Dan Rather's lawsuit tossed in appeals court
Apologies to Dr. Martin Luther King for borrowing that quote, but there are a lot of people that are definitely saying this today on the heels of the breaking news that Dan Rather's lawsuit against CBS has been tossed: (HT to Captain Ed)
Bad news for Dan Rather: His $70 million lawsuit against CBS is no more.
In a 19-page decision made public Tuesday, a state appeals court dismissed the legendary newsman’s suit against CBS. …
A lawyer for Rather and a CBS spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.
Rather claims that he was terminated unfairly and that he was never fully compensated. The LA Times throws cold water all over his assertions:
But in its ruling, the appeals panel found that CBS did not violate the terms of Rather’s contract because it continued to pay him, citing the contract’s “pay or play” provision. The finding was a major blow to the longtime newsman, who had cast the suit as part of a broader effort to rein in the influence of corporations on news organizations. …
In its ruling, issued more than five months after the parties argued the case before the appellate division, the court reversed Judge Ira Gammerman’s decisions on the case.
“This Court finds that the motion court erred in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, and therefore we find the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety,” the ruling said.
The appellate division found that Gammerman should have dismissed Rather’s breach of contract claim against CBS, rejecting the anchor’s argument that he was warehoused by the network constituted a violation of his deal.
“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,” the court wrote. Rather’s contract did not require “that CBS actually use Rather’s services or broadcast any programs on which he appears, but simply retains the option of accelerating the payment of his compensation under the agreement if he is not assigned to either program.”
In other words, Dan, you got no case! The bloggers who uncovered his lies knew that the moment he filed his lawsuit, and it didn't help that the independent panel investigating the phony story discovered that Mapes had known the story was false, including the "slacker" slander that she wove into that story. President Bush HAD volunteered to go to Vietnam and was turned down by superiors because there were more experienced pilots that were ahead of him.
This suit was about a dry, legal issue -- breach of contract. But that wasn't the only thing this suit was about. It was about him trying to repair a tattered legacy. The problem is that he was so partisan in his reporting that he accepted fake documents as true, peddled it to the public, and got caught. He has no legacy left except that of a serial liar. Remember, to this day he still firmly believes his story was true despite the evidence to the contrary.
Now he can fade into obscurity (not that he hasn't already). When he dies, his media cronies (who distanced themselves from him in the aftermath of the debacle) will click their tongues and speak of him as if he were Edward R. Murrow instead of the pain in the ass everyone knows he was. Remember that even Walter Cronkite didn't have nice things to say about him, and really didn't think he was all that great of a newsman.