Image: Dan Rather Left Out of CBS 50th Anniversary Coverage of JFK Tragedy

Dan Rather Left Out of CBS 50th Anniversary Coverage of JFK Tragedy

Wednesday, 06 Nov 2013 08:03 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Despite having played an integral part of CBS' reporting on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, longtime journalist Dan Rather was not asked to take part in the network's 50th anniversary coverage of the tragedy.

"I held off doing anything for anybody else for a while, thinking I may be asked to do something," Rather told The Associated Press. "I can’t say I had any reason for that hope."

Rather worked at CBS News for 44 years, leading the "CBS Evening News" for 24 of them. He left the network in 2006, amid controversy over a 2004 story about President George W. Bush's military service. The anchor then filed a $70 million lawsuit against his former employer, but New York's highest court threw it out in 2010.

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Rather, 82, now heads his own show on AXS-TV. He will appear on Tom Brokaw's NBC special on the JFK assassination, which airs Nov. 22.

Though his relationship with CBS ended on less-than-amicable terms, Rather played a key role in organizing CBS' coverage of JFK's trip to Dallas and he's concerned that the network is trying to "airbrush" him from history.

"This is not a good idea to say 'We want to change the historical record so we're going to airbrush this guy out because we don't like him,'" he told the AP. "They may want to control the way the public thinks about my record, but I’m pretty sure they have not been able to do that."

CBS' JFK special will air Nov. 16. The network said viewers will be able to relive the day with Walter Cronkite and reporters Charles Collingwood, Harry Reasoner, Charles Kuralt, and Mike Wallace, all of whom are dead. Rather was not mentioned.

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