Because here at Media Mob we never miss a trick on the Rather beat…here are a couple of the best revelations from former Observer reporter Joe Hagan’s New York magazine piece about the Category-5 newsman’s $70 million lawsuit against his former bosses at CBS, and what he hopes to get out of it:
Most notably, Mr. Hagan reports that within months of leaving CBS, Mr. Rather hired a team of three investigators to try to shed light on the ultimate mystery surrounding CBS’s September 2004 flawed story on President Bush’s National Guard service–that is, the origin of the documents at the heart of the controversy.
"Like Kennedy trying to solve his own assassination, Rather explored every possible conspiracy theory, from Karl Rove’s planting passable fakes to damage him to a National Guard employees typing up copies before the originals were destroyed," writes Mr. Hagan. "Here is what Rather, after his investigation, believes happened with Bush’s National Guard records: In 1998, as Newsweek first reported, Harriet Miers (then Bush’s lawyer, later his Supreme Court nominee) and her firm were paid $19,000 to examine Bush’s Guard record for "vulnerabilities" in the run-up to his bid for the presidency. Rather believes Burkett’s allegation that the documents were "scrubbed" rather than examined."
"According to this version of events, unknown National Guard employees purloined some of the damning documents before they could be destroyed," writes Mr. Hagan. "Then, somehow, they came into the hands of former Guardsman Burkett."
Then there’s this tantalizing scoop:
"The second reason Rather believes the documents came from Bush’s file is a piece of information that he is privy to, but the rest of us are not—at least not yet," reports Mr. Hagan. "Rather says his lawyer has interviewed a credible eyewitness to the alleged shredding (and stealing) of the Bush documents who has agreed to tell the story under oath. But the witness refuses to come forward until Rather’s case goes to trial."