directly hastened by this incident.

In the lawsuit, Rather claims that CBS quickly backed their claims that the report was genuine, and then when they realized they were in trouble, did a knee jerk reaction to axe the producer and put the heat on Rather to Resign.

Rather is claiming $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

CBS spokesman Dana McClintock claims the lawsuit is "without merit" and labeled the whole incident as "old news."

No comments:

Hollywood Dump on Facebook

In addition to the articles we post here, we also link to stories we think are interesting and post them to our Facebook page. If you're on FB, become a fan!