In retrospect it was probably a bad idea for Les Moonves to play such a public role in smacking down each and every tepid, impotent swipe that Dan Rather took at CBS. It only made the eccentric, unpredictable Dan Rather even more surly. It also strengthened Howard Stern’s old claims that Viacom has a dodgy relationship with the talent (And, for that matter, with Sumner’s various would-be successors).
The Rather-versus-CBS lawsuit will dredge up all sorts of interesting questions that were avoided by the diplomatic gymnastics of the Thornburgh-Boccardi panel. Did the Thornburgh-Boccardi panel fill its mandate? Did the President receive preferential treatment that allowed him into the Texas National Guard in the first place? Were Dan Rather — and others — scapegoated for their ”myopic zeal”? Although Dan Rather contributed solid, commendable stories to 60 Minutes, was his ouster a foregone conclusion?
We can’t wait to hear some of those answers.