So Dan Rather has filed a 70 million dollar lawsuit against CBS for breach of contract, claiming that the station used him as a scapegoat after the revelation surfaced that he peddled fraudulent documents designed to impugn President Bush. Personally, I don't think he has a leg to stand on and believe he'll lose his case.
The obvious explanation for this action is that Rather wants to salvage his reputation, but I also see this as the behavior of a petulant child. Remember that Rather has a history of such behavior, once storming off the set upon learning that his newscast would be preempted by some U.S. Open tennis matches. Really, though, I can sympathize.
I was always perturbed when the relation of truth would be preempted by Dan Rather.
And that's more than just a quip; Dan Rather has been a propagandist for decades. Oh, don't misunderstand me, I don't accuse him of being a deceiver of others; rather, Rather deceives himself. What I mean is that he is a rationalizer, a typical leftist who is so awash in relativism that he long ago lost the ability to discern truth.
This state of his explains well his demise. According to author and media guru Bernard Goldberg, who worked with Rather for years, the newsman was intimately involved in the preparation of his stories and cannot fall back on the excuse that it was only underlings who were remiss. Having said that, like Goldberg, I don't believe for a second that Rather knowingly peddled phony documents. While I don't hold him in high regard, he is neither that low nor that stupid; he'd know that such an action could scuttle his career. So what explains his journalistic incompetence?
It's simple: Rather saw something he wanted to believe and believed it.
The false documents affirmed his false beliefs, his prejudices; why, of course big bad Republicans like GWB would be guilty of such things, so it just has to be true. It's much like believing that a fellow has to be a drunkard because he is an Irishman, like watermelon because he is black or be a scoundrel because he is a newsman (in reality, the last thing is true only 98 percent of the time). Once your prejudices become reality to you, your judgment becomes distorted, preventing you from perceiving facts even when you want to.
The truth about Rather's ignominious end is that he was merely hoisted on his own petards -- and it should have happened sooner. Rather had been cutting corners -- not first in his story preparation but first in his mind -- for decades, and it finally caught up with him. He lost in the workplace and now he should lose in court. Sadly, though, the real losers were the American people who imbibed the journalistic effluent he disgorged during his many attempts at rendering news. He is off the air and won't be missed -- not by me, anyway.
Dan Rather? I'd rather not.