Rather's $70M lawsuit can go forward

Jan. 10, 2008 at 1:52 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A Manhattan judge has ruled the $70 million lawsuit brought by veteran newsman Dan Rather against CBS may proceed.

"I'm pleased the judge allowed discovery to go forward," Rather remarked at a hearing Wednesday. "It puts us on the road to finding out what really happened involving a big corporation and powerful interests in Washington and their intrusion in the newsroom, which is the reason I'm here . . . That's the red, beating heart of this case."

Rather alleges in his lawsuit that CBS torpedoed his reputation, sidelined his career and used him as a scapegoat for an erroneous report about President Bush's Vietnam-era service in the Texas Air National Guard.

The former evening news anchor said CBS acted the way it did "to pacify the White House," the New York Post reported.

However, in its court filing, the network said Rather's suit "is predicated on allegations of a bizarre 'scheme' extending from the White House to an array of CBS executives... all of whom, says Rather, colluded to harm his reputation and keep him off the air.

"Of course, there was no such nefarious scheme, and Rather's allegations bear no resemblance to reality," the court papers said.

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