Breaking: Judge dismisses most of Rather’s lawsuit against CBS over Rathergate; Update: Dismissed on technical grounds?

posted at 12:41 pm on April 10, 2008 by Allahpundit

There’s nothing on the wires yet to confirm TV Newser’s report but they’ve got a quote from CBS’s lead counsel so I’m sure it’s legit. To refresh: He sued them on several grounds, most notably fraud in commissioning a supposedly “biased” investigation of the Bush documents fiasco and how the memos ended up on the air despite the fact that they looked suspiciously like, um, Microsoft Word documents. Courage:

TVNewser has learned most of issues of the lawsuit have been dismissed. What remains is the contract dispute: whether Rather was utilized appropriately in the remaining months of his deal as a correspondent on 60 Minutes. Jim Quinn, lead counsel for CBS tells TVNewser, “We’re thrilled with the results. The core of the allegations of fraud and fair dealing have been thrown out. What’s left is a garden variety contract dispute.”

An ideal outcome. Dismissal of all the claims would have denied us the Queeg-like spectacle of Rather on the stand being cross-examined by CBS’s legal department about “Lucy Ramirez.” Hopefully they’re still good to go on that in the context of the contract claim, since he’s bound to allege that it was the memo debacle that led them to cut back his airtime. Exit quotation from Howard Kurtz’s prescient, sneering report on the lawsuit from last September: “I think he’s gone off the deep end.”

Update: If you don’t have to time to follow all the links, at least follow the “Queeg” one, as it shows the face of American corporate journalism for decades self-importantly suggesting that the future of independent media hangs on the fate of his lawsuit.

Update: Baseball Crank read the judge’s order and reports that the fraud claims were dismissed because the statute of limitations had run and because he failed to show damages, not because of anything having to do with the merits. CBS says it’s going to address that by seeking summary judgment on the claims.

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Rather dumb…isn’t he!

dmann on April 10, 2008 at 12:43 PM

What remains is the contract dispute: whether Rather was utilized appropriately in the remaining months of his deal as a correspondent on 60 Minutes.

They did use him to clean toilets, didn’t they? That sounds appropriate.

rbj on April 10, 2008 at 12:45 PM

CBS

Shouldn’t that be CBS/CNN?

jgapinoy on April 10, 2008 at 12:49 PM

Good night funnyman.

I hear that there is an opening for a newsreader at air america. It’s an unpaid internship. You might look into it.

wise_man on April 10, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Courage!

moxie_neanderthal on April 10, 2008 at 12:53 PM

What’s the frequency Kenneth?

moxie_neanderthal on April 10, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Rather must enjoy throwing money away. Just think about all the money he’s given to his lawyers just to have most of their work get dismissed by the courts.

Weebork on April 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM

To quote Dan himself:

“No question now that [Rather] is rapidly reaching the point where he’s got his back to the wall, his shirttails on fire and the bill collector’s at the door.”

“This [lawsuit] is hotter than a Times Square Rolex.”
“His lead is as thin as turnip soup.”

Okay, I’m done…

loganthompson on April 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM

“We used to say if a frog had side pockets, he’d carry a handgun.”

Aaaahahaha. Okay. Whew… for real now.

loganthompson on April 10, 2008 at 1:00 PM

Mary Mapes could not be reached for comment. Probably out on a window ledge someplace…

Del Dolemonte on April 10, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Thermonuclear.

RushBaby on April 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM

And that’s the way it is, April 10, 2008……

Seriously though, it is inaccurate to call Rather’s attempt at circumventing the election a “Bush document fiasco” since in fact these documents were completely fabricated.

I still want to know more about the connection between CBS and the Kerry campaign. It would be a mighty big coincidence if Kerry’s people launched the “fortunate son” ads without coordination with Rather’s report that came out the same day.

highhopes on April 10, 2008 at 1:06 PM

Unfortunately, you know what this means, don’t you?

TONIGHT ON LARRY KING LIVE…………..!

pilamaye on April 10, 2008 at 1:07 PM

1. He thought he became bigger than the news he reported
2. His reality became the news that he reported
3. The goddess of news should never be messed with
4. The chickens have come home to roost!!!! (In my best Reverend/Sheikh Wright the racist imitation)

Hening on April 10, 2008 at 1:13 PM

My ten year old daughter asked: “who’s Dan Rather”.

Ahh to be 10 years old again……

jake-the-goose on April 10, 2008 at 1:15 PM

You were looking for media reports other than TV Newser? Here they come. And they’re busy spinning this as a victory for Rather in the headline, despite the fact that the bulk of his suit was dismissed.

More here.

lawhawk on April 10, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Baghdad Bob weeps.

Limerick on April 10, 2008 at 1:22 PM

One thing to consider here is that if Burkett had been a bit smarter and used a typewriter instead of MS Word, Rather would probably have gotten Kerry elected…

So it is good to see Rather’s case falling apart…but we should remember how close we were to disaster.

18-1 on April 10, 2008 at 1:28 PM

One thing to consider here is that if Burkett had been a bit smarter and used a typewriter instead of MS Word, Rather would probably have gotten Kerry elected…

So it is good to see Rather’s case falling apart…but we should remember how close we were to disaster.

18-1 on April 10, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Also say 15 years earlier or so before the Internet explosion, he might have pulled it off.

Hilts on April 10, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Limerick on April 10, 2008 at 1:22 PM

LOL HA HA HA HA…. Good Old Bob and “There are no American Tanks Here!”

upinak on April 10, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Re: The Rather picture. Ya know, I had no idea that a hurricane was really windy, and really wet, until some damned fool in the media got in the middle of one, and was filmed sideways, holding onto a pole.

Without the media, I would absolutely be lost.

OhEssYouCowboys on April 10, 2008 at 1:57 PM

I love that photo of Rather telling a post that the memo was fake, but true.

Akzed on April 10, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Dan Rather? I thought that photo was of Huckabee. I feel cheated!

Mack08 on April 10, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Dan Rather finally got what he deserved. I came across an article on the web about how Rather frequently referred to himself as “this marine” and how he loved to regale audiences with tales of his derring do as a US marine. As the article points out, Rather didn’t survive boot camp and his US marine experience was cut mercifully short for the good of the United States. Now in his dotage, Rather is a combination of King Lear raging at the blasted heath and Captain Queeg retelling the story of how he discovered a kid in the mess hall stealing strawberries. I don’t take comfort in anybody’s misery but for Mr. Rather, I can’t deny that I feel immense pleasure at his latest debacle.

Larraby on April 10, 2008 at 2:20 PM

I can not hear his name or see his picture without asking myself, “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”. Sick, ain’t it?

bloggless on April 10, 2008 at 2:21 PM

You stay classy Dan…

RMCS_USN on April 10, 2008 at 2:29 PM

And they’re busy spinning this as a victory for Rather in the headline, despite the fact that the bulk of his suit was dismissed.

lawhawk on April 10, 2008 at 1:17 PM

Wow-the headline says PART of Rather’s suit was dismissed. But of course, this is from the Dis-Associated Press, which is an even bigger journalistic joke than Dan is.

Wonder how much stock Dan owns in AP?

Del Dolemonte on April 10, 2008 at 2:43 PM

What’s the frequency?

saved on April 10, 2008 at 2:48 PM

Sorry moxie_neanderthal on April 10, 2008 at 12:55 PM.
You beat me to it.

saved on April 10, 2008 at 2:49 PM

Danny, Rhandi, and Katie all in one day. Sweeeeet.

Dubn8tr on April 10, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Wow! That video of Rather on Larry King is 4-star creepy!

He looks like Nixon declaring: “I am not a thief!”

BLOC on April 10, 2008 at 3:20 PM

Dan who?

Right_of_Attila on April 10, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Somewhere, GW is smirking.

irongrampa on April 10, 2008 at 3:26 PM

It is kind of sad to see somebody in their dotage still “tilting at windmills”.

duff65 on April 10, 2008 at 3:39 PM

[Rather sued CBS for] fraud in commissioning a supposedly “biased” investigation of the Bush documents fiasco and how the memos ended up on the air despite the fact that they looked suspiciously like, um, Microsoft Word documents.

I’d almost forgotten about that investigation. I’d like to see what CBS’s explanation for this is.

Apparently, this report was the basis for the whole damned lawsuit. Did both parties agree to keep it secret, or is it available somewhere?

logis on April 10, 2008 at 3:55 PM

I think a good update to this would be that video of Blather primping before he goes live.

bikermailman on April 10, 2008 at 4:24 PM

Danny, Rhandi, and Katie all in one day. Sweeeeet.

Dubn8tr on April 10, 2008 at 2:54 PM

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but Randi Rhodes has already snagged another gig, with Clear Channel.

Del Dolemonte on April 10, 2008 at 5:26 PM

It is kind of sad to see somebody in their dotage still “tilting at windmills”

He could’ve retired quietly and retained whatever shred of dignity he had left. I wonder how much of the old New York media is still this delusional. Just when I feel like cutting them some slack, I remember looking in Mary Mapes book right before Amazon got overloaded.

Feedie on April 10, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Maybe the hustler named Dan Rather has now experienced a slight taste of what those he trashed and smeared endured while Rather was a political hack and character assassin on 60 Minutes. At least those Dan Rather has trashed and smeared probably had a legitimate gripe against See-BS.

Gunga Dan’s best future plans should mostly involve cheap cigars and muttering incoherently at the greyhound track. Maybe he and Peanut Carter can form a narcissist’s fan club and invite Randi Rhodes, Bill Moyers, Jeremiah Wright, The Goreacle, Weird Ward Churchill and Jayson Blair as charter members. Revrum Wright could lead the club convocation give or take a “honky” or “cracker” utterance here and there before saying Amen.

viking01 on April 10, 2008 at 5:51 PM

That screencap cracked me right on up.

Typhoon on April 10, 2008 at 6:09 PM

That screencap from Rather’s “coverage” during a storm in Panama City, Florida (right down the road from here in Tallahassee, Florida) reminds me of an amusing story. Several years ago while I worked at WCTV in Tallahassee. Some CBS videographers were visiting CBS affiliates giving tips, advice and info to improve video and other news-related videography. One of the things they played for us for yucks was the Rather footage from which the screencap originates…however from a different, unaired angle. If you notice in the screencap, Rather appears to be holding on to a pole to keep from being blown over in the wind. Don’t let that fool you. He could let go and not go anywhere. Why? Well, just out of the camera’s angle is a man with his arms wrapped around Rather AND the pole and another guy holding on to the first. Plus, they had Rather tethered to the lower portion of the pole. Good ol’ Dan wasn’t going anywhere in that wind. The video was pretty funny to watch since it showed Rather not being completely honest with his viewers. He tried to make it appear that he was fighting the high winds and sheets of rain himself. Not so.

Too bad they didn’t leave him there.

Carl on April 10, 2008 at 8:33 PM

Guys, we have NO need to feel even an atom of sympathy for Dan Rather and his financial position. The man was paid millions per year, tens of millions of dollars by CBS in his last 5 years as news anchor. The man’s wealthy.
.
I’d guess that his law firm took on his case against CBS on a contingency basis, so he’s out not one dime so far, nor will he be.
.
Adios, Dan. We’re glad to see the back of you.

DavePa on April 10, 2008 at 8:55 PM

Must’ve come as a punch in the gut to ol’ Dan Rather.

p40tiger on April 10, 2008 at 11:37 PM

Carl on April 10, 2008 at 8:33 PM

Stuff like that is nothing new.. My wife is a vet and the local news did a story on dogs getting a flu or virus.. they interviewed her holding a dog.. which was her bosses dog.. and not sick.. and very well in fact.. but because my wife is a vet and it was a TV news story, she had to hold a dog..

since that happened, I see it all the time now..

TV news is acting..

Anyhow, I had wondered why Dan didn’t go to the internet and then he could have chased all the stories he ever wanted to do without some picky editor telling him that these documents where fabricated.. and not from a billing statement in 1970 but it has a Dundler-Mifflin watermark..

DaveC on April 11, 2008 at 1:05 AM

Courage.

whitetop on April 11, 2008 at 8:15 AM