Kurtz: I can’t believe Rather could be this stupid

posted at 1:28 pm on September 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

Really? I can. Go read this NYT profile of him from last year and soak in the pathos of the former anchor of the CBS Evening News, now of, um, HDNet, sitting alone in a theater watching “Good Night and Good Luck,” doubtless with tears welling up repeatedly. If it were anyone else I’d dismiss the whole thing as a stunt to squeeze CBS for a settlement, but Document Dan doesn’t need the money. He’s 75 and swimming in dough. He wants his Edward R. Murrow halo back and this is the only shot he has to get it.

It’s going to be ugly.

Several former colleagues said they were baffled by the move. “I think he’s gone off the deep end,” said Josh Howard, who was forced to resign as executive producer of “60 Minutes II” after CBS retracted the story. “He seems to be saying he was just the narrator.

“He did every interview. He worked the sources over the phone. He was there in the room with the so-called document experts. He argued over every line in the script. It’s laughable.”

Rome Hartman, a former executive producer of “CBS Evening News” who now works for the BBC, said: “It’s got to be about this lasting sense of hurt and pride. I was flabbergasted. I just don’t get it.”

Rather’s lawyer, Martin Gold, said last night: “Dan is bringing this lawsuit to restore his reputation. He’s not doing this for the money,” he added, saying that Rather would donate most of any court award to journalistic causes…

Bernard Goldberg, a former CBS correspondent and a sharp critic of Rather, said yesterday that the former anchor is a great reporter, “but the dark side is that he’s unwilling or incapable of accepting responsibility. . . . This is the man who signed off his newscast with ‘courage,’ and now he’s alleging ‘they made me do it, they just put the words in front of me.’ This is ridiculous on so many levels.”

I don’t mean to revel in the misery of a guy who makes more in a month than I will in a lifetime, but there’s a distinct possibility of a Queeg-like scene on the witness stand if this thing reaches trial. Imagine him rolling the metal balls in his hand. Imagine it.

9 p.m. ET tonight, Larry King Live. Oh, you’d better believe we’ll have video. Exit question quotation: “[N]obody’s proved the documents were forgeries. The way we look at it, it’s more than likely the documents are authentic.”

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Let it go, man, let it go…

amerpundit on September 20, 2007 at 1:31 PM

This makes me happy. I’m really glad Rather is doing this.

Happy, happy, happy.

Slublog on September 20, 2007 at 1:33 PM

This must bring back a lot of memories, AP.

This from “credits” in the About section of HotAir.

Allahpundit, Hot Air’s lead blogger, is a writer whose former website, Allah Is In The House, was among the most popular conservative blogs of 2004. He is cited in Mary Mapes’s book as one of the right-wing bloggers whose “wild and hateful claims” helped destroy CBS’s story about the Bush National Guard memos, which pleases him to no end. He can be reached at allah@hotair.com.

Mcguyver on September 20, 2007 at 1:36 PM

“I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille.”

infidel4life on September 20, 2007 at 1:36 PM

He worked the sources over the phone.

I thought his sources worked him over.

And he let them.

And he enjoyed it.

saint kansas on September 20, 2007 at 1:38 PM

RatherGate…The Sequel.

Tom Blogical on September 20, 2007 at 1:40 PM

Bringing this lawsuit to restore his reputation is like fending off a wolf attack with a T-bone steak.

Jim Treacher on September 20, 2007 at 1:44 PM

Methinks we’re seeing the early stages of senile dementia.

astuddis on September 20, 2007 at 1:45 PM

OK, seriously–if this isn’t the best example of yet another desperate liberal attempting to rewrite history, I don’t know what is.

Tom Blogical on September 20, 2007 at 1:46 PM

How sweet it is.

Courage, Dan. Courage.

petefrt on September 20, 2007 at 1:46 PM

Methinks we’re seeing the early stages of senile dementia.
astuddis on September 20, 2007 at 1:45 PM

Early stages?!

Did your comment arrive via Pony Express?

Mcguyver on September 20, 2007 at 1:48 PM

He funny. He make me laugh.

omnipotent on September 20, 2007 at 1:52 PM

Rather his a tip…MoveOn…

right2bright on September 20, 2007 at 1:53 PM

“[N]obody’s proved the documents were forgeries.

That’s a level of rationality worthy of The View. Maybe Gunga-Dan can get a gig on as a guest host. After all, he is a bit more feminine than Rosie. A bit.

Thomas the Wraith on September 20, 2007 at 1:54 PM

I always thought the burden of proof lay with the investigative media to prove that its evidence was authentic, not with the skeptic to disprove it. Thanks to Mr. Rather for setting me straight.

aunursa on September 20, 2007 at 1:56 PM

infidel4life: “I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille.”

What an appropriate quote.

It’s from the movie Sunset Boulevard, for those that don’t know.

georgej on September 20, 2007 at 2:03 PM

I wonder if Franklin Foer see Rather and sees his future.

The difference between the two being, of course, that Rather was long regarded as a serious journalist before destroying his career.

Bob Owens on September 20, 2007 at 2:09 PM

Bush did it!! Dan, CBS tanked you for his sake? You should know better.

apostle53 on September 20, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Where are the cops with the taser when you need them.

pedestrian on September 20, 2007 at 2:17 PM

the right-wing bloggers whose “wild and hateful claims”

AP – just another Wiiiilld and hateful-a guy!

peski on September 20, 2007 at 2:24 PM

go away Dan, just go away….

jcrue on September 20, 2007 at 2:33 PM

I, too, am thankful that Rather has taken this action but I’m gobsmacked that he has done so.
And to make himself out as a newsreader as well… well, it’s just like Christmas morning!

thegreatbeast on September 20, 2007 at 2:35 PM

I haven’t watched the CBS Evening News in decades, but I would even PPV to see Couric interview Dan about his lawsuit.
It’s news, so CBS should be covering it, right?

Doug on September 20, 2007 at 2:36 PM

Good…more publicity for HotAir and LGF!! Bring it on, Danny Boy!

tickleddragon on September 20, 2007 at 2:38 PM

This morning, Liz Trotta compared Dan Rather’s arrogance with that of OJ’s. I immediately emailed Fox&Friends saying a far better comparison would be with that crazed DC judge who sued those Korean drycleaners.

auzerais on September 20, 2007 at 2:47 PM

…there’s a distinct possibility of a Queeg-like scene on the witness stand if this thing reaches trial. Imagine him rolling the metal balls in his hand. Imagine it.

“OK…who ate the strawberries?” (or was it strawberry icecream?)

flipflop on September 20, 2007 at 3:06 PM

Flipflop, it was strawberries, strawberries that went on the ice cream.
What’s the frequency Kenneth?
Dan, please go away.

Catie96706 on September 20, 2007 at 3:17 PM

a far better comparison would be with that crazed DC judge who sued those Korean drycleaners.

Dan Rather is definitely trying to bump the DC judge out of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mcguyver on September 20, 2007 at 3:26 PM

He wants his Edward R. Murrow halo back and this is the only shot he has to get it.

He won’t evah (always wanted to type/say this :) get it back. CBS will not settle and discovery w/b too sweet/bitter, if it evah happened.

It’s like:

- Bill Clinton “I want to restore the dignity of cigars”
- Monica “I want those stains off my blue dress”
- Katie Couric “I want to be unperky”
- Cunningham “I want those hos to be virgins, and crooks to be honest gentlemen”
- Bill Clinton “I want 1999-2000 back so I can strike ObL”
- The Glacier “I want a (warm) pesonality”, and…
- John Kerry “I want the Swiftboaters to not have been born”, and…most important
- Dan Rather “I wish I had integrity and courage in 2004″.

Halo away.

Entelechy on September 20, 2007 at 3:27 PM

Yes Kurtz,Dan is Rather that stupid.Haha

canopfor on September 20, 2007 at 3:27 PM

This makes me happy. I’m really glad Rather is doing this.

Happy, happy, happy.

Slublog on September 20, 2007 at 1:33 PM

heh.

I don’t know if anyone has readByron York’s summary of the lawsuit…but

…Next, the cover-up. After the controversy erupted, CBS appointed a commission, led by former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, to investigate. According to Rather, it was all a sham. “CBS announced that it was conducting a thorough independent investigation into the underlying story of the broadcast and its production,” the lawsuit alleges, “when in fact its intention was to conduct a biased investigation with controlled timing and predetermined conclusions in order to prevent further information concerning Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service from being uncovered.”

Rather says the cover-up was part of CBS’s “plan to pacify the White House” and to “appease angry government officials” by offering up Rather as the “scapegoat for CBS management’s bungling of the entire episode.” (By bungling, Rather means the network’s decision to concede error, not the original accusations against Bush.) All this was particularly damaging to Rather, the lawsuit alleges, because “throughout his career, Mr. Rather has promoted, championed, and been emblematic of journalistic independence and journalistic freedom from extraneous interference such as governmental, political, corporate or personal interests.”

CRACKED ME UP! – Don’t you think if CBS was conspiring to protect the president they would’ve prevented Dan- from puppeting their – not Dan’s mind you – damning report in the first place?

I’m not even sure I explained it well. The logic in claiming on the one hand he had no responsibility – just a narrator- in a lawsuit that also claims the responsible party was protecting the victim of their report on the other makes my head hurt.

Topsecretk9 on September 20, 2007 at 3:29 PM

He wants his Edward R. Murrow halo back and this is the only shot he has to get it.

Note to Dan – that halo belongs to Olbermann now, and he won’t relinquish it. No. Sir.

Entelechy on September 20, 2007 at 4:02 PM

The logic in claiming on the one hand he had no responsibility – just a narrator- in a lawsuit that also claims the responsible party was protecting the victim of their report on the other makes my head hurt.

Topsecretk9 on September 20, 2007 at 3:29 PM

Typical Liberal “logic”. It always gives a headache to a rational person because it makes no sense. The only point is to promote/protect self – file under Clinton.

IrishEyes on September 20, 2007 at 4:06 PM

Rather’s lawyer, Martin Gold, said last night: “Dan is bringing this lawsuit to restore his reputation. He’s not doing this for the money,”

Note to Gunga Dan, and his lawyer:

This isn’t going to restore Dan’s reputation.

Maybe what you need to do, Mr. Rather, is stop worrying about your broken reputation. Just admit you where wrong. This would wonders for your self respect. I would certainly have a lot more respect for you.

Lawrence on September 20, 2007 at 5:01 PM

I don’t mean to revel in the misery of a guy who makes more in a month than I will in a lifetime, but there’s a distinct possibility of a Queeg-like scene on the witness stand if this thing reaches trial. Imagine him rolling the metal balls in his hand.

I believe that Charles Johnson, using geometric logic, has already proven the documents to be forgeries.

KGB on September 20, 2007 at 5:03 PM

He wants his reputation restored as a narrator?

Karl on September 20, 2007 at 5:06 PM

Is there an Emmy-type award for screen caps? This one is another classic.

Nosferightu on September 20, 2007 at 5:15 PM

What a pity. There’s still no cure for “stupid”.
Oh well — bygones.

CyberCipher on September 20, 2007 at 5:45 PM

The only fitting finale for this guy’s career would be to go on Larry King and have his head explode like the guy in the film “Scanners.”

Sad, sad, sad. Just go away, Dan.

JJ Trueheart on September 20, 2007 at 6:02 PM

You know what’s really sad? The moments I’ll never forget are David Letterman’s first show back on the air after 9/11. Dan Rather was the guest. He stepped aside from his objective newsman personality and the two of them talked about how awful the last week had been.

Harpo Marx (or his ghostwriter) wrote about John Barrymore:

The passing of a great man is tragic, and double tragic when the greatness passes before the man.

Rather has gone from being a great newsman to a tragic former celebrity.

Meryl Yourish on September 20, 2007 at 6:36 PM

“Dan doesn’t need the money.”

But, that could be a very temporary situation. He is about to run a piece claining the new Boeing 787 airliner is unsafe. I think he may be in the process of getting himself in very deep legal do-do unless he can somehow prove that. Maybe that’s why he thinks he needs an extra 70 million bucks on hand. Maybe his employer, Mark Cuban of “Redacted” notoriety, will get sucked into the blender with him!

drunyan8315 on September 20, 2007 at 7:53 PM

This is about what things are always about. Money. Of course he needs money. We ALL need more money. No matter how much you have, you need more.

And you know what? CBS doesn’t want this rehashed. They will settle and Dan will have his nice bit of extra cash. Period.

Rightwingsparkle on September 20, 2007 at 7:56 PM

Justice in this world if not the next. Luckily, Rather got it in this world.

Tim Burton on September 20, 2007 at 8:39 PM

I believe that Charles Johnson, using geometric logic, has already proven the documents to be forgeries.

They aren’t even forgeries. A forged document is made to look like a real document, like a forged driver’s license used for underage liquor purchases or illegal alien employment. The memos do not look like contemporaneous real documents graphically, nor do they use the abbreviations that were standard at the time.

He has demonstrated that the ‘memo’ could have been produced by opening Microsoft Word and typing the words without changing any of the default settings for fonts, margins, etc, then wrinkling the page slightly and running it through a copier a few times before faxing it to See BS.

No one has produced a typewriter that existed when the memo was allegedly written that is capable of producing the memo, much less shown that the TxANG had one, despite a reward of thousands of dollars to do so.

For a while, the True Believers would point to a machine that could do some sort of proportional spacing (but not at the granularity of the memo), another that could do superscript ‘th’ (that didn’t look like the one in the memo), or some other machine that could produce some other attribute of the memo, but that’s not the proper standard. It must be a single machine.

Bottom line is that Rather offered in evidence a memo from Epstein’s Mother.

The Monster on September 20, 2007 at 10:57 PM

CBS has to settle out of court, the revelations coming out of it will be incredible. CBS is still pretending they did nothing wrong.
With a trial, I see two possibilities, none of them good for CBS.
First, they admit they’re fake. Then, they have to admit that they put out a bad story in an attempt to sway a presidential election, thereby blowing away the last, thin veneer of journalistic integrity they once had.
Second, they refuse to admit they’re fake and blow away the last vestige of journalistic integrity they once had.

Veeshir on September 21, 2007 at 6:31 AM

Dan Rather. The gift that keeps on giving.

RD on September 22, 2007 at 11:02 AM