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Rather’s $70 Million Suit Against CBS Thrown Out

Newsman hoped to be vindicated in lawsuit over Bush Vietnam story.

A judge has tossed out Dan Rather’s $70 million lawsuit against CBS.

In a 19-page ruling released Tuesday, an appellate court judge
dismissed Rather’s breach-of-contract suit against his former network.

Rather had claimed that CBS had damaged the 77-year-old newsman’s
reputation after the broadcast of a controversial 2004 “60 Minutes”
report about President Bush’s Vietnam-era National Guard service, and
ultimately hurt his opportunity to find work after CBS.

“Rather’s claim that, but for CBS’ fraud, he could have had more
remunerative employment than that which he ultimately obtained at
HDNet is unavailing," the ruling said. "Rather admits that, the
broadcast and its aftermath aside, CBS was already contemplating that
he would step down from its anchor position in 2006 and assume a
reduced role."

Rather said that CBS forced him to apologize on the air for the
report, and had hoped the suit would vindicate him.

"As to lost opportunities in the trade, while Rather has shown his own
track record of earnings and the earnings of other trade
professionals, his future earnings are speculative … [Rather] never
identified a single opportunity with specified terms that was actually
available to him and which he declined to accept because of CBS’
actions."

Rather plans to appeal.

"We are extremely disappointed with the Appellate Court’s decision,” Martin Gold, Rather’s lead attorney, said in a statement. “We believe the decision is incorrect on a number of grounds and, accordingly, we intend to ask the New York Court of Appeals to review it.”

Reps for CBS could not be immediately reached for comment.