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Dan Rather Loses Chance to Appeal $70 Million Lawsuit

The New York State’s highest court declined to hear the motion of television anchor Dan Rather, who has tried to unsuccessfully sue his former employer, CBS for $70 million. He alleges that the company was in breach of his contract and made accusations of fraud against the company. The state appellate court dismissed the case in September, but the Court of Appeals denied the motion without comment.

cbs-logo.jpgThe ruling from the appellate court states that the pay or play clause in his contract allowed the network to take the actions they did. Further, the ruling stated that Rather failed to show support for his claims that CBS has hurt his future earning potential in the case.

Rather was with the company for 44 years. This motion was the final move the newsman could make in the case, which proved to be an expensive and ugly battle. Rather sued CBS first in 2007, when he stated that his treatment from the company in the aftermath of a controversial report issued about George W Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard was released.

The lawsuit stems from a 60 Minutes II piece in which Rather reported that Bush received preferential treatment during his Vietnam era service in the National Guard. Rather states that there were documents obtained by CBS written by Bush’s commanding officer at the time. However, the validity of the documents came under scrutiny and the network conceded that the documents could not be authenticated.

After he filed suit, some of his colleagues publically denounced him saying that he trying to deflect some of the blame for allowing the story, which had not been properly vetted, onto the news program. However, the lawsuit, claims Rather, is meant to take on political interests and business interests that he believes are affecting the news organizations.

Rather was quoted as saying the following in regards to the lawsuit and his claims, “I believed then and I believe now that its’ important the public understand how much influence in collusion big government and big business can have in affecting how the news is handled.” The remarks were made on Tuesday after his motion was declined.

CBS declined to comment on the ruling, stating that they will let Rather have the final word.
After the airing of the controversial piece, Rather says that he was pushed out of the anchor chair and then placed in the news division until he was prematurely released. He believes that the actions of the network damaged his reputation and made it difficult for the anchor to find work after that point.