How large is Rather's staff? Does he take "research" from the DNC or their spin-off fronts?
Is his job to investigate, or to read though the stuff that's handed to him?
If he's "fed" the "news" is there an inherent bias to keep his handlers in power?
Is there a conflict of interest when the people who feed you the "news" are out of power and your take isn't as good? Is there an incentive to get "your guys" back in?
Does Rather have a dog in this fight? If the insiders who give him the "good stuff" are out of power, how "good" is the "stuff"? Rather still shills for dems, but people don't care as much because dems don't call the game. And Rather doesn't have insider Republicans to do his job for him....
If the DNC is doing Rather's work for him and for CBS, is CBS being paid by the DNC?
What is the is the coin of the realm for a one-sided "bribe" in the news field?
I spent 6 years in the print media, 30+ reporters/writers, 8 person copy desk, etc.
There's no doubt that even at CBS, some news pros would have been questioning this story. Some might even have been going ballistic over running with it (I've seen phone books thrown across the bullpen during hot editorial disagreements).
Rather might even had disagreements with the senior editors/reporters, though he'd be the big dog because it's his face on the tube. So ultimately he won, and ran with a bogus story.
I'll venture that right now, several CBS news staffers want Rather's head on a plate, perhaps to the point of threatened resignations and unfettered newsroom grumbling. Rather has embarrassed the entire CBS staff.
The coin of the realm for Rather is the validation of his own political beliefs. He's not supposed to do that, and he knows it, but he's obviously lost his news judgement. I don't believe there's a "payoff" beyond that.
Believe it or not, there are no doubt others on the CBS staff who see this for exactly what it is, but they are not in the postition to make public the internal strife on the inside. They'll probably be talking about it with their news colleagues (at other networks and newspapers), but no one at CBS will want to directly air the dirty laundry. It'll come out in the next few days as gossip, guaranteed.
Rumors around Austin suggest that it is barely visible.