NEW YORK — “We’ve made a mistake,” Lara Logan told the CBS viewing audience. “That’s disappointing for any journalist,” she said.
Unfortunately for Logan, whose image has already taken a drubbing after the network retracted a story about last year’s attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, this particular statement would also turn out to be false. In fact, one of CBS’s most recognizable journalists of years past was not disappointed in the slightest.
“I couldn’t stop laughing,” said Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News. “It was a humdinger of a practical joke—one that was years in the making. A word to the wise: nobody messes with Rather and gets away with it. Nobody.”
According to an internal CBS investigation conducted at the urging of Jeff Fager, the executive producer of the “60 Minutes” program that aired the discredited story, Rather concocted a plan to highlight the network’s dubious journalistic practices after witnessing the media frenzy that characterized the attack’s initial reporting.
“Since CBS effectively fired me over a disputed 2004 report about George W. Bush’s year of absence from the Texas Air National Guard, the news division has become shakier than cafeteria Jell-O,” Rather told investigators.
“Feeding the ‘60 Minutes’ team bogus information through a security contractor and admitted liar interested in making money by sharing his tale was as easy as falling off a log.”
Rather explained his actions in terms of retribution. “The courts threw out my wrongful termination suit and I’ve been exiled to an obscure high-definition cable station, what did I have to lose by taking ‘60 Minutes’ down a few pegs?”
He had a warning for anyone who approached with a ticking clock. “Don’t taunt the crocodile until after you’ve crossed the swamp,” said Rather. “It’s too late for Captain Hook, we’ll see what happens to CBS.”
For the next month, CBS reportedly will air the “2 Broke Girls” in place of “60 Minutes.” Newslo could not confirm this scheduling change at press time.