Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Remember Dan Rather ?

21 September 2005

Remember Dan Rather ?


I'll certainly have to ensure such sloppy, slacking stops.

Reuters ran a rather revealing Dan Rather related report on Monday, and This Old Brit took until today to get to grips with it. That's two darned days, damn it.

But better late than never -- so here's said story's header :

Emotional Rather blasts 'new journalism order'

September 19, 2005 22:11:20

By Paul J. Gough

(Hollywood Reporter)

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather said Monday that there is a climate of fear running through newsrooms stronger than he has ever seen in his more than four-decade career.
Duh, Dan!

As dear a darling man and genuine good guy, as you may well be, that's not exactly news to those in the know.

But maybe this is.

Addressing the Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, occasionally forcing back tears, he said that in the intervening years, politicians "of every persuasion" had gotten better at applying pressure on the conglomerates that own the broadcast networks. He called it a "new journalism order."

He said this pressure -- along with the "dumbed-down, tarted-up" coverage, the advent of 24-hour cable competition and the chase for ratings and demographics -- has taken its toll on the news business. "All of this creates a bigger atmosphere of fear in newsrooms," Rather said.
Aha! That's much more like it, Mr Rather.

As is this super snippet.

Nevin asked Rather if he felt the same type of repressive forces in the Nixon administration as in the current Bush administration.

"No, I do not," Rather said. That's not to say there weren't forces trying to remove him from the White House beat while reporting on Watergate; but Rather said he felt supported by everyone above him, from Washington bureau chief Bill Small to then-news president Dick Salant and CBS chief William S. Paley.
Well darn it Dan, don't you dare stop speaking out now -- 'cos this is the sort of stuff that should certainly be aired & shared.

"There was a connection between the leadership and the led . . . a sense of, 'we're in this together,"' Rather said. It's not that the then-leadership of CBS wasn't interested in shareholder value and profits, Rather said, but they also saw news as a public service.

Nevins took up the cause for Rather, who was emotional several times during the event.

"When a man is close to tears discussing his work and his lip quivers, he deserves bosses who punch back. I feel I would punch back for Dan," Nevins said.

Rather praised the coverage of Hurricane Katrina by the new generation of TV journalists and acknowledged that he would have liked to have reported from the Gulf Coast.

"Covering hurricanes is something I know something about," he said.

"It's been one of television news' finest moments," Rather said of the Katrina coverage. He likened it to the coverage of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963.

"They were willing to speak truth to power," Rather said of the coverage.

And Dan the man, also said this.

"I gave it everything I had, I didn't hold anything back. I did the best newscast we were capable of doing," Rather said.
Ready to read the rest?

Right you are then.

Remember the drill?

Assume the position. Make with the mouse. Line up the link. Now click and go!,24012,1106952_10_0_,00.html


Anonymous harper said...

I'd feel a little sorrier for Dan Rather if he hadn't been such an administration ass-kisser before and during the war. He could have used his position to question it, and it would have been a worthy cause to lose his job over.

3:41 am  
Blogger Phyl said...

I wondered, after he was used as such a pawn in the whole AWOL story, if he wouldn't finally see what's been going on and come out and start telling the truth. That may have been the final straw that pushed him over the edge into truth-telling. Maybe it took being shoved out that way for the last scales to fall from his eyes.

So I'm glad he's at least speaking the truth now. Now what we need is some other journalists to finally get some courage and build on what happened after Katrina, and push this momentum further. My big worry is that they're all so intimidated that they just won't find the courage.

2:57 pm  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Dan Rather and Donald Rumsfeld own a tax shelter together.

Dan is a great emoter, but a bullshit artist par excellence.

My opinion is that he knew EXACTLY what he was doing with the Texas Nat'l. Guard story. He is a pro. And I think he is realy two-faced. Too bad about his ethical dilemma. He gets no sympathy from me.

6:34 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


As you may imagine, being so far removed from US TV news, I rarely watched or listened to Rather.

I first took notice of him when he came over hear and spoke [on TV] very forthrightly about how he DARE not say things 'over there' that he was saying here.

It wasn't long after that when he was [imho] 'set up' and then 'seen off'.

Maybe his 'card was marked' because of talking like that over here? I really don't know enough about the man's history - just that some hated the guy and others loved him. Me personaly? He meant nothing to me.dgfmz

8:25 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


Like you, I was happy to see someone such as he, saying what he did. As I mentioned above [to harper] he spoke similarly on our [BBC]TV when he came over here.

It seemed highly likely he'd said too much - because soon after, he was "out".

Maybe it was a classic case of 'as ye sow, so shall ye reap' eh? Or maybe those who live by lies shall 'die' by lies, eh?

8:32 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


No doubt you'll have read my replies to harper & phyl by the time you get to here - so will have gathered already, my pretty neutral, previous position on him.

However .... having just seen what you said about such a cozy & close connection with Rumsfeld ...... well ..... that's something I definitely had no idea about. No wonder you use the term 'two-faced', eh?

So -- now I can 'make my mind up' properly. No friend of Rumsfeld is, or ever could be, any friend of mine - period.

[Thanks for the heads up on the tax shelter partneship, btw, it sounds like it's well worthy of further reading /learning.]

8:43 pm  
Blogger JulieDee said...

I met Rather "over there"... asking for set up shots of grenade explosions and mortar rounds into empty hooches isn't what I call "good journalism".

9:11 pm  
Anonymous harper said...

Yeah, Rather and Rumsfeld owned a ranch in New Mexico together.

Maybe this describes the time you saw him on TV, Richard. From "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," by Greg Palast:

"It's an obscene comparison, but there was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways, the fear is that you will be neck-laced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck, Dan Rather said..... "It's that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions and to continue to bore-in on the tough questions so often."

Richard, he didn't just acquiesce to the party line during the war; he was an obsequious flag-waver. Disgusting.

Still, at least he's saying something now, but now he can just be called a disgruntled ex-reporter. He should have spoken up when he had real power.

10:19 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks, julie - and thanks, harper.

Just another media whore then, eh? But he'd have us believe he was "the whore with the heart of gold". Ha.

Take their money and tell 'em what[ever] they wanna hear.


10:44 pm  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

Hey, Richard!
Danny Boy is doing penance. The MSM over here won't touch Greg Palast because he TELLS THE TRUTH, career suicide for "journalists" in the US. It took a category 4/5 hurricane and hundreds of dead bodies, completely FUBAR (televised) situation for the Fourth Estate to start reporting the news.

I would like to like Dan Rather, which is why he makes me so furious.

3:17 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...


I guess we are the new "5th column" that McCarthy warned the world about... or at the VERY least the people our parents warned us about!!!

7:13 pm  

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