Dan Rather returns to CBS News for first time since 2005. Here’s why

Dan Rather, who anchored “CBS Evening News” for more than two decades, will return to the network for the first time Sunday since leaving acrimoniously in 2005. 

The legendary newsman, 92, will appear on “CBS News Sunday Morning,” interviewed by correspondent Lee Cowan to promote “Rather,” a documentary feature that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and will stream on Netflix May 1. The film chronicles Rather’s “rise to prominence, his sudden and dramatic public downfall and his redemption and re-emergence as a voice of reason to a new generation,” its producers said in a statement. 

Rather has maintained he was made a scapegoat for fallout from his 2004 “60 Minutes II” report about George W. Bush’s National Guard record that relied on documents that CBS failed to authenticate. “Rathergate,” as the ensuing scandal was called, led to Rather’s 2005 ouster and the firing of his longtime producer Mary Mapes, along with three others who worked on the story.

Dan Rather looks back on his career ‘I didn’t leave anything on the table’

The saga was dramatized in a 2015 Hollywood movie “Truth,” starring Robert Redford as Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mapes. 

Rather maintained to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that “we reported a true story.” “We didn’t do it perfectly,” said Rather. “We made some mistakes of getting to the truth. But that didn’t change the truth of what we reported.” 

He has since become an active presence on social media, calling out former President Donald Trump for misdeeds. 

Speaking to Variety in 2023 to discuss “Rather,” the Frank Marshall documentary about his life and award-winning career, Rather said he holds no grudge against CBS over what happened in 2004. 

“I wasn’t angry the day I left CBS,” Rather said. “Disappointed, sure. Wishing it had gone another way. I never thought I’d leave there. Right up to the end, I thought somehow I’d stay. I had 45 terrific years at CBS News. Even the bad times were good times — please let the record show that I said that with a smile. And when I left, I said to myself, ‘Well, it was a hell of a run.'”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dan Rather returns to CBS: Former anchor profiled on ‘Sunday Morning’

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