Dan Rather Lawsuit Over CBS Scandal Denied Appeal

By Minara El-Rahman on January 14, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What happens to newscasters who are past their prime? They don't get old, they just lose their appeal. In this case, Dan Rather just lost his appeal of a court ruling dismissing his lawsuit by the New York State Court of Appeals. ABC News reports that the Dan Rather lawsuit appeal was shot down by New York State's highest court this past Tuesday.

What Was the Dan Rather Lawsuit About?

According to Findlaw, the Dan Rather lawsuit centered around the infamous news anchor's claims that there was a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of his employer CBS when CBS failed to provide the anchor enough air time. He held a job as a news anchor for 24 years. This was shortly after a CBS scandal in which Mr. Rather played a large part.

The CBS scandal consisted of a broadcast in 2004 on the show 60 Minutes. It involved using documents regarding former President George W. Bush's service in the Texas National Air Guard that were not authenticated by CBS. It was bloggers who actually caught that some of the documents presented by CBS were indeed forgeries. As a result of the embarassment from the CBS scandal, CBS limited Dan Rather's airtime before they terminated him on June 26, 2006.

How Did the Court Rule?

Dan Rather sued CBS claiming that they breached their contract with him by limiting his airtime as a news anchor before his contract ran out. The Appellate Division of New York ruled that so long as CBS paid Mr. Rather, they were entitled to "warehouse" him and keep him off the air. It dismissed Mr. Rather's claims of fiduciary duty because his relationship with CBS was an ordinary employee/employer relationship.

Dan Rather was sorely disappointed by the decision rendered by the court. He told ABC News that it was "a grave miscarriage of justice. Most of all I am disappointed that no court or jury studied the evidence and heard the actual facts of the case." Mr. Rather currently works for HDNet in a program called Dan Rather Reports.

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