I mentioned last week that former anchor Dan Rather had filed suit against CBS. I continue to look forward to the discovery process. For those who are interested, National Review's Jonah Goldberg has a drop-dead funny bit of schadenfraude that you should read.
In 2004, at the height of the Dan Rather Memogate story, I wrote in National Review: "Across the media universe the questions pour out: Why is Dan Rather doing this to himself? Why does he drag this out? Why won't he just come clean? Why would he let this happen in the first place? Why is CBS standing by him? Why ... why ... why?
"There is only one plausible answer: Ours is a just and decent God."
Well, God has not forsaken us. Dan Rather seems divinely inspired to crash more times than a Kennedy driving home from an office party. The multimillionaire semi-retired newsman is suing for $70 million, $1 million for every year he's been alive since he was five years old. Which is fitting, because that's what he sounds like. The gist of his lawsuit is that CBS used him as a "scapegoat" in the Memogate story to "pacify the White House." The swelled-headed former anchor, who used to brag incessantly about his toughness and independence, also whines in his suit that the network forced him to apologize under duress when "no apology from him was warranted," and that the former managing editor of CBS News "was not responsible for any such errors."
It only gets better from there.
In addition to Rather's old fraud, I don't want a new fraud of his to get lost. Last week on Mark Cuban's HDNet cable channel, Rather had a hard-hitting "exposé" on the new Boeing jet that's made out of carbon fiber. Rather uses a disgruntled engineer who was fired for making a racist statement as the sole basis for his fearmongering that carbon fiber is far more dangerous than good old fashioned aluminum. [Transcript here in Word format.]
Over at Wired Magazine, Aaron Rowe exposes Rather and the one-sided hack job that he did.
What is interesting to me as a journalist is this exchange between Rowe and Rather's new executive producer Wayne Nelson.
Mr. Rowe--As Executive Producer of Dan Rather Reports i must take issue with the unbelievably shallow piece you wrote on the program. Yes, perhaps you should watch it before making so many inane comments. And when you watch it, perhaps you will notice that it is not Mr. Rather making the charges but an engineer with more than 40 years at Boeing, as well as several of his colleagues. Vince Weldon has serious concerns with the "crashworthiness" of the 787. As someone who worked closely on the design of the plane we believe he has the right to air his concerns before thousands of passengers begin flying the plane.
Dan Rather Reports
New York, NY
Perhaps you should have provided some balance to your story by contacting some third party experts.
You wouldn't know balance if it bit you in the ass. Why don't you stick to engineering. Hopefully you're better at that. Want more bloggger boy?
Get a life
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Aside from being jaw-droppingly unprofessional, it seems as Rather has another problem: Wayne Nelson. Ever since his CBS News implosion, Rather has demonstrated one pressing need: a straitjacket. With a straitjacket nowhere in sight, Rather needs an executive producer that will rein him in and challenge him.
Wayne Nelson is a yes-man.
And an ass.