Rather blames own shortcomings

June 3, 2005 at 10:20 AM

ATLANTA, June 3 (UPI) -- Former CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather says he accepts blame in the airing of a false story on President Bush's National Guard service.

Rather told CNN's Larry King Thursday: "I'm not a victim of anything except my own shortcomings. It didn't feel terrific. There certainly were days when I felt I was rode hard and put to bed wet."

A panel that investigated the report concluded Rather had a minimal role in preparing the piece and CBS rushed the story based on questionable documents because of competitive pressure.

When asked if Republicans set him up, Rather said: "I won't say that anybody was out to get us. Clearly, there are some people -- for their own partisan, political and ideological reasons -- who want to jump on people who they perceive to be not with them."

CBS was forced to retract the story, which claimed Bush failed to show up for his National Guard service. The story was based on documents that were later found bogus. Several CBS staffers were fired and Rather announced his retirement.

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