CBS has not invited former longtime anchor Dan Rather to participate in its coverage of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy — despite the fact that a much younger Rather covered the event for the network and will even be featured in archival footage for CBS’s broadcast.
“Looking back on it, they were trying to airbrush me out of their history, like the Kremlin,” Rather said, before wondering if CBS would remove him from other monumental stories.
“What’s next – I’m airbrushed out of Watergate coverage? Vietnam? Tiananmen Square? 9/11? Where does this lead?” he asked.
Rather left the network in 2006 following his 2004 60 Minutes report on Texas National Guard memos that indicated President Bush had received special treatment during his service — the documents turned out to be fake.
The former anchor sued the network in 2007, claiming he’d been fired. He was never formally disciplined, but his exclusion from the JFK broadcast is a good indication that the network is happy to have sent him packing.
Rather said he’d hoped that the animosity had dissipated in the years since his exit and that the lack of an invitation surprised him.
“I am an optimist. . . . In my optimism, I thought maybe, just maybe, what was developing as I left CBS would fade and be past,” he said.
Still, Rather says he still feels “very strongly about” CBS and is “still pulling for them.”