Rather narrated a September 2004 report saying that Bush had disobeyed orders and shirked some of his duties during his National Guard service and that a commander felt pressured to sugarcoat Bush’s record. In his lawsuit, Rather maintains that the story was true, but that if any aspect of the broadcast wasn’t accurate, he was not responsible for the errors. The story relied on four documents, supposedly written by Bush’s commander in the Texas Air National Guard, the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Critics questioned the documents’ authenticity and suggested they were forged. A CBS review determined the story was neither fair nor accurate. CBS fired the story’s producer and asked for the resignation of three executives because it could not authenticate documents used in the story, and Rather was forced out of the anchor chair he had occupied for 24 years. Rather’s lawsuit says he was forced to apologize, although “as defendants well knew, even if any aspect of the broadcast had not been accurate, which has never been established, Mr. Rather was not responsible for any such errors.” By making Rather apologize publicly, “CBS intentionally caused the public and the media to attribute CBS’ alleged bungling of the episode to Mr. Rather,” the lawsuit claimed. As a result, some news media called the event “Rathergate.” He also claimed that after removing him as anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” the network gave him fewer and less important assignments and little airtime on “60 Minutes” and “60 Minutes II.” At the time, Rather was making $6 million a year, the lawsuit says. Rather claimed in the suit that his departure was ultimately caused by Viacom Chairman Redstone, who found it best for the company to gain favor with the Bush administration by damaging Rather. An “enraged” Redstone said the newsman and anyone associated with him had to go, according to the lawsuit. Richard Thornburgh, the former U.S. attorney general who made up the two-man investigative panel with Louis D. Boccardi, the retired chief executive of The Associated Press, said he was unaware of Rather’s lawsuit. Reached at his home in Washington, Thornburgh said only: “Our report speaks for itself.” Boccardi did not return messages left by The Associated Press. Issued in January 2005, the 224-page report portrayed Rather as “pushed to the limit” with other stories at the time of the “60 Minutes Wednesday” report. He relied on a trusted producer and didn’t check the story for accuracy or, apparently, didn’t even see it before he introduced it on the program, the panel said. CBS rushed the story on the air and then blindly defended it when holes became apparent, said the panel, which was unable to say conclusively whether memos disparaging Bush’s service were real or fake. The fired CBS News producer, Mary Mapes, later wrote that the panel’s examination of the story “read more like a prosecutorial brief than an independent investigation.” Her book surrounding the controversy was published in 2005. Rather, who didn’t return messages Wednesday, worked at CBS News starting in 1962, then replaced Walter Cronkite in 1981 as “CBS Evening News” anchorman until signing off March 9, 2005. With his intense on-air demeanor, Rather had his detractors, and his broadcast was a distant third in the evening news ratings when he stepped down. CBS News’ ratings rebounded under short-term successor Bob Schieffer, but they have plummeted under Katie Couric, who took over the broadcast in September 2006. Rather has moved on to a weekly news show on cable’s HDNet channel, “Dan Rather Reports,” but the effort has garnered little attention.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! JOURNALISM: Newscaster says his superiors made him a “scapegoat” of a disputed story on Bush’s military service. By Samuel Maull THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK – Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and his former bosses Wednesday, claiming they made him a “scapegoat” for a discredited story about President Bush’s military service during the Vietnam War. Rather, 75, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the story, said the actions of the defendants damaged his reputation and caused him significant financial loss. The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, claims the network intentionally botched the aftermath of the story about Bush’s time in the Texas Air National Guard and had Rather take the fall to “pacify” the White House. He was removed from his job at “CBS Evening News” in March 2005. Besides CBS Corp., the suit names former CBS parent company Viacom Inc., CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, and Andrew Heyward, former president of CBS News. The suit seeks $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. “These complaints are old news, and this lawsuit is without merit,” CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said. Viacom had no comment.
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M tight end Jake Ross has committed to Oklahoma State and has become the 19th member of its 2018 recruiting class.Ross, a former Coweta High School dual-sport standout, picked up an offer from the Cowboys after Cowboy Back coach Jason McEndoo paid him a visit to scout him in person several weeks ago, and he wasted no time pulling the trigger and picking the Pokes over other offers from UCF, Kansas and Coastal Carolina. Ross is a 6-foot-7 prospect who played basketball and football in high school and has developed into a legitimate Division I prospect during his time in junior college. He will take the scholarship previously occupied by Nic McTear, who decommitted earlier in the recruiting cycle.We’re told Ross is also expected to be on track to graduate in December, which could put him ahead of the curve as far as getting acclimated and on campus next spring to get a jump start on the 2018 season, where his services will likely be needed right away.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!