- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rather case tossed

A state appeals court dismissed Dan Rather’s lawsuit against his former bosses at CBS Corp. on Tuesday, dealing a possible knockout blow to the veteran news anchor’s high-profile dispute over the circumstances of his departure from the network.

Mr. Rather, 77, claimed that CBS ruined his reputation, making him a scapegoat for a flawed 2004 story on President George W. Bush’s Vietnam-era Texas Air National Guard service. The story aired during that year’s presidential election.

In a unanimous decision, the appellate court ruled that Mr. Rather’s claim “must be dismissed in its entirety,” the Wall Street Journal reported. The New York court said Mr. Rather’s claim that his career was damaged because of fraud and breach of contract by CBS was “unavailing,” noting the newsman admits the network already was contemplating that he would step down to a reduced role in 2006.

“As to lost opportunities in the trade,” the court ruled that Mr. Rather “never identified a single opportunity with specified terms that was actually available to him and which he declined to accept because of CBS’ actions.”

Martin Gold, Mr. Rather’s lead attorney, said in a statement that “we are extremely disappointed” with the court’s decision. He added that “the decision is incorrect on a number of grounds and, accordingly, we intend to ask the New York Court of Appeals to review it.”

Mr. Rather, who joined CBS News in 1962, also has claimed CBS conducted a biased investigation instead of the independent probe it promised into the underlying story and its production. He left the network in June 2006, after CBS was spun off by Viacom. He now works for HDNet.

Doc: Drugs killed AM

DJ AM died accidentally from a lethal cocktail of prescription drugs and cocaine, the New York City’s medical examiner’s office ruled Tuesday.

The toxicology report showed the 36-year-old had in his system cocaine; OxyContin; hydrocodone or Vicodin; the antianxiety drugs Xanax and Ativan; Klonopin, which also controls anger; Benadryl; and levamisole, a drug apparently used to cut cocaine.

According to the Associated Press, the cause of death was acute intoxication due to the combined effects the drugs, the medical examiner’s office said. The dosage of each drug was not released.

The celebrity, whose real name was Adam Goldstein, had openly discussed past addictions to crack cocaine, Ecstasy and other drugs.

He was found Aug. 28 in his apartment in New York’s trendy SoHo neighborhood after a friend called 911. Paramedics had to break down the door before they found him, shirtless and wearing sweatpants, in his bed about 5:20 p.m.

Six pills were found in his stomach and a pill in his throat when he was found. The pill in his throat appeared to be OxyContin. A crack pipe and prescription pill bottles were discovered there.

In October, MTV was to debut his reality show, “Gone Too Far,” in which he and concerned families staged interventions for drug abusers. MTV hasn’t said whether the show will air.

DJ AM was critically hurt in a plane crash last September in Columbia, S.C., that killed four people. He was flying in a Learjet after a performance with Travis Barker, a drummer for the pop-punk band Blink-182, and DJ AM’s partner in the duo TRVSDJ-AM. Mr. Barker and DJ AM were burned. DJ AM underwent skin-graft surgery but resumed performing about a month later.

He also was famous, in part, for his personal life. He dated actress-singer Mandy Moore and reality TV star Nicole Richie.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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