CBS moves to dismiss Dan Rather’s lawsuit

Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Two months after Dan Rather filed a $70-million lawsuit against his former employer, CBS fired back with a motion for dismissal Thursday, saying its former anchor’s charges “bear no resemblance to reality.”

The network’s 25-page motion describes Rather’s lawsuit as “a regrettable attempt” by him “to remain in the public eye, and to settle old scores and perceived slights.”

CBS rejected the newsman’s claim that he was marginalized as punishment for a story he did that raised questions about President Bush’s Vietnam War-era service in the Texas Air National Guard -- a piece later found to be based on documents that could not be authenticated.


In the aftermath, Rather claims the network broke the terms of his contract, tarnished his reputation and restricted his ability to seek work.

The network said in a statement that it was “mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit.” If the suit is not tossed out, CBS vowed to “defend the case vigorously.”

Even if Rather’s allegations were true, CBS argued in its motion that his claims amount to charges of defamation and were not filed within the one-year statute of limitations. The network also asserts that Rather was fully compensated according to his agreement with CBS and has no grounds to claim breach of contract.

Martin Gold, Rather’s attorney, said CBS was trying to delay discovery and a trial.

“We are confident the court will reject these tactics and allow the case to go forward,” he said.

A New York Supreme Court judge is expected to review the arguments in January.