Rather Warned Us Years Ago: Some Americans 'Sue at the Drop of a Hat'

Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS should be dismissed, both in court and in public opinion, as a shameless and ridiculous effort to retract his on-air apologies for his smearing of President Bush with bogus National Guard documents in 2004. The New York Times reports Rather is suing CBS for what he claims is the network’s "‘biased’ and incomplete investigation of the flawed Guard broadcast." That’s rich, since it was Rather’s reporting itself that was biased and incomplete.

Dan Rather didn’t always have this rosy view of big-money litigation. See the CBS Evening News from March 14, 1996: "In tonight's Eye on America, a look beyond the heat to try to shed some light on a growing national problem: Americans who – some of them – will sue at the drop of a hat."

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The CBS story that followed by Richard Threlkeld explained "silly lawsuits" like the McDonald’s hot-coffee case and a San Diego lawsuit where a man was traumatized by a local stadium suddenly offering unisex bathrooms at a concert.

How these lawsuits are sillier than Rather’s escapes me.

Ken Shepherd posted the funnier parts of the Times summation of the Rather suit.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis