Dan Rather’s suit against CBS was worth it, he writes
By DAVID BAUDER AP Television Writer April 25, 2012 10:36AM
FILE- In this Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, file photo, Journalist Dan Rather attends the premiere of "The Ides of March" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. Retired CBS anchorman Dan Rather says his lawsuit against his former network was worth it, even though the $70 million breach-of-conduct case was rejected by New York courts. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
Updated: April 25, 2012 10:36AM
NEW YORK — Retired CBS anchorman Dan Rather says his lawsuit against his former network was worth it, even though the $70 million breach-of-conduct case was rejected by New York courts.
In his new book, “Rather Outspoken,” he said the case forced some of the “ugly truths” about CBS into the open. The longtime CBS newsman left the network acrimoniously after a discredited 2004 report about President George W. Bush’s military service.
Rather’s book is due out Monday. A copy was purchased Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Rather wrote that the lawsuit “took a big whack out of my time, my psyche and my bank balance, but even so, it was worth it.”
He said his wife, Jean, had even advised against suing. She thought it wouldn’t be prudent but agreed to support him no matter what he did.
Although questions were raised about the legitimacy of documents supporting the report made during Bush’s re-election campaign, Rather has said he still believes the story was true.
In his book, Rather describes being iced out of CBS during the 15-month period after he left as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” and finally left the network altogether in June 2006. He was working for “60 Minutes” during that period but said he constantly saw his stories criticized and ideas rejected.
“It was clear to everyone but me that I was being erased,” Rather wrote. “Nevertheless, I refused to believe what my eyes were seeing and my ears were hearing.”
Rather praised actor George Clooney and eBay entrepreneur Jeff Skoll for putting him in touch with Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner who also owns the HDNet television network. Rather runs a newsmagazine at HDNet.
Rather said he believes that now, at age 80, he’s doing some of the best, most consistent work of his career.
“I understand that we are unlikely to have as much impact as a large network news organization,” he wrote. “The audience is far smaller. Fewer people are going to know what we are doing. But we know. I know. And I judge success or failure by my own standards, not by somebody else’s.”