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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