If he weren't famous, he'd be mistaken for a veteran of a long-ago war: khaki safari shirt on his back, scuffed combat boots on his feet, that wiry crest of a brow, rheumy eyes under heavy lids, lower lip jutting out like an ornery fish resisting a hook.
When Dan Rather sits on a bench in Central Park to tell how his 44-year career at CBS News ended in ignominy and humiliation, he is in fact still waging a war, a bitter and personal one. And the memories of the battles that undid him are still fresh on his mind. "Monday morning, about 8:49--and I think that is the time precisely," he says. He's recalling January 10, 2005, when he first received the 224-page report commissioned by CBS that excoriated his infamous 60 Minutes Wednesday segment on President Bush's National Guard service. Of that report, Rather says, "When I read through it, all I could say to myself, on each page, is, 'What bullshit. What pure, unadulterated bullshit this whole thing is. What a setup. What a fix.' " He nearly spits the word fix.