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Rathergate: The Footnotes

Threatened to take memos to the Times; later admits he had his doubts all along.

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Dan Rather’s future on CBS News certainly looks less than assured, just as the updated paperback edition of David Blum’s 60 Minutes tell-all, Tick . . . Tick . . . Tick . . . , hits stores this week. Among Blum’s new revelations: The night before last fall’s controversial National Guard piece aired, Rather called 60 Minutes Wednesday executive producer Josh Howard from the anchor desk to find out why he wasn’t running promos for the story. When Howard told him he couldn’t promote it—CBS News president Andrew Heyward hadn’t seen it yet, nor had the lawyers, and they hadn’t even contacted the White House for comment—Rather threatened to take the story to the Times that night. (Rather later backed down.) The anchor was feeling a good deal less of a cowboy after the story blew up in his face. According to the book, on the night before his on-air apology, Rather confessed to Howard that he’d had doubts about the veracity of the memos all along. “I knew when I did the [document consultant Marcel] Matley interview that something wasn’t right with all this,” Rather confessed to Howard, belying his stalwart public position. A CBS News spokesperson, Sandy Genelius, said, “I have no way of verifying this, these were private conversations,” before noting that they weren’t in the 224-page report of the CBS investigation. Rather was overseas and unavailable to comment.

Next: Kevin Smith, Vigilante


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