Media reporter Jacques Steinberg has the story in Thursday's paper, and has endeared himself to Times Watch with his use of the word "unsubstantiated" to describe the anti-Bush allegations in Rather's September 2004 report on "60 Minutes" questioning President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service -a report instantly discredited on the Internetfor being based on forged documents.
Readers may remember "unsubstantiated" as one of the Times' favorite words when describing allegations by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The paper employed it over 20 times to describe the group's charges against John Kerry concerning his service medals in Vietnam, but never to describe the bogus story about Bush shirking his Texas Air National Guard duty during the Vietnam War.
"Dan Rather, whose career at CBS News ground to an inglorious end 15 months ago over his role in an unsubstantiated report questioning President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service, filed a lawsuit yesterday against the network, its corporate parent and three of his former superiors, including Sumner M. Redstone, the executive chairman of CBS."
"Mr. Rather, 75, asserts that the network violated his contract by giving him insufficient airtime on '60 Minutes' after forcing him to step down as anchor of the 'CBS Evening News' in March 2005.
"He also contends that the network committed fraud by commissioning a 'biased' and incomplete investigation of the flawed National Guard broadcast in order to 'pacify the White House.'"
Of course, the White House has just loads of influence at CBS News.