I almost couldn't believe my ears when I first heard this story on the radio today:
NEW YORK - Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and his former bosses Wednesday, claiming they made him a "scapegoat" for a discredited story about President Bush's military service during the Vietnam War.But wait, there's more!
The 75-year-old Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the story, said the actions of the defendants damaged his reputation and cost him significant financial loss.
In his lawsuit, Rather maintains that the story was true, but that if any aspect of the broadcast wasn't accurate, he was not responsible for the errors.Now, I am not trying to claim that Rather was responsible, although I suspect he had a hand in it somewhere. Whether or not he did will probably come out at the trial... if there is one (more on that in a moment).
The story relied on four documents, supposedly written by Bush's commander in the Texas Air National Guard, the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Critics questioned the documents' authenticity and suggested they were forged.
A CBS review determined the story was neither fair nor accurate. CBS fired the story's producer and asked for the resignation of three executives because it could not authenticate documents used in the story, and Rather was forced out of the anchor chair he had occupied for 24 years.
Rather's lawsuit says he was forced to apologize, although "as defendants well knew, even if any aspect of the broadcast had not been accurate, which has never been established, Mr. Rather was not responsible for any such errors."
The big question is, why bring this up now, three years after the story, and two and a half years after he was fired?
The only thing I can come up with is that, with the Iraq news turning positive, the lefties are looking for any excuse they can to bash President Bush again. The question of why they chose this particular story is still open, and I could be wrong about the motive for the timing.
It's entirely possible that this could never make it to trial, as well... as soon as conservatives (such as your humble author) get hold of this and bring up all the evidence for it being a total fabrication, not to mention what CBS's lawyers dig up through discovery (which then gets released to the public), the lawsuit could be quietly withdrawn or thrown out of court. Heck, it could be withdrawn before it ever gets to the discovery phase, rather (no pun intended) than let all that embarrassing stuff on the bias in the media gets dug up and displayed before John Q. Voter.
It'll be interesting to watch this.