Tuesday, August 18, 2009

“I hate to say it in public, but many of [his] stories were not even close to the standards we expect at 60 Minutes.”

That's according to 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager, speaking of Dan Rather in a piece for the Los Angeles Times. (Via Media Research Center)

Rather's suit to save his dwindling credibility is bringing out some of the ugliest stuff on both sides. Rather is attacking CBS as trying to " string it out, wear me out, suck the will from me, and make it so painful on the pocketbook that I want to give up," but, honestly, that's a common legal strategy not necessarily reserved for Dan Rather.

Rather's claims, though, that he was unlawfully terminated (not that the fake documents used to smear George W. Bush weren't fake, as Amanda Marcotte and the Pandagonistas have bizarrely tried to claim) forces CBS to bring up painful truths about Rather.

"It's hard to watch," said Jeff Fager, executive producer of "60 Minutes." "It's like he is in some paranoid nightmare where everybody is out to get him. We're all witnessing the poor guy thrashing around, tormented.

"I can't for the life of me understand why he's doing this, how he could turn such a storied career into this train wreck," he added....

Plenty of people with big egos have a hard time realizing when they've lost the argument, the fight, the divorce, and that continuing to howl at the moon merely embarrasses their once friends further. In this case, Rather should have accepted his termination (it sounds like there were other grounds for it, but, because of his longevity with the company, they were going to let him work out his contract) and moved on with his life. In five years, most people wouldn't have worried about the fake documents story and Rather could have done other work to make up for it. Instead, we are left with the spectacle of a washed-up pseudo-journalist crying for "justice" when justice has already been served. Kicked to the curb, Rather is just joining the other bums with the "Will Work for Revenge" signs.