CBS has struck back against Dan Rather's lawsuit alleging the network made him a scapegoat for his discredited Air National Guard story about President Bush shortly before Election Day 2004.
The network filed a 30-page motion in New York Supreme Court Thursday to dismiss the case claiming it was "mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit."
"Dan Rather is one of the most important figures in the history of broadcast journalism, and for more than 40 years was one of our most valued colleagues," CBS said in the statement. "That is why we at CBS are mystified and saddened by the baseless and self-serving allegations and distortions of fact raised in his lawsuit."
"Today we are filing a motion to dismiss," added the statement. "If we are required to proceed beyond this point, we will defend the case vigorously and demonstrate that the lawsuit is wholly without merit, and that the bizarre allegations by Mr. Rather are untrue."
Maybe even better, CBS questioned Rather's motives for the suit:
Furthermore, CBS lawyers argue that Mr. Rather's actions are motivated not by any wrongful actions on the part of the defendants but, instead, by Mr. Rather's desire to stay in the limelight.
"This lawsuit is a regrettable attempt by plaintiff Dan Rather to remain in the public eye, and to settle old scores and perceived slights, based on an array of far-fetched allegations," the lawyers write.
Sounds like the raison d'etre of Rather's entire career, doesn't it?
Regardless, NewsBusters readers should join me in wishing Rather success in fighting this dismissal, as this case might end up being the most entertaining thing on television since the last Brady Bunch reunion.
Update 22:35 | Matthew Sheffield. As much as we'd all like to see a trial spectacle, I still don't see it happening. CBS will settle this, they have to.