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Dan Rather: CBS Lawsuit Was Worth It

AP  |  By Posted: 04/24/2012 9:44 pm Updated: 04/25/2012 10:14 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Retired CBS anchorman Dan Rather says his lawsuit against his former network was worth it, even though the $70 million breach-of-conduct case was rejected by New York courts.

In his new book, "Rather Outspoken," he said the case forced some of the "ugly truths" about CBS into the open. The longtime CBS newsman left the network acrimoniously after a discredited 2004 report about President George W. Bush's military service.

Rather's book is due out Monday. A copy was purchased Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Rather wrote that the lawsuit "took a big whack out of my time, my psyche and my bank balance, but even so, it was worth it."

He said his wife, Jean, had even advised against suing. She thought it wouldn't be prudent but agreed to support him no matter what he did.

Although questions were raised about the legitimacy of documents supporting the report made during Bush's re-election campaign, Rather has said he still believes the story was true.

In his book, Rather describes being iced out of CBS during the 15-month period after he left as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" and finally left the network altogether in June 2006. He was working for "60 Minutes" during that period but said he constantly saw his stories criticized and ideas rejected.

"It was clear to everyone but me that I was being erased," Rather wrote. "Nevertheless, I refused to believe what my eyes were seeing and my ears were hearing."

Rather praised actor George Clooney and eBay entrepreneur Jeff Skoll for putting him in touch with Mark Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner who also owns the HDNet television network. Rather runs a newsmagazine at HDNet.

Rather said he believes that now, at age 80, he's doing some of the best, most consistent work of his career.

"I understand that we are unlikely to have as much impact as a large network news organization," he wrote. "The audience is far smaller. Fewer people are going to know what we are doing. But we know. I know. And I judge success or failure by my own standards, not by somebody else's."

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  • Charlie Rose

    An intern <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/charlie-rose-intern-sues-host-show-wage-allegations_n_1344970.html?ref=media" target="_hplink">sued Charlie Ros</a>e and his show over fair wage allegations.

  • Rachel Maddow

    Radio host and conservative preacher Bradlee Dean <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/27/rachel-maddow-sued-by-chr_n_911407.html" target="_hplink">sued Maddow and MSNBC</a>, claiming that the host defamed him in a segment.

  • Anderson Cooper

    Remember Anderson Cooper's swanky converted New York City firehouse? The CNN anchor was sued over it. Brooklyn-based interior designer Killian O'Brien was working on the home, and <a href="http://www.examiner.com/celebrity-headlines-in-providence/cnn-anchor-anderson-cooper-being-sued-by-injured-woman" target="_hplink">filed a lawsuit </a>claiming that she was injured on the job. She said she fell 17 feet through a hole that once held the station's fire pole.

  • Nancy Grace

    Grace <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20045478-504083.html" target="_hplink">was sued</a> after the suicide of a woman who she had interviewed the previous day. The CNN host had questioned the woman about the disappearance of her son, and the woman's family members alleged that the interview caused severe emotional distress.

  • Alex Witt

    Witt <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20045478-504083.html" target="_hplink">was sued by a former friend</a> who alleged that the MSNBC host owed her $65,000.

  • Ed Schultz

    Schultz <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/ed-schultz-sued-by-nbc-em_n_860455.html" target="_hplink">was sued</a> for by an NBC employee who claimed that he helped the MSNBC host break into TV and never got the cut he was promised.

  • Ryan Seacrest

    Seacrest <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/11/18/ryan-seacrest-lawsuit-shahs-of-sunset/" target="_hplink">was sued by a woman</a> who claimed she was demeaned and humiliated during the filming of his reality show "Shahs of Sunset."

  • Ann Curry

    Ann Curry and her husband Brian Ross faced a 2006 lawsuit over <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/15/ann-curry-homeless-house_n_926933.html" target="_hplink">their Upper West Side home</a>. Neighbors complained about noise and safety issues from construction on the house, and expressed concern that homeless squatters would start fires.

  • Keith Olbermann

    Keith Olbermann <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/01/keith-olbermann-sued-by-video-blogger/" target="_hplink">was sued</a> by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe after David Schuster described him as "a convicted felon" and a suspect in a rape allegation made by a former co-worker.

  • Barbara Walters

    Barbara Walters <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/barbara-walters-fights-defamation-lawsuit-215585" target="_hplink">was sued by a woman</a> who claimed that she was defamed in Walters' 2008 autobiography.

  • Oprah Winfrey

    The daytime diva has been sued at least <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-16/entertainment/oprah.school.lawsuit_1_defamation-suit-oprah-winfrey-abuse-scandal?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">one</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/12/oprah-sued-by-flight-atte_n_317517.html" target="_hplink">two</a>, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1998/01/21/us/talk-of-the-town-burgers-v-oprah.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm" target="_hplink">three</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/30/oprah-winfrey-sued-own-slogan_n_914011.html" target="_hplink">four</a> times.

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Filed by Rebecca Shapiro  |