Dan Rather, the most disgraced news anchor in the history of public broadcasting, has chosen to criticize Katie Couric. I’ve expressed my opinion about Mrs. Couric’s perky brand of perk broadcasting and even received an email – from someone claiming to be her publicist – accusing me of being an Internet troll (I guess the best way to get back at a “troll” is to write them nasty emails furthering their desire to troll even more). While I may not have the expertise to criticize Couric as well as others who have worked in journalism far longer, Dan Rather is certainly the last person who should criticize any human being, especially a fellow journalist.
Let’s flashback to September 8, 2004, the day Rather reported on 60 Minutes Wednesday that a series of documents concerning President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service record had been discovered in the personal files of Lt. Bush's former commanding officer, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. Rather claimed that the documents revealed
Bush to be unfit for flight status after failing to obey an order to submit to a physical examination. The authenticity of these documents was quickly called into question by both conservative and liberal bloggers. On September10, 2004, stories in media outlets, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times examined the documents' authenticity. Rather and CBS defended the story, insisting that the documents had been authenticated by experts. However, CBS was contradicted by some of the experts it had originally cited and soon after, Rather admitted to his mistake on the air. CBS reported that their source for the documents, former Texas Army National Guard officer Bill Burkett, had misled the network about how he had obtained them.
Even before this event, Dan Rather had been seen by many as not a reporter, but as a shill for the Democrat Party, often appearing at fundraisers and other Democrat events. His biased election coverage in 2000, constant negativity towards Ronald Reagan and other Republicans (when compared to Democrats), and his almost mental on-air breakdown when Bush was beating Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Election should put him in the Journalism Hall of Shame. If Dan Rather had been on on-air personality, such as Bill O’Reilly, Alan Colmes (a far more respectable liberal than Dan Rather can ever dream to be), Sean Hannity, or Rosie O’Donnell, his biased behavior would have been more acceptable. Disguising oneself as an objective anchor that reports the news (rather than creates the news) is a journalistic negative. Dan Rather’s treatment of coworkers, such as Bernard Goldberg (whom Rather reportedly turned against once Bernard wrote an op-ed about liberal bias) or Connie Chung (whom he influenced CBS to fire) was so unprofessional that I, as a professional (at least I think), took great joy in Mr. Rather’s fall from grace.
I believe Rather became a victim of his own karma, although I don’t think the karma gods have punished him enough. A journalist I know, who used to work with Dan Rather (and she’s more liberal than he is), told me, “If Dan Rather was on fire and came to me for help, I’d pour gasoline on him.” I don’t know if my anger towards Mr. Rather goes to that extreme, but I wonder how bad someone must be in order to earn these comments from an otherwise nice lady.
It’s easy to call my comments towards Rather just as politically biased as I accuse Rather of being. I assure that if you read some of my other articles, I take joy in criticizing both extreme conservatives and liberals. I truly long for the days where I can turn on the television and hear real news instead of liberal propaganda (CBS, NBC, and ABC) or right-wing Christian fundamentalism disguised as “fair and balanced” reporting (Fox News).Powered by Sidelines