Dan Rather Heads to CBS, 20 Years After Scandal

Veteran news anchor will appear this weekend on 'CBS News Sunday Morning'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2024 10:33 AM CDT
20 Years After 'Rathergate,' Veteran Anchor Returns to CBS
Dan Rather speaks at the University of Texas at Tyler on March 19, 2019, in Tyler, Texas.   (Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph via AP)

It's been nearly 20 years since Dan Rather stepped down as the anchor of CBS Evening News, in the wake of a reporting scandal that also led to the firing of his longtime producer. Now, the 92-year-old veteran is back, headed to the network's CBS News Sunday Morning this weekend to promote the Rather documentary that's coming to Netflix on May 1, per USA Today. After more than four decades with CBS, Rather's troubles arose following a 60 Minutes II report that aired in 2004 regarding President George W. Bush's National Guard record. For their report, Rather and his team leaned on documents they didn't independently verify, leading to the "Rathergate" debacle that led to the newsman's ouster, the removal of producer Mary Mapes, and three others.

Rather stepped down as the CBS Evening News anchor in 2005 and left CBS the following year. The incident and its aftermath was chronicled in the 2015 movie Truth, starring Robert Redford as Rather, and Cate Blanchett as Mapes. Citing the AP, People notes that CBS rejected ads for the film, which was based on Mapes' memoir. That same year, Rather told the Hollywood Reporter that "we reported a true story. We didn't do it perfectly. We made some mistakes of getting to the truth. But that didn't change the truth of what we reported."

These days, Rather has been enjoying a resurgence of sorts based on his social media posts and thoughts on former President Trump. It's a role he seems to relish, and he also doesn't seem to hold any bad blood for CBS. "I wasn't angry the day I left CBS," he told Variety last June in talking about the new documentary. "Disappointed, sure. Wishing it [had] gone another way. I never thought I'd leave there. Right up to the end, I thought somehow I'd stay. I had 45 terrific years at CBS News. Even the bad times were good times." He added that "when I left, I said to myself, 'Well, it was a hell of a run.'" (More Dan Rather stories.)

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