Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, who reported from Dallas Nov. 22,
1963, on the assassination of JFK, including the first CBS report that
the president had died of his wounds, won't be appearing on the network
in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the shooting, except in archival footage.
will appear on NBC on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of the event, and
was interviewed for a segment of CNN's "The Sixties" docuseries that
will also air on Nov. 22. Rather, who has a show on AXS TV, Dan Rather
Reports, has been in Dallas at Dealey Plaza this week taping an hour
special to air Nov. 18, according to a spokesperson. He will recount his
boots-on-the-ground experience covering the assassination.
But CBS' outline of its coverage plans made no mention of Rather.
would not comment on his absence from any retrospective coverage on the
network, though he could appear in archival footage, a CBS source said.
Rather told the AP he had not been asked by CBS to participate. A CBS
spokesperson would not comment on whether any Rather footage would be
used or, if not, why not.
But Rather and CBS have not been on
the best of terms since Rather was forced to step down from his anchor
post in March 2005 in the wake of a 60 Minutes piece about George
W. Bush's National Guard service that relied on documents determined to
be forged. Rather later sued the network - unsuccessfully - for breach
of contract for the limited amount of time he spent as a 60 Minutes
contributor, essentially where CBS moved him after taking him off the
evening news, before eventually exiting the network after 44 years.