Breaking: Appeals court tosses Rather suit against CBS

posted at 2:52 pm on September 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The state court of appeals in New York has dismissed a lawsuit from Dan Rather against CBS for wrongful termination and $70 million in damages. The court was apparently not impressed with the claim that CBS did any more damage to his reputation than he did himself with a collection of fraudulent documents and unsubstantiated allegations:

Bad news for Dan Rather: His $70 million lawsuit against CBS is no more.

In a 19-page decision made public Tuesday, a state appeals court dismissed the legendary newsman’s suit against CBS. …

A lawyer for Rather and a CBS spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Jammie Wearing Fool hopes Rather will now slip into obscurity. That should be easy to do as a reporter for HDNet, of course. Obscurity is usually the final stop after humiliation, and in truth Rather has mostly arrived at that destination except for news about this lawsuit.

Will he appeal? What else does he have to do?

Update: More from the LA Times, which indicates a total repudiation of Rather’s claims:

But in its ruling, the appeals panel found that CBS did not violate the terms of Rather’s contract because it continued to pay him, citing the contract’s “pay or play” provision. The finding was a major blow to the longtime newsman, who had cast the suit as part of a broader effort to rein in the influence of corporations on news organizations. …

In its ruling, issued more than five months after the parties argued the case before the appellate division, the court reversed Judge Ira Gammerman’s decisions on the case.

“This Court finds that the motion court erred in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, and therefore we find the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety,” the ruling said.

The appellate division found that Gammerman should have dismissed Rather’s breach of contract claim against CBS, rejecting the anchor’s argument that he was warehoused by the network constituted a violation of his deal.

“This claim attempts to gloss over the fact that Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract,” the court wrote. Rather’s contract did not require “that CBS actually use Rather’s services or broadcast any programs on which he appears, but simply retains the option of accelerating the payment of his compensation under the agreement if he is not assigned to either program.”

Rather’s legal team confirms that he plans to appeal.


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Comment pages: 1 2

At this point, not even drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl could sully what’s left of Rather’s reputation.

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Actually that would help, at least he would have most of Hollywood and the left helping and supporting him.

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Nutroots blames Bush appointees in 3…2…

Speedwagon82 on September 29, 2009 at 3:58 PM

He has documents showing that Giles was AWOL during the Vietnam war, she never served, never reported, never signed up for the selective service…

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:51 PM

ROTFLMAO!

BobMbx on September 29, 2009 at 3:58 PM

The dismissal should have been via a Kinko’s fax machine with all the th’s super-scripted.

Up yours, Gunga Dan and your little dog Martha Mapes, too.

viking01 on September 29, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM

You realize you, then me, started something…little vignettes of a persons life, with several posters adding to it to complete their life story.
What happened after Dan married his unibrow wife and ended up with his own “beat”?

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Rats, I was rather hoping for a good sideshow this fall.

MarkTheGreat on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Don’t worry – the ACORN suit against Breitbart and Fox is coming up!

Fishoutofwater on September 29, 2009 at 4:00 PM

The appeal is a joke. It was amazing that it took this long for a court to simply apply a common sense interpretation to the contract.

WWS on September 29, 2009 at 4:02 PM

And at the same time, CJ is falling into obscurity faster than Dan Rather…

d1carter on September 29, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Nutroots blames Bush appointees in 3…2…

Speedwagon82 on September 29, 2009 at 3:58 PM

No, it’s all Bush’s fault. After all, he was born, then he decided to learn how to fly in the ANG, then he decided to steal the election in 2000 by making Algore lose his own home state of Tennessee.

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2009 at 4:07 PM

I hope that those lawyers keeps taking Dan’s
money for the rest of his life.

Dan Rather was a serial liar. He’s done now.

thgrant on September 29, 2009 at 4:07 PM

“This Court finds that the motion court erred….”

Why are there never any consequences for judges who continue to make costly errors like the one referenced in this ruling by the court of appeals?

jay12 on September 29, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Seriously, is anyone surprised by this outcome?

jdflorida on September 29, 2009 at 4:09 PM

I hope he keeps appealing until his retirement fund is depleted!!

whatzit2u on September 29, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Dan was later signed to a desk, well actually under a desk, the desk of the president of CBS. This was the break he was looking for, a chance to edit some real news stories. The president gave him many “stories” under the desk to polish up…and Dan dug right into it with both hands. When he finally reached a point where he was really sinking his teeth into the “stories”, he was promoted, he finally got his own beat…

right2bright on September 29, 2009 at 3:56 PM

LOLOL

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:17 PM

I see a News Czar in our future.

Damned crappy vision…

karl9000 on September 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Y’all beat me to all the funny ones…

But seriously: isn’t it kind of sad when a cranky old man goes right over the edge?

Hieronymus on September 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Dan finally got his break at CBS, but NOT in the news division. Dan started as the “droppings cleaner” when Ed Sullivan had live animal acts on his show. Later he was actually on the show, and got to show off his on-air talents by pretending to be a young Hispanic comic named Jose Jimenez.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM

So Rather was paid every dime owed him on his contract but wanted $70 million for breach of contract? What a tool.

rsrobinson on September 29, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Dan got his new division break when he was assigned to cover the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. Unfortunately, the invasion was a disaster as Dan kept calling out to the Communists that they were hiding on the beach, and he single-handedly caused the invasion to fail.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Dismissed with or without prejudice?

unclesmrgol on September 29, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Dan was temporarily demoted to Cronkite’s mustache comber for the next year

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Rats, I was rather hoping for a good sideshow this fall.

MarkTheGreat on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Well, if he appeals the decision, you might get your wish after all. :-)

/checks popcorn supply — 55 gallon drum in the pantry — okay, good to go

Mary in LA on September 29, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Dan was temporarily demoted to dead rotten zombie Cronkite’s mustache comber maggot remover for the next year

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:28 PM

FIFY

/feeling macabre

Mary in LA on September 29, 2009 at 4:31 PM

I would like to know how much of that $6,000,000 a year salary Rather gave away to charities.
I would also like to know how to get a message to him. For so long I have wanted to tell him that if he wants to get his ‘reputation’ back, he could investigate ACORN, the Rathke brothers, or SEIU. He could investigate the Obama birth certificate. Breaking news from Dan in any of these areas would propel him once again to the top. In his own mind.

maryo on September 29, 2009 at 4:31 PM

Dismissed with or without prejudice?

unclesmrgol on September 29, 2009 at 4:27 PM

With, of course, as the judge is obviously a racist.
/do I hafta?

Mary in LA on September 29, 2009 at 4:32 PM

The finding was a major blow to the longtime newsman, who had cast the suit as part of a broader effort to rein in the influence of corporations on news organizations.

Corporations… evil…

News organizations… virtuous underdogs…

Akzed on September 29, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Dan surfaced again in Dallas, November, 1963 and was supposed to be working the crowd reporting from in front of the Texas Book Depository when the shots rang out.
Unfortunately for Dan his wife’s dinner the night before of homemade chili caused Dan to be in the rest room at the time of the shots, and caused him much discomfort hours later when arriving at Parkland Hospital.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:35 PM

FIFY

/feeling macabre

Mary in LA on September 29, 2009 at 4:31 PM

LOL..always looking to improve my work by anyone that can help.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Dan was seen that next morning when in the Dallas Police Dept basement when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot. Dan was seen on the video tape running away from the crowd screaming like a little girl.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Dan surfaced again in March 1967 in the Mekong Delta as he was being shot at by American troops due to the script he was writing about them that was 100% lies.

Jeff from WI on September 29, 2009 at 4:44 PM

For so long I have wanted to tell him that if he wants to get his ‘reputation’ back, he could investigate ACORN, the Rathke brothers, or SEIU. He could investigate the Obama birth certificate. Breaking news from Dan in any of these areas would propel him once again to the top. In his own mind.

maryo on September 29, 2009 at 4:31 PM

If he did, the Left would be saying he pushed ‘fake documents’ about Bush, and therefore has no credibility. At the same time, the Left would say those documents are genuine. In short–doublespeak.

Liam on September 29, 2009 at 4:46 PM

That’s okay; at least we have Sheppard Smith to take his place.

flicker on September 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Trivia Question: Can anyone name the movie the quote below is from? It all ties in to the Dan Blather lawsuit.

“My lawyer will make money”
“your lawyer will make money”
“And you will foot the bill”

greasywrench on September 29, 2009 at 5:08 PM

And THAT Kenneth IS the frequency!

Lonetown on September 29, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Treu Geert. Sorry, I’m Dutch.

flicker on September 29, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Someone else said this but all Dans group had to do was go to a pawn shop,garage sale or EBay and pick up an old Remington typewriter and they might have pulled it off.Big time reporters heh.John Wayne said “Life is tough,tougher if your stupid.”

docflash on September 29, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Rush had a line today about Bill Press that seems appropriate.

Well his next job will be the Airport channel weather announcer.

barnone on September 29, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Liam asked:

You’re a Trancers fan?

Always been a fan of Tim Thomerson. One of the last of the Old School Hollywood Tough Guys. Trancers showcases some of his best work. And I needed a cool name for posting on-line.

Jack.

Jack Deth on September 29, 2009 at 6:03 PM

I’m a loser
I’m a loser
And I’m not what I appear to be

Of all the stories I have won or have lost
There is one story I should never have come across
It was a document in a million, my friend
I should have known it would turn out to be forged in the end

I’m a loser
And I lost an anchorship that was dear to me
I’m a loser
And I’m not what I appear to be

Although I talk and I act like I’ve been all around
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown
My tears are falling like rain from the sky
Is it for my anchorship and myself that I cry

I’m a loser
And I lost an anchorship that was so dear to me
I’m a loser
And I’m not what I appear to be

What have I done to deserve such a fate
I realized the document was forged but it was by then too late
And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall
I’m telling you so that you won’t lose all

I’m a loser
And I lost an anchorship that was dear to me
I’m a loser
And I’m not what I appear to be

MB4 on September 29, 2009 at 6:34 PM

This story doesn’t have the punch it used to… The entire media became Rather last year, and have to this day not demonstrated one ounce of the lesson they should have learned from the Rather fiasco.

It’s like Martha Stewart going to jail. They all do what she did. She just happened to be the one that got caught. Rathergate is nothing compared to the propanganda Obama crap we read everyday from AP, or WaPo, or the NYT.

I won’t be happy until they are all sitting right there beside Rather, looking at one another and saying “Courage”.

Carolina Kat on September 29, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Glad to see this idiot lost his case. Hopefully obscurity doesn’t kick him back to us.

0321_GUY on September 29, 2009 at 8:07 PM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer journalist… And I use that term loosely…

Khun Joe on September 29, 2009 at 8:12 PM

I refuse to give Little Green Footballs any traffic, but I am mildly curious about Charles Johnson’s reaction. I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled a David Brock 180 on Rather, although it was his claim to glory days long gone by.

Ace is usually good for at least one LGF slam per day, but he hasn’t reported on this news item yet. I’ll wait.

Terrie on September 29, 2009 at 9:15 PM

Heh, MB4. Good one…and pound sand, blather.pfft.

thebookkeeper on September 29, 2009 at 10:12 PM

Rush had a line today about Bill Press that seems appropriate.

Well his next job will be the Airport channel weather announcer.

barnone on September 29, 2009 at 5:39 PM

I heard that, and when he played the clip of Bill Pull I was laffing so hard I almost drove off O’bama’s newly Recovered Road. Mark Steyn would know the stretch I mean (I-93 between New Hampton and Tilton)

Remember, Bill Press (not Pull) fell hook line and sinker for the “Lovenstein Institute” hoax, and then blamed his doing so on the evil Bush. What a guy!

Del Dolemonte on September 29, 2009 at 10:42 PM

Dan who?

Oh, right, right….I thought he was dead?

HBowmanMD on September 30, 2009 at 12:03 AM

Couldn’t happen to a nicer journalist… And I use that term loosely…

Khun Joe on September 29, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Which term? “nicer”? Surely no one would refer to this idiot as a journalist, not even using the current definition.

runawayyyy on September 30, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Say what you want…this is the journalist Dan Rather I will always remember.

scituate_tgr on September 30, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Rather’s legal team confirms that he plans to appeal.

Beat that dead horse. Just have some decency and end it.

Greed on September 30, 2009 at 12:39 PM

I see a News Czar in our future.
. . .
karl9000 on September 29, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Please . . . do NOT give them any ideas!

Besides we already have a harridan-resembling, former ABC type filling that role, no?

Trochilus on September 30, 2009 at 2:17 PM

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