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CBS effectively says Dan Rather is crazy
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Friday, November 16, 2007

A few weeks back, Dan Rather filed a suit against CBS, claiming that he was made a "scapegoat" for the debacle that was named after him - Rathergate. McQ justifiably snickered about it at the time. My own comment in that thread was that Rather looks more and more like Richard Nixon as the years go by, which certainly speaks to the tendency of the universe to maximize irony.

We were all waiting for the entertainment that the suit was likely to generate. It looks likes it's beginning. CBS has filed their response to Dan Rather's suit. It's full of legalisms, but if you boil it down, it looks to me that they're simply calling him deluded and crazy:
CBS executives also released a statement today, noting that they are "mystified" by Rather's "bizarre allegations" but will "vigorously" defend themselves in court if need be.

"Dan Rather is one of the most important figures in the history of broadcast journalism, and for more than 40 years was one of our most valued colleagues," CBS said in the statement. "That is why we at CBS are mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit."
That's bad enough. But then they really twisted the knife and got to what I think is the real point:
Furthermore, CBS lawyers argue that Mr. Rather's actions are motivated not by any wrongful actions on the part of the defendants but, instead, by Mr. Rather's desire to stay in the limelight.
That's cold. Accurate, I think, but cold. It pierces the facade that journalists are supposed to be dedicated professionals just there to see the news reported and justice done. (The "justice done" part is the legacy of Dan's generation of journalists, in fact.) The fiction is that they don't desire celebrity for its own sake, but just to "do good".

The rest of us have long seen through that fiction, of course. Any professional speaker can tell you: being the one everyone else listens to is an intoxicating and addicting experience. I've seen examples on the conference speaking circuit of perfectly nice characters turned into arrogant jacka$$e$. They begin taking themselves too seriously, and regard the opportunity to continue in that role as a right, because they're special.

Dan had decades to build that addiction. And then it was all taken away. I think it's fair to characterize his original suit as a symptom of withdrawal.

An addict can always give you a reason they deserve the thing they crave. Their reasons usually don't sound rational to the rest of us. CBS isn't being a bit shy in this case about pointing that out.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Of course he started saying bizarre things only AFTER he left CBS, as I am sure they would be quick to point out.
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Considering that he successfully dodged matters on the First Rathergate, I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with much sympathy for him. Smearing a politician is wrong but nothing compared to doing the same to veterans.
Written By: John
being the one everyone else listens to is an intoxicating and addicting experience
I think this is poignant and right on target, not only for Rather, but some of the right-wing ranters as well. Glenn Beck makes outright mockery of serious callers. Rush pronounces his rightness "99.9% of the time" with arrogant abandon. I’ve long admired them for their conservative views, and long lamented that they are too Self-absorbed to be mistaken for men who care about Truth more than popularity. I can’t even imagine what an apology would sound like from Sean Hannity.

We all need to really re-examine and re-assess views long held. When I did so (and I am nearly 45), I discovered I have very little in common with the Republicans of today, and nothing in common with the Democrats. The likes of Dan Rather... I can’t remember the last time I listened to him. I discovered I am really a Libertarian. Quite nice to reinvent oneself in a whole new party. But I may have to start writing-in my votes...
Written By: Chris Kelly
Glenn Beck and Rush are (political) entertainers. Rather used to be a reporter/anchorman.
There is a difference, or at least there is supposed to be.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://

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