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CBS Rather Annoyed at Newsman's Lawsuit
Article online since: 2007-11-16 10:10:33
Written by: anca axenia
CBS has a newsflash for Dan Rather: You snooze, you lose.
The network filed a motion Thursday seeking to dismiss a $70 million lawsuit filed by the former CBS Evening News anchor, claiming he not only waited too long after he left his post to seek the massive payout, but slamming claims that he was used as a scapegoat by the network in the wake of "Memogate," the scandal over a story on George W. Bush's military record that preceded his departure.
"There was no such nefarious scheme, and Rather's allegations bear no resemblance to reality," CBS said in its filing. "CBS and its executives are not now, and never have been, out to get Dan Rather."
The network also called the suit "a regrettable attempt...to remain in the public eye, to settle old scores and perceived slights, based on an array of far-fetched allegations."
In its 25-page reply motion filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court, the network also said that defamation claims made in the lawsuit, filed by Rather in September against both CBS and parent company Viacom, should be dismissed as they came more than two years after his split from the network and "are barred by New York's one-year-statute of limitations for defamation."
Rather's suit also claimed breach of contract against the network, alleging he was forced out of his position in the wake of the political scandal, given less airtime overall and refused assignment to high profile news stories in order to placate the Bush administration. For its part, the network requested that the allegations be stricken entirely from the suit "as CBS did not breach any obligations to Rather."
Rather previously alleged that the network's behavior following the September 2004 discredited 60 Minutes II story caused significant damage to his reputation. He left his post on the evening program in March 2005. The lawsuit, which names not only CBS but CEO Leslie Moonves and former CBS News chief Andrew Heyward, seeks $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.
In a statement released independent of their court filing Thursday, CBS expressed dismay at the legal action, calling Rather "one of our most valued colleagues. That is why we at CBS are mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit."
Rather's lawyers issued a retaliatory statement of their own, with attorneys Martin R. Hold and Edward J. Reich decrying the network's attempts to bottle the suit.
"It is unfortunate that CBS is trying to delay discovery of the facts and the trial of Dan's claims. We are confident that the court will reject these tactics."
What others said about CBS Rather Annoyed at Newsman's Lawsuit (1)
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thanks for posting. Great article. (added on 2010-11-02 07:43)
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