Dan Rather 'at Peace' With Not Being Included in CBS' JFK Coverage
The veteran anchor, presiding over his own special on AXS-TV, reiterated that his former employer is "trying to airbrush me out of their history."
Dan Rather is moving forward after expressing surprise at not getting invited on CBS for their 50th-anniversary coverage of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
"Look, I'm at peace. I have my own work, and I know what my record is," the anchor said during a call with reporters to discuss his own special, My Days in Dallas: A Remembrance With Dan Rather. The three-part AXS-TV program, roughly 50 minutes in total, retraces the context and events of Nov. 22, 1963.
The anchor, however, still reserved sharp words for his former employer.
"This follows a pattern of some years of, in effect, trying to airbrush me out of their history," he said of CBS. "That doesn't bother me all that much, nor should it. If anybody is to care about it -- and I'm not sure anybody should -- it's one thing for the corporation for their own purposes [to not include him in the coverage]. But as a news organization responsible for history, I think the news consumer might want to question whether you want large corporations trying to change history for their corporate interests."
The anchor stated that he saw he wasn't included in CBS' coverage plans when a press release went out and he wasn't mentioned. He says it wasn't until after an Associated Press article ran in early November -- including a quote from Rather saying he "held off doing anything" while waiting for an invite -- that the network said it would include archive clips from the anchor.
"They put some people out forward, saying, 'Oh, we're going to run some clips of him in our coverage," Rather recalled.
Despite his treatment from CBS, Rather explained why he decided to forge ahead with the special on AXS-TV, where he currently hosts the news show Dan Rather Reports.
"Initially I was not in favor of our doing anything special on this 50th anniversary, knowing that so many other outlets were going to do so much," he conceded. "But it was later pointed out to me that the number of people who were actually in Dallas, covering as journalists, when the assassination happened ... there weren't that many people alive, and it might be interesting and, yes, maybe even at least mildly important, to get down on the record."
My Days in Dallas airs Nov. 18 on AXS-TV.