It’s fitting that Dan Rather is best known for bringing to the world a piece of fake news about George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service in Texas, because that’s where he began his career in shoddy journalism. The bungling goes all the way back to 1963 Dallas. His presence there on the day President Kennedy was assassinated helped create the legend of Dan, but he actually blew the story that made his name.
Rather had heard from a priest that the president was dead, but knew that wasn’t a strong enough source to back up such a huge story, so he didn’t pass along the tip to his superiors while he tried to shore up the rumor. According to Alan Weisman’s biography Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather, Rather became confused about who he was talking to on the phone. Thinking he was speaking to a fellow reporter on the ground, Eddie Barker, who was elsewhere in Dallas, he was actually on the line with the CBS News control room in New York: “Did you say, ‘dead’? Are you sure, Dan?” said the voice in New York. “Right, dead,” Rather said, still thinking he was talking to Barker. So, to Rather’s horror, CBS radio blasted the news out to the world. “Rather said he began shouting into the phone that he had not authorized any such bulletin,” Weisman wrote. “Accurately or not, Rather was credited with being the first to report the death of the president.”
Dan Rather was never much of a journalist. What he excelled at was playing one on TV. His latest performance has the hacks thrilled: In recent days he’s gotten the People magazine treatment from People, and again from Politico, which heralded, two weeks after Easter, “Dan Rather’s Second Coming.” So Rather is much like Jesus Christ, except instead of being crucified for our sins he was crucified for his own, albeit with said crucifixion amounting to being separated from his position as the Ron Burgundy of CBS and forced to seek refuge in low-rated cable. Behold, he is risen . . . on something called “The Big Interview” on AXS TV, which is one step up from Wayne’s World on public-access TV. Dan’s next episode features a chat with Sheryl Crow. Recent guests include Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top), Crystal Gayle, and Kid Rock.
If Rather is barely a working broadcaster anymore, Rather’s fans at Peoplitico cite his popularity on Facebook, where he has 2 million Likes. His feed News and Guts has over a million of its own. His personal posts are the usual leftist porridge of overreaction, anger, and hysteria about President Trump: “This is an emergency . . . it is gut check time,” Rather wrote on February 24, referring to (remember when this was a thing?) “the barring of respected journalistic outfits from the White House.” (Politico itself now acknowledges that the alleged conflict with the media is a “fake war.”) After Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker calmly explained that he was reluctant to label a misstatement by Trump or anyone else a “lie” if he couldn’t show intent to deceive, Daily Kos and other field reps for the perpetually agitated Left thrilled to Rather’s angry Facebook response, “A lie is a lie is a lie.” He ought to know.
The appeal to younger progs seems to work like this: Donald Trump’s presidency is so outrageous that even staid, studiously neutral octogenarian anchorman Dan Rather agrees with us and is publicly losing his spit. It’s cathartic and awesome to witness so much venom spewing out of such a geezer. Rather is the journalistic Bernie Sanders, just as Sanders is the political Larry David. Watching cranky old men go nuts is fun.
This is nothing really new for Rather. Entertaining his audience has always come first and if (as in Dallas) he sometimes mangled a story so badly that he would have been fired if he had been working on a small-market city desk, he always kept his newsman face on. “Rather would go with an item even if he didn’t have it completely nailed down,” wrote Timothy Crouse in his chronicle of campaign reporters, The Boys on the Bus. “If a rumor sounded solid to him . . . he would let it rip. The other White House reporters hated Rather for this. They knew exactly why he got away with it: Being as handsome as a cowboy, Rather was a star at CBS News, and that gave him the clout he needed.” Rather’s big Watergate moment, typically, was simply about Rather: At a press conference, the president asked him, “Are you running for something?” and Rather cheekily if nonsensically replied, “No, Sir, Mr. President, are you?” We’ve grown so used to showboating news blowhards making themselves the center of attention that it’s easy to forget where it began. In Rather’s era, other TV newsmen strove to be self-effacing and bloodless — John Chancellors and Roger Mudds
Rather is guilty of trying to affect a Presidential election just as much as the Russians are alleged to, yet he is a liberal hero. Why? Because he was a liberal attacking conservatives and that makes everything OK.
Listening to Dan Blather is like fingernails on a blackboard like eating a strict diet of grapefruit and having Maxine Waters giving a dumb anti-trump speech while ranting about america being a so called racsists nation and besides liberals have those whining irritating voices that grates on you like sandpaper on a blister
Anyone who would use the phrase “respected journalistic outfits” when referring to today’s mainstream media is way out of touch with reality. Rather is senile, maybe?
Dan Rather is a piece of journalistic dog shit. rather, the snowflake, reveled in his own unlimited hypocrisy.
Just with most all liberal journalists like Tom Brokejaw,Baba Wawa,Wally Kronskunk and Piss(Chris) Mathews Dan Blather is nothing but a leftists propegandists just like with Beat the Press and Betray the Nation as well as The DecayShow,BS Morning News and Good Morons America
Rather was more about making news than reporting news. If he didn’t like the truth, he just made it up, as the GW Bush story. No truth to the story, but it could accomplish what Rather wanted if he could get enough to believe it. He flunked out.
recall that one does not have to understand propaganda, but only to communicate it. but you left out the most classic fake news journalist of history-walter cronkite.
Let me see… Dan Rather. At last count, seven Peabody Awards, numerous Emmy nominations and awards, and a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Emmy Trustees’ Award… I’d say he’s a widely respected journalist.
Kyle Smith? Here we have a sample of his journalistic objectivity, which appeared in the New York Post, April 9, 2016:
When those of Rather’s stature are gone, we’ll be left with an infestation of people like Kyle. Of course we have a growing audience who can’t discern or appreciate the difference. They don’t want truth or complexity so much as simplicity and regular servings of what they want to hear.
@Greg: Rather’s stature is one of a liberal liar who tried to alter a Presidential election for his Democrats by falsifying information…. “fake news”.
Yet it does not surprise me that liberals revere such a liar. Liberals survive by lying.
Donald Trump tells more lies during a single typical populace pep-rally than Dan Rather has told his audiences over his entire professional life.
@Greg: Is this where you handlers directed you, junior?
Troll chatter on this site has shrunk to near-silence, but you see where they’re dwindling numbers are directed when they actually speak.
Protectors of a corrupt media. Dan Rather must be great because of Peabody Awards? Awards are for marketing things that they want the weak-minded to swallow.
You’re an idiot.
Swallow it all, Greg….like a good boy.
“Dan Rather lies less than your President”. You actually typed that as a defense?
Time to swallow your medicine and go home. The libs don’t control the country. Get over it.
You do know who’s voting on those awards, right? You understand lefties are gonna vote lefties, correct?
@Nathan Blue: So you’ve also noticed most of the paid trolls have left for more fertile ground. Once everyone has their number, they don’t hang around long. Can’t even remember most of those names now. they’re all similar, same numbers, etc. Ho Jay, Phulof, etc.
Barack Obama won a noble peace prize. Clue?
How about you substantiate that? Plus, ‘why would lies bother you? You have been celebrating and supporting Obama and Hillary, two of the most prolific liars we have seen in our lifetime.
@Redteam: Yeah, where has Phlippin Moron been?
How about having your memory checked?
Trump, regarding his tax returns, September 27, 2016:
Trump, during the second presidential debate, to Hillary Clinton:
Are you still holding your breath, waiting for that to happen?
Sean Spicer, regarding Trump’s repeated claims that month after month of good job growth numbers and falling unemployment figures under Obama’s presidency were totally phony:
Press corps reporters laughed. Spicer told a joke. The message between the lines that provoked laughter? Trump was lying to get elected. We all knew, right?