Dan Rather Snubbed by CBS on JFK Coverage, Goes to NBC

Dan Rather Snubbed by CBS on JFK Coverage, Goes to NBC

Getty Images

Longtime network anchor covered the assassination 50 years ago

Dan Rather, snubbed by his longtime network home for coverage of the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, is taking his act over to rival NBC.

Rather, who helped coordinate CBS’ coverage of President Kennedy's ill-fated trip to Dallas in 1963, was not asked to participate in CBS’ JFK special, which will air on Nov. 16.

“I held off doing anything for anybody else for a while, thinking I may be asked to do something,” Rather told the AP. “I can't say I had any reason for that hope.”

Also read: Dan Rather Sues Les Moonves, Andy Heyward

CBS’ special will be anchored by its Washington bureau chief Bob Schieffer, who was a newspaper reporter at the Fort Worth Star Telegram in 1963 and actually gave Lee Harvey Oswald's mother a ride to Dallas.

Rather said he feels that his exclusion is an affront to history: “This is not a good idea to say ‘We want to change the historical record so we're going to airbrush this guy out because we don't like him,'” he said. “They may want to control the way the public thinks about my record, but I'm pretty sure they have not been able to do that.”

Also read: 7 Things We Learned About NatGeo's ‘Killing Kennedy’ at Monday's Premiere

Rather worked for CBS for 44 years, 24 of which he spent as its nightly news anchor. But he left the network in 2006 after the channel walked back a 2004 report about George W. Bush's military service. He sued CBS for $70 million a year later for breach of contract but the case was thrown out by the court.

That might have something to do with why CBS won't have him on now.

On Nov. 22, Rather will appear on NBC's “Today” as well as a primetime special hosted by Tom Brokaw. CBS did not respond to requests for comment.

  • scorpion_48

    Tiffany Network not looking good. Seems CBS is turning into Fox.

  • Roy B Hill

    CBS, I remember when I use to watch them for the news. And I don't really miss them at all. As a matter of fact, the manner in which they seem to be treating Mr. Rather is petty. One would think that there were adults running CBS.

  • baywaterblue

    Finally Mr. Rather receives his ‘just desserts’ and I couldn't be happier! He certainly didn't mind pushing Walter Cronkite out of the anchor chair at CBS News….. what goes around comes around! At least Mr. Cronkite didn't moan and groan in public when Rather unceremoniously took the anchor chair. Cronkite was THE consulate newsman and gentlemen, both of which Mr. Rather has never attained.