Help soon arrived, but the men were never apprehended. So it was chalked up as just another of those wacky New York beatings. But then, in 1994, a man named William Tager drove from North Carolina to New York City to stop NBC from beaming secret messages into his brain. And what his argument lacked in sanity, it made up for in firepower. A technician tried to stop Tager from entering the studio, Tager shot him dead, and Tager got arrested. Then it got weird.
While in custody, Tager confessed to the assault of Rather, and Rather identified him as one of his attackers. Tager also claimed that he was from the year 2265 and that he was a convicted felon who was being used to test time-travel, which you may recognize as the plot of 12 Monkeys. Tager said he mistook Rather for Kenneth Burrows, the vice president of his future world, and decided to engage in a little impromptu political commentary, which just goes to show why you shouldn't trust felons to conduct your time-travel experiments.
United States Air Force
He now makes it perfectly clear who he is at every opportunity,
in case any other wannabe Time Lords get the wrong idea.
Stipe and R.E.M. were inspired by the whole sordid affair to write an alt-rock classic that sounds like the paranoid ramblings of a crazy man who doesn't understand the world around him. Rather himself would later sing along live while giving off his best "cool dad" vibe so other than, you know, the murder, the whole thing turned out to be a pretty neat anecdote.