Dan Rather vs. CBS

Separation Anxiety

Dr. Alterman doesn't feel sorry for the $8,000,000 a year man, Dan Rather, but has a couple of points to make about his case anyway:

Media Matters - Altercation by Eric Alterman:
[Dan Rather was ] screwed by CBS when they dropped him in response to right-wing-driven hysteria, lest anyone look too carefully into George W. Bush's draft-dodging. Remember, not even the Thornburgh commission ever determined whether those documents were fake, though it is a given of virtually all discussion of the matter that this was somehow proven. What the right has always understood is the fact that the one of the most powerful forces in the universe is the fear of the heads of large corporations feeling themselves to be embarrassed. This is nowhere more true than for the heads of large media corporations.

Rather became an embarrassment for CBS and so he was unceremoniously dumped, just as CNN dumped its producers way back when for a story on the use of nerve gas in Vietnam that may or may not have been true but fell within the radar of the right's minions.

L 92


Anyway, Dan-O's big bucks come in handy right about now because he couldn't be bought out with a confidentiality agreement.

According to the suit, Rather 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,” and 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.' ” Sounds true to me.

And how telling is this? “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.”

And this: “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.“

I hope Karl Rove gets deposed.

The NYT has more

[Rather] 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.

and Greg Palast wonders why the main story is still being ignored

Rather’s ”unsubstantiated story of Bush’s military service“ (says USA Today) got him canned. Yet, all the poor man did was repeat a story we put on BBC Television a year earlier — that Poppy Bush put in the fix to get his son out of ‘Nam and into the Texas Air Guard, spending his war years guarding Houston from Viet Cong attack. But Dan never reported this: the documentation from inside the US Department of Justice detailing the fix. Why not? Because it opened up a far more serious charge: that those who kept Little George out of war’s way ended up very well rewarded. We ran that full story — from the evidence of the fix to the evidence of the lucrative pay-backs — on the world’s biggest network, BBC, and we’ve never retracted a comma of it. Nor, by the way, has the White House denied our accusations despite our repeated offers to respond.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on September 20, 2007 10:44 PM.

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