Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rather's $70m suit about Big Brother interference

Ex-Network news anchor Dan Rather filed a lawsuit, in Manhattan challenging the government for its intimidation of the mainstream media, then went on Larry King Live to bellyache about his sullied reputation. The CBS logo, like a big eyeball, is quite appropriate for such a Big Brother analogy. Rather labelled a review of his notorious broadcast about Bush's shirking of National Guard duty "a fraud" and "a set-up." The media scrutinized the details of Rather's evidence rather than the essence, and appeared to turn on the messenger rather than pay attention to the rather long-in-the-tooth assertion that Bush had dodged service hours on the elite duty which had kept him out of Vietnam, and that officers had glossed over his records because he was scion of the heavyweight politico Geo Bush. The documents appeared to be forged.
At this point, with another 15 months of lame duck, 'war on terror' chest thumping, toxic Texan in the White House, it's hard to do more than whimper and shrug. It is about time that the media gets a bit ballsier.

Rather claimed CBS and Viacom Inc. (VIAB) used him as a "scapegoat" and intentionally botched the aftermath of a discredited story about President Bush's military service to curry favor with the White House. He was removed from his "CBS Evening News" post in March 2005.

"They sacrificed support for independent journalism for corporate financial gain, and in so doing, I think they undermined a lot at CBS News," he told King.

Rather didn't mention other instances in which he believed news organizations bowed to corporate and government pressure.

according to the Washington Post:

Dan Rather says he's suing CBS for $70 million to restore his reputation, and that he'll donate most of any winnings. Former CBS News correspondent and Rather critic Bernard Goldberg says the former anchor is a great reporter, "but the dark side is that he's unwilling or incapable of accepting responsibility... This is the man who signed off his newscast with 'courage,' and now he's alleging 'they made me do it, they just put the words in front of me.' This is ridiculous on so many levels."

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