Ousted as CBS news anchor in 2006 after a story on whether George W. Bush went AWOL from the Texas National Guard, Dan Rather, 80, is still reporting for duty. In a new book, “Rather Outspoken,” he criticizes his former employer, the corporate consolidation of media and the “suits” who value sports more than news. Some highlights:

On dead air:

In 1987, when Rather’s interview with Pope John Paul II was preempted by coverage of a tennis match between Steffi Graf and Lori McNeil, he got up and left the studio. “I did not walk off the set in a snit,” he writes. “Was I unhappy that tennis was being allowed to preempt the pope? Absolutely. . . . But going to black is one of the great cardinal sins in broadcasting and not something I would have done just to make a statement. Not ever.”

On civil rights:

CBS’s focus on desegregation in the 1960s earned the network the nickname “Colored Broadcasting System” and put Rather at the center of a historic movement. “Dr. King and I were cordial, but we maintained a carefully defined separation,” he writes. “I was closer to Medgar Evers, and our relationship was much less formal than the one I maintained with Dr. King. I considered Medgar a friend.”

On Afghanistan:

Rather suited up in“native garb” in 1980 to report on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. “This was the birth of ‘Gunga Dan,’ ” and I’ve endured a fair share of ribbing about it ever since,” he writes. “The clothes were, however, absolutely necessary for the journey.”

On the Bush AWOL story:

Although Rather apologized on air for using allegedly forged documents to confirm Bush’s “dereliction of duty,” he stands by his reporting. “What happened was that we spoke truth to power,” Rather writes. “And power had bellowed back through every bullhorn it could command. At the time, it was loud enough to drown out the truth.”

On George W. Bush:

Although Viacom has since split with CBS, Rather thinks the company’s links to the president squashed his AWOL story — and he prefers Bush senior. “His son had zero experience in legislative processes,” he writes. “Equally clearly, he had zero interest in legislation. . . . Bush II seemed to have little curiosity about anything other than baseball.”

On CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves:

Rather, who unsuccessfully sued CBS for fraud and breach of contract, says that Moonves “missed his moment to stand tall” on the AWOL story. “At a time when he needed to put steel in his spine . . . Moonves had Jell-O in his spine instead,” he writes. “It’s too bad he didn’t ‘man up,’ in contemporary parlance.”

On President Obama:

Rather calls Obama’s focus on health-care reform rather than jobs “a mistake.” “I think it was also a mistake to remain convinced that he could do business with the other side, despite all evidence to the contrary,” he writes. “He has depended upon the same old clique of economists — the Wall Street big corporation guys — who have not had the answers to help our sluggish economy and unemployment disasters.”

On George Clooney:

Rather was given a new lease on life after the former sexiest man alive helped him launch “Dan Rather Reports” on HDNet. “Clooney really is as swell as everyone says he is,” he writes. “This guy is grounded, ‘for real,’ as the cliche goes. . . . He wears Hollywood stardom more lightly than anyone I’ve ever known.”

Justin Moyer, Outlook editorial aide