Dan Rather's $70 million lawsuit against CBS has been tossed out by a New York appellate court. The court rejected Rather's accusation that the network broke his contract when it forced him out of the CBS Evening News anchor desk in the wake of a scandal over a discredited report on President George W. Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service. CBS, the court ruled, had to pay Rather, but it didn't have to put him on the air.
“This claim attempts to gloss over the fact that Rather continued to be compensated at his normal CBS salary of approximately $6 million a year until June 2006 when the compensation was accelerated upon termination, consistent with his contract,” said the court's opinion. The contract, the court ruled, didn't say “that CBS actually use Rather's services or broadcast any programs on which he appears, but simply retains the option of accelerating the payment of his compensation under the agreement if he is not assigned to either program.” CBS, predictably, was delighted; Rather, meanwhile, said he'll appeal.