Jonah Goldberg ponders the amazing Dan Rather.
In 2004, at the height of the Dan Rather Memogate story, I wrote in National Review: “Across the media universe the questions pour out: Why is Dan Rather doing this to himself? Why does he drag this out? Why won’t he just come clean? Why would he let this happen in the first place? Why is CBS standing by him? Why ... why ... why?
“There is only one plausible answer: Ours is a just and decent God.”
And now, three years down the road, Dan is back.
...now he’s back like a crazy man who shows up unannounced at the Christmas party smelling like cabbage and old newspapers, wearing a trench coat but no pants. He wants $20 million in compensatory damages and a whopping $50 million in punitive damages. I’m no fancy lawyer guy, but last I checked, punitive damages were awarded to send a signal that “this must never happen again.” So what’s the “this” here? That network news divisions should never again spend weeks selling off their credibility like a fire sale at Wal-Mart, claiming their story was “fake but true,” only to cave in to reality and admit they made a mistake?
The beauty of this lawsuit, which has most legal observers laughing so hard that their neck veins look like one-pound sausage casings with five pounds of ground chuck in them, is that if it goes to trial (shortly after unicorns file my taxes), CBS will be put in the position of having to prove that the story was bogus, while Rather will be forced to look even more like a grassy-knoll theorist, climbing back to the top of the laughingstock tree. So I say again: You go, Dan! I’ll bring the popcorn.
And yes, Virginia, there's a Santa Clause, too!