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Message To Dan Rather: Shut Up!

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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).

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About Daryl D

  • zingzing

    for fuck’s sake. he was criticizing the producers of the news program, not katie couric, although she does kinda suck.

    as for the rest of it, old news. he shoulda done his research better.

  • daryl d

    probably not appropriate for the comments section, but how do I put my image in my profile like I see other Blogcritics doing?

  • zingzing

    i think it’s a seperate section in the /mt/ writer’s thingie.

  • bliffle

    Hey hey hey! Hold up fella!

    We’re through using Rather as a red herring to distract attention from Bushes sordid war record. Didn’t you get the memo?

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    I fixed it for ya Daryl! (before I even read your comment!)

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    You keep referring to yourself as a journalist, Daryl. That prompts me to ask, how in the hell could you call this piece journalism? You’ve said nothing substantive here, choosing instead to go off on a meaningless rant that would shame the producers of “Extra.”

    I’m not going to defend or refute Rather regarding his comments towards Kouric and CBS,but I fail to see any connection between those comments and his criticisms of the Bush administration. . .or Connie Chung. . . or that nameless woman you knew who once worked for Rather.

    By the same token, you, as a “journalist”, should have explained in detail why his comments in that regard were against all rules of civilization as we know it. You didn’t do that–not even a little bit.

  • daryl d

    Don’t use the “you call yourself a journalist” excuse; it gets old! My point is that Dan Rather has no place to criticize other news anchors. This is not coming from a liberal or conservative mindset. The guy is a pariah, plain and simple.

  • Jeff

    Um, for the record, the secretary who was alleged to have written the bogus documents said that their content was 100% accurate, even if the documents themselves weren’t authentic.

    I wonder why that little bit of the story is always left out?

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    I didn’t use “journalist” as an excuse– you did, in the context of you article. It’s easy to say a person has no excuse to criticize another person–it’s quite another to back it up with facts. Besides, isn’t the entire crux of your article a diatribe against a journalist?

  • Dan Rather’s publicist

    Message to Daryl: Shut Up! Did you even read the article? He criticized the show not Katie. You are actually the last person to criticize another human being because your reading comprehension reveals you aren’t too bright, but it appears all you have going for you, which is sad.

  • daryl d

    No matter who Dan Rather criticizes, the point is that he is the last human who should point the finger. His comments come across as sour grapes because he was forced into retirement because his pathetic shilling of Democrats.

  • bliffle

    I thought Rather was attacked because it is standard procedure for the Bushies to attack the messenger instead of the message. That way they distract from the original issue. And there always seems to be a claque of willing partisans to join in the mob, like Darryl himself.

    Noone would care about Rather except as he is useful as a distraction.

  • daryl d

    Perhaps the Bushies are using Dan as a destraction. The sad thing is that Dan made himself that destraction. He made all of the anti-Bush people look bad and it was possibly, because of Mr. Rather himself, that Bush was reelected.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Dan Rather caused Bush to be reelected???? Now you’re just getting desperately silly, Daryl.

  • Dan Rather’s publicist

    Actually, the point is that you are the last human who should point the finger, and not just because you can’t spell. Dan wasn’t forced into retirement. He was forced to resign. It doesn’t take that much effort to get the facts right.

  • daryl d

    Dan Rather alone didn’t get Bush reelected but his mistake certainly gave Bush the sympathy factor. Dan Rather also made Bush’s legit critics look bad.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    And you have exactly what to back up that claim, Daryl? Surely you can’t believe that anything Dan Rather may or may not have said swayed the electorate to any great extent. Using your logic, Dan Rather wields unheard of power, and should make a presidential bid in 2008. Gimme a break. . .

  • bliffle

    Darryl: I’m afraid you have demonstrated piss-poor judgement, here.

    Let’s review the bidding: we have a pres. who neglects a warning of imminent danger so some murderous maniacs hijack planes and kill 3000 Americans. Then he lets the maniac bossman escape, then he declares war on some patsy bystander figuring THAT will be an easy battle, wrong again, then 3000 US soldiers die and $1trillion spent on a losing war, then it turns out that guy is a draft dodger who got favorable treatment and ducked his responsibility. As usual.

    On the other hand we have a reporter who correctly reports the favorable treatment, but has doubtful provenance for one letter, though noone successfully disputes the facts.

    So who gets pilloried? Why, the no-account reporter, of course! HE loses HIS job, while the guy who actually is culpable of something escapes!

    I suggest you reflect seriously on your personal values and judgements.

  • daryl d

    I agree: President Bush should have lost his job a long time ago. But that still DOES NOT make Dan Rather right for what he did. It still doesn’t make it right for a prime time anchor to shill for a political party.

  • http://aheckofa.com/FoolMeOnce/CBSBushMemos.html callmebc

    The Killian memos story was never more than a rushed “me too” effort by CBS, via Mary Mapes and her crew, that followed on the heels of the Associated Press’s successful FOIA lawsuit that forced the release of the rest of Bush’s service records. The CBS effort was sloppy and unfinished, leaving it open to the attacks, however factless and idiotic, initiated by the right wing blogosphere. CBS then made an utter botch of responding to the attacks, essentially giving a green light to the BS forgery meme that essentially took Bush’s TexANG service off the table, despite Kerry’s vastly more valiant service having been maliciously swiftboated about during most of the campaign season. CBS’s behavior — along with the rest of the mainstream media, which was just as incompetent in dealing with the forgery claims and in ferreting out the true nature of the memos — likely did help Bush get reelected. (You might want to click on my URL for more info.)

    Also Dan Rather’s comments about CBS “tarting” the news wasn’t aimed at Couric — his comment is actually a near repeat of one he made back in early 2001 that went, “In this newsroom and in every newsroom in the country, whether they will admit it or not, fear is a major factor. It’s the fear that if we don’t do it, whatever ‘it’ is — tart it up, dumb it down, go more entertainment, go more for what’s interesting as opposed to what’s important — our competitors will, and they will eventually drive us out of business.”

    Not bad insight, especially in hindsight, eh?

  • CallMeNot

    CallMeBC, give it up. The ‘Killian’ documents are clearly forgeries. There is absolutely no proof they came from Killian’s personal files.