Remember how Dan Rather was riding CBS and Katie Couric all these months like Lou Dobbs’ Harvard-educated daughter at an equestrian competition, almost as though he had a giant “This is what happens when you’re forced to resign in disgrace” stick up his ass?
Well, it turns out there was a method to his madness after all, or at least a reason for all that residual anger. It seems that as a result of Rather’s network mandated, reputation-ruining exit fifteen months back, he’s been suffering. So much so, in fact, that he’s gone ahead and accused the network of making him the scapegoat for the “biased” and incomplete investigation of the infamous Guard broadcast.
Fortunately, however, Rather’s found the perfect way to make everything right again: suing all the top CBS execs and asking for $70 million in damages.
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.??? ???
But is this yet another frivolous lawsuit? “Yes!” says CBS, who released a statement claiming “these complaints are old news and this lawsuit is without merit.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean CBS isn’t already considering a hefty undisclosed settlement. As Don Imus recently showed, ’tis the season for scoring a wrongful termination windfall from CBS. And given that Imus, a radio deejay hired to court controversy, netted approximately $20 million for uttering the words “nappy-headed ho’s, it stands to reason that Rather, a spurned news anchorman seeking to confront his accusers and repair his legacy, will be able inflict even more “damage” than he ultimately looks to recoup.
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