Dan Rather Booted from 60 Minutes, CBS

Howie Kurtz reports that Dan Rather’s days with CBS are apparently over.

CBS executives have decided there is no future role at the network for Dan Rather, making it certain that the man who sat in the anchor chair for 24 years will depart by this fall. These executives recognize Rather’s contributions over four decades and are not trying to boot him because of the controversy surrounding his botched story on President Bush and the National Guard, say network sources who declined to be named while discussing a sensitive personnel matter. But the executives concluded there was no room for Rather at “60 Minutes,” particularly with incoming anchor Katie Couric planning to report a half-dozen stories a year and the hiring of CNN’s Anderson Cooper as a part-time contributor. Rather’s contract expires in November, but the sources say he might leave before that, depending on negotiations with CBS.

Rather, 74, declined to discuss his future this week. “I’m contracted to be a full-time ’60 Minutes’ correspondent, and I’m working on that contract,” he said. People familiar with Rather’s situation say he has had no serious negotiations with any of the cable networks but has attracted interest from people developing projects for television. Rather has said several times that “my best work is still ahead of me.” He is described by friends as hurt and puzzled by the attitude of CBS management.

While Rather deserved to be canned after the fake documents incident and his steadfast refusal to own up to what was at best shoddy reporting, pushing him out the door at this point with such a lame explanation is a head scrather. If Rather is costing them viewers, fine. But to say there’s not enough time for him what with Anderson Cooper coming aboard? Even Rather doesn’t deserve that.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Perhaps we could describe the CBS explanation as “Fake but accurate”.

  2. Eneils Bailey says:

    “Even Rather doesn’t deserve that.”
    What does he deserve?
    CBS and Rather, whose reputations were already in the shitter before the “fake but accurate” episode deserve each other. Trying to cast some sort of bad behavior on CBS for shoving him out and sympathy on Rather for making up news does not get me all emotional.

  3. Christopher says:

    What are you talking about, James? I’m surprised they kept him on this long. He’s a liar and as a shoddy reported & anchor has been losing CBS viewers for years. They don’t owe him a darn thing. Certainly not some dainty explanation.

    OMG I love it when liberals get their comeuppance! They think just because they are liberals they can lie cheat and steal and get away with it all.

  4. RA says:

    The guy is a millstone around their neck. That doesn’t bother them. Its his huge salary they are getting rid of. Free market capitalism is finally catching up to the slandering socialist.

  5. Spaceman says:

    NPR always has room for Bush haters. Him and Daniel Schorr can tag team some more stories about the plight of Gitmo prisoners, tell the tales of Abu Gharib reprise, Haditha, bad marines, repeat 3 times, and so on.

    I do get tired of hearing the same old feeb telling stories of endless woe about whatever Bush has done or thought about doing. Rather can spell ol’ Dan.

  6. McGehee says:

    I�m surprised they kept him on this long.

    They were hoping people would forget, and that Rather’s reputation could be rehabbed. People haven’t forgotten, Rather can’t be rehabbed, so it’s off to the Old Propagandists’ Home with him. Better late than never.

  7. Amy says:

    Did you see that Mark Cuban offered him a job?

    Link

    (found your link on CalTechGirl’s blog)