It all seems a bit harsh when you consider his enormous contributions to the history of television news -- his reporting from the front lines of hurricanes, assassinations and wars; his classic confrontations with Richard Nixon during Watergate; his memorable "60 Minutes" stories that helped the show achieve its first number-one Nielsen rating in 1975, and even his absurdist but groundbreaking "Gunga Dan" reporting from Afghanistan in 1979. In light of those legendary achievements, it seems coldhearted and callous for CBS to cast Rather out so mercilessly, and so publicly, in the twilight of his career.I guess it had nothing to do with the fact that he completed discredited the CBS News organization with his vehement defense of a blatantly partisan story based on obviously fraudulent documents.
The Columbia School of Journalism ought to instead ask why it's taken CBS this long to dump Rather, who made a mockery of himself and CBS News, defending the story for days in the face of overwhelming evidence against it. Rather proved that he is either a partisan political operative, or dumb as a box of rocks, or perhaps a bit of both. No matter which it is, it is CBS's disgrace that it did not fire Rather on the spot.