Patterico's Pontifications

9/29/2009

A Good Day at Black Rock

Filed under: Law,Media Bias — DRJ @ 9:18 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

A New York appellate court today dismissed Dan Rather’s $70M lawsuit against CBS and its former parent, Viacom:

“Rather filed the suit in 2007, claiming CBS made him a scapegoat when the network came under intense criticism over a September 2004 “60 Minutes II” story challenging then-President George Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.
***
The appellate division of the state Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, found “the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety and that a lower court erred in failing to do so.”

“Rather claims that, in effect, CBS ‘warehoused’ him, and that, when he was finally terminated and paid in June 2006, CBS did not compensate him for the 15 months ‘when he could have worked elsewhere,’ the ruling said. “This claim attempts to gloss over the fact that Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract.”

Rather’s claim of lost business opportunities because CBS failed to release him was “insufficiently supported,” the court said.”

The LA Times’ ShowTracker elaborated on the court’s finding regarding Rather’s inability to prove lost earning opportunities:

“Rather never identified a single opportunity with specified terms that was actually available to him and which he declined to accept because of CBS’ actions.”

Rather plans to appeal, something that will undoubtedly be expensive. The ShowTracker report notes Rather has “personally financed the suit for the last two years, casting it as an effort to rein in the influence of corporations on news organizations.”

— DRJ

11 Responses to “A Good Day at Black Rock”

  1. I was rooting for Dan. I wanted to see CBS have to eat it, really. They knew damn well he was a zany dirty socialist codger what had an agenda… now they’re free to just move on and groom the next one. The new one has breasts but it’s the same dealio.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  2. What’s this world coming to when “journalists” can’t use the media to lie, and can’t use the courts to steal?

    Dave Surls (7cc926)

  3. I think the suit was designed to distance the network from Rather. It’s mindbending stuff designed to make CBS look like it’s still a viable news source.

    j curtis (baef6f)

  4. “Courage,” Dan.

    You can afford it. What goes around comes around.

    In CBS lore, Gunga Dan the Anchorman crossed the line when he fouled the House that Murrow built- throwing a legal punch that very publicly tried to lighten the wallet and blacken the CBS eye. Bad move, Dan. You know what it’s like when someone tries to mug you. News divisions are profit centers now, not like in Cronkite’s era. Dust off your copies of ‘Network’ and ‘Face In The Crowd’ to remind yourself how prescient they were. Glenn Beck is Beale… or worse, Rhodes. That’s what passes for journalism these days. Cronkite was partly ‘warehoused’ too, but he didn’t bite the hand that fed him. Check you ego at the door, Dan. Stop making this into the lead for your obit after a pretty stellar career in journalism. Your producer let you down with sloppy work and muddied the skirts of your reputation– not your colleagues at CBS. And you were on your way out of the anchor chair anyway.

    CBS was very generous to Rather for decades– through fat and lean years, even during the terrible Tisch times. It’s a safe bet Moonves’ CBS will think twice, or thrice, before bankrolling a memorial service for Mr. Rather at Lincoln Center which two presidents would attend. But then, Moonves was a bit player in episodes of ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’ when Rather was reporting from the White House. The legal department at Black Rock and the Board of Directors will be pleased with this ruling, but with a twinge of sadness, along with the journalists at West 57th. Sad that at the end, the parting of the ways came down to this. But then, CBS forced Murrow out, too.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  5. DCSCA – Network was in Cronkite’s era you moron and Uncle Walter was an ultra liberal shill in spite of your protestations to the contrary.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  6. Before Dan Rather and Walter Cronkite, there was Edward R. Murrow. Now looked on as towering figure of journalistic ethics, Murrow had the same “feet of clay” as Cronkite and Rather.

    He was lucky in that, in his era, there was no internet and very few means of taping TV broadcasts.

    It is interesting to note that, while his “Harvest of Shame” has been re-broadcast several times and is available to schools and researchers, his most infamous piece – the one on Senator McCarthy – was only shown once and never shown again.

    In fact, when Senator McCarthy requested a copy of the broadcast to use in his rebuttal, CBS refused.

    Why, you younger people might ask. Because, IIRC, it was a very slanted piece filled with factual errors and unattributed sources. The CBS lawyers took one look at the program and saw a possible libel action that CBS could not possibily win.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  7. Hey, daley, why respond to that stuff?

    Instead, let me save you some time:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4riLpTlh5MM

    That’s all you’ll get, mixed with weird self-aggrandizing stories and bizarre statements.

    Eric Blair (184ac1)

  8. “…Rather has “personally financed the suit for the last two years…”

    Stupid is as stupid does!

    AD - RtR/OS! (0be017)

  9. Oh good Allah. The International Man of Parody appears to have eluded its orderlies, again.

    JD (769f99)

  10. That’s because he’s utterly exhausted from all of his prior Homeric deeds of yore; what with all that secret assassination squad stuff and rocketry – talk with Von Braun in his underwear. After all that, who wouldn’t be bound and gagged?

    Dmac (5ddc52)

  11. Danny Boy would have won the case except for the fact he could not introduce documents he claimed were from 1969 and showed CBS was out to get all news anchors that try to make stuff up. The CBS documents were generated by a computer so advanced even NASA could not afford it.

    Dan is going back to the cattle shows in the hope some stranger hands him another envelope of documents that prove he and Mary Mapes were the greatest thing to ever happen to the news business.

    MU789 (fce705)


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