Rather Digs In for Legal War With CBS

Tarnished newsman calls lawsuit a stand vs. corporate bullies
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2009 4:34 PM CDT
Dan Rather, who followed Walter Cronkite on the "CBS Evening News," leaves Cronkite's funeral at St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Ave. in New York, Thursday, July 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)
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(Newser) – Dan Rather is still out to prove that CBS sacrificed him to appease its corporate backers and conservative allies, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a $70-million lawsuit filed 2 years ago, Rather claimed that CBS, caving to Viacom and the Bush administration, forced him to retract a controversial story on President Bush's National Guard service. But the suit appears to be as much about Rather's legacy as it is about a single news story.

So far, the legal battle appears to have tarnished his reputation, bringing up his failed attempts to find work at major networks and sparking public comments about Rather being a "paranoid nightmare" and "train wreck." But it's also shown that CBS executives clamored to appease right-wing critics after the story broke. And Rather, who is paying for the suit himself, says he won't back down: "I don't think anybody who knows me would say that there's any give-up in me."