Was Dan Rather’s career and reputation hijacked by his employer CBS trying to mollify the U.S. Republican far right?

Was Dan Rather’s career and reputation hijacked by his employer CBS trying to mollify the U.S. Republican far right?

Reported the New York Times:
“When Dan Rather filed suit against CBS 14 months ago — claiming, among
other things, that his former employer had commissioned a politically
biased investigation into his work on a “60 Minutes” segment about
President Bush’s National Guard service — the network predicted the
quick and favorable dismissal of the case, which it derided as “old
news.””

Rather launched his suit in Sept. 2007 and a judge soon dismissed five
of his seven original claims. But now Rather, whom the Times says
already spent more than $2 million of his own money on the case, “may
be getting something for his money …  he has unearthed evidence that
would seem to support his assertion that CBS intended its
investigation, at least in part, to quell Republican criticism of the
network.”

Rather’s investigation turned up names of conservative commentators whom CBC considered appointing to the supposedly independent
investigation of his work as a professional journalist. Who were these
paragons of unbiased political independence? The candidates, reported
the Times, included Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Ann Coulter, Pat
Buchanan and Fox News founder Roger Ailes.

Other documents in
Rather’s case suggest CBS wanted to counter a perception among
Republicans that it had a liberal bias. But if there’s any substance to
Rather’s claim, what CBS has actually countered is any lingering public
perception of the integrity of its journalism — perhaps especially
after last month’s U.S. elections sidelined the Republican far right.

Rather’s suit aims to win $70 million in damages from CBS. What is the real cost of the case to CBS’s reputation?

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