Not Biased? Dan Rather, In His Own Words
Phil Brennan, NewsMax.com
Thursday, March 10, 2005
America's media elite is awash in a flood of tears over Dan Rather's departure tonight as anchor of the CBS Evening News, which they would like to convince the nation is a tragedy of Homeric proportions.
For Red State America, however, it's a night to rejoice â€“ one of the nation's most demonstrably biased broadcast journalists has lost his bully pulpit and will no longer be able to peddle his far-left agenda to his millions of nightly viewers. They agree with Walter Cronkite, who now says that Rather should have stepped down years ago.
U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney a Republican from Florida says he will host a fund-raising event in Washington, D.C., called "C'est La Vie, Comrade Rather," during which attendees will be able to watch Rather's final newscast at 6:30 p.m.
"Response has been overwhelming," said Feeney. "A lot of us conservatives believe that we'll be celebrating the end of the liberal lock on the airwaves."
According to his fellow liberal journalists, Rather is a great reporter, but as Mike Walker showed in his new book "Rather Dumb" his journalism has been at best sloppy, and the real the reporting was actually done by a large staff of producers and his off-the-air reportorial staff. For the most part, Rather merely fronted the results of other people's work.
Noting Rather's statement to ABC, aired this morning, that, "I made a mistake. I didn't dig hard enough, long enough, didn't ask enough of the right questions I want to get onto the next thing, flat out, " New York's Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin wrote that Rather's bravado was "more fitting for a fading actor addicted to applause. He's a performer, a stunt man, a celebrity who makes $7 million a year for role playing."
And play he did, although to a dwindling audience that's now the smallest of the three major news networks.
Out on a Sour Note; One of Many
Unable to defend Rather's use of forged documents in an attempt to smear President Bush, Rather's supporters claim that his career cannot be judged by one episode of blatant political bias.
In response to this canard, the Media Research Council (MRC) says that "last September's politically motivated fraud wasn't a departure for Rather; it was just an extreme example of the obnoxious bias that's tarnished his whole career."
In a March 3, 2005 statement MRC's Brent Bozell laid it on the line:
"Dan Rather spent his career at CBS spinning the news to further a partisan political agenda. He fawned over Hillary Clinton (â€˜political lightning'), praised the impeached Bill Clinton (an â€˜honest man'), attempted to ambush the first President George Bush over Iran-contra (â€˜you've made us hypocrites in the face of the world'), and demonized the Gingrich Revolution (as an attempt to â€˜demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor').
"Dan Rather's legacy will be defined by his fall from grace during last year's presidential campaign . . . He leaves behind a news organization that is a mere shadow of its former self."
On their website, MRC lists pages of examples of Rather's undisguised leftist bias including one incident in 1987, when on the June 17 CBS Evening News Rather kowtowed to his cadre of liberal friends who could never find anything evil about the evil empire when he said "Despite what many Americans think, most Soviets do not yearn for capitalism or Western-style democracy."
Not long after, the Soviet empire came crashing down when the Russian people belied Rather's proclamation by opting for democracy. Over the years, Rather has sought to brainwash the shrinking pool of Americans who still watched his show into believing that conservatives are hateful, far-right radicals, while the Clintons were wonderful, for example.
Notes MRC, which has kept a sharp eye and ear open for Rather's frequent excursions into liberal propaganda disguised as reporting:
Rather declared early in 1995: "The new Republican majority in Congress took a big step today on its legislative agenda to demolish or damage government aid programs, many of them designed to help children and the poor."
Six years later, he attacked President Bush's "big tax cut plan, partly bankrolled, critics say, through cuts in many federal aid programs for children and education," despite the truth that there no "cuts" (in 2004, the Cato Institute calculated the Department of Education's budget had soared 75 percent during Bush's first three years, from $36 billion to $63 billion).
When CBS paired Rather with Connie Chung in 1993, he sought inspiration from Bill CLinton. "If we could be one-hundredth as great as you and Hillary Rodham Clinton have been in the White House, we'd take it right now and walk away winners."
When Hillary decided she wanted to win a New York Senate seat, Rather enthused: "Once a political lightning rod, today she is political lightning. A crowd pleaser and first-class fundraiser, a person under enormous pressure to step into the arena, this time on her own."
Carrying water for John Kerry during his campaign for the presidency, Rather sought to smear Bush's economic record when reporting on the brutal murder of four civilians in Iraq last March. He asked: "What drives American civilians to risk death in Iraq? In this economy, it may be, for some, the only job they can find."
It was a different story when Kerry was on the receiving end. Then Rather played defense. MRC writes, "In a July interview, he presented the Democratic nominee as a hero victimized by a nasty GOP: "Have you ever had any anger about President Bush â€” who spent his time during the Vietnam War in the National Guard â€” running, in effect, a campaign that does its best to diminish your service in Vietnam?"
But the MRC is not the only group to target Rather's reporting. The liberal Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) took a different view. On their website they maintain that although in their view Rather is not biased, he is instead just a lousy reporter.
Says FAIR: "It's a good bet that Rather's retirement will draw significant attention to the so-called 'Rathergate' controversy. But instead of revealing partisanship in Rather's work, the episode falls into a pattern of sloppiness on Rather's part in his eagerness for certain stories."
FAIR doesn't take their reasoning the required step further, considering that Rather's "eagerness" must, on some level, have its roots in his beliefs. FAIR will only go so far as to say "Right-wing media critics and pundits have been effective in tagging Rather with the 'liberal' label. But the context of Rather's entire career points to a different conclusion.
"More often than not, Rather's reporting followed the pattern that Rather himself criticized" in a 1991 interview published by the Boston Herald:
"We're gutless. We're spineless. There's no joy in saying this, but beginning sometime in the 1980s, the American press by and large somehow began to operate on the theory that the first order of business was to be popular with the person, or organization, or institution that you cover."
Here's The real Rather, in his own words:
"Republicans kill the bill to clean up sleazy political fundraising. The business of dirty campaign money will stay business as usual." â€” CBS Evening News, February 26, 1998.
"There was no doubt Republicans in the House had enough votes tonight to pass another key item in their agenda to rip up or re-write government programs going back to the Franklin Roosevelt era. It is a bill making it harder, much harder, to protect health, safety, and the environment." â€” CBS Evening News, February 28, 1995.
"President Bush insisted today that he was not caving in to big money contributors, big-time lobbyists, and overall industry pressure when he broke a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But the air was thick today with accusations from people who believe that's exactly what happened." â€” CBS Evening News, March 14, 2001.
"It is not just Congress that is taking a sharp turn to the right. The surge to the right on Capitol Hill is making waves all over the country on openly politically partisan, and sometimes racist, radio." â€” CBS Evening News, January 4, 1995.
"Nineteen days after the presidential election, Florida's Republican Secretary of State is about to announce the winner â€” as she sees it and she decrees it â€” of the state's potentially decisive 25 electoral votes. Katherine Harris will officially certify the state's election returns....The believed certification â€” as the Republican Secretary of State sees it â€” is coming just hours after a court ordered deadline.... The certification â€” as the Florida Secretary of State sees it and decrees it â€” is being signed." â€” During CBS News live coverage, November 26, 2000.
"Good evening. Texas Governor George Bush tonight will assume the mantle and the honor of President-elect. This comes 24 hours after a sharply split and, some say, politically and ideologically motivated U.S. Supreme Court ended Vice President Gore's contest of the Florida election and, in effect, handed the presidency to Bush." â€” Beginning the December 13, 2000 CBS Evening News.
"The Republican convention opens in New York to re-nominate George W. Bush and showcase the party's, quote, â€˜moderate side.' Will voters buy it?" â€” Opening the August 30, 2004 CBS Evening News.
"I hear you talking and, as I have before on this subject, I don't know of anybody, friend or foe, who isn't impressed by your grasp of the details of this [health care] plan. I'm not surprised, because you have been working on it so long and listened to so many people." â€” Interview with Hillary Clinton, 48 Hours, Sept. 22, 1993.
"I read the book [My Life by Bill Clinton] completely. And I think it compares very favorably with Ulysses S. Grant's gold standard of presidential autobiographies." â€” Dan Rather on CNN's Larry King Live, June 18, 2004.
"Is or is there not some concern of the public perception, in some quarters, not all of them Democratic, that this is, in fact, a kind of effort at a, quote, â€˜coup,' that is you have a twice elected, popularly elected President of the United States, and so those that you mention in the Republican Party who dislike him and what he stands for, having been unable to beat him at the polls, have found another way to get him out of office?" â€” Interviewing former GOP Senator Warren Rudman during CBS's live coverage of the start of President Clinton's impeachment trial, January 7, 1999.
"On another front, there could be trouble for the Ken Starr Whitewater investigation. Reports continue to surface that this key witness for the prosecution, David Hale, may have been secretly bankrolled by political activists widely regarded as Clinton opponents, people that Clinton supporters call Republican haters from the far right." â€” CBS Evening News, April 2, 1998.
"Al Gore must stand and deliver here tonight as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, and now Gore must do so against the backdrop of a potentially damaging, carefully-orchestrated story leak about President Clinton. The story is that the Republican-backed special prosecutor, Robert Ray, Ken Starr's successor, has a new grand jury looking into possible criminal charges against the President growing out of Mr. Clinton's sex life." â€” Opening the CBS Evening News, August 17, 2000, the final day of the Democratic convention. The next day, a Carter-appointed federal judge revealed he had inadvertently revealed the news. Rather has never apologized.
"While Fidel Castro, and certainly justified on his record, is widely criticized for a lot of things, there is no question that Castro feels a very deep and abiding connection to those Cubans who are still in Cuba and, I recognize this might be controversial, but there's little doubt in my mind that Fidel Castro was sincere when he said, â€˜Listen, we really want this child back here.'" â€” During live coverage of the Elian Gonzalez raid, April 22, 2000.
"Gays and lesbians are beaten to death in the streets with increasing frequency â€” in part due to irrational fear of AIDS but also because hatemongers, from comedians to the worst of the Christian Right, send the message that homosexuals have no value in our society . . . In the post-Cold-War era, gays have been drafted to replace communists as the new menace to the American Way." â€” Writing in The Nation, April 11, 1994.
"Senior Americans who saw retirement savings evaporate in the Wall Street meltdown have another financial headache now. It turns out it was all talk and no action with the President and Congress again today on passing any version of Medicare prescription drug coverage." â€” CBS Evening News, July 23, 2002.
"You and the President were being party to sending missiles to the Ayatollah of Iran. Can you explain how â€” you were supposed to be the â€” you are â€” you're an anti-terrorist expert! Iran was officially a terrorist state . . . The question is â€” but â€” you made us hypocrites in the face of the world! How could you sign on to such a policy?!" â€” During a live interview with Vice President George H.W Bush on the CBS Evening News, January 25, 1988.
"Today, on the Internet and elsewhere, some people, including many who are partisan political operatives, concentrated not on the key questions of the overall story, but on the documents that were part of the support of the story. They allege that the documents are fake . . . The "60 Minutes" report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of the evidence, including documents that were provided by what we consider to be solid sources." â€” CBS Evening News, September 10, 2004, two days after his "60 Minutes" reporting alleging President George W. Bush failed to fulfill his National Guard service.
"Powerful and extremely well-financed forces are concentrating on questions about the documents because they can't deny the fundamental truth of the story. If you can't deny the information, then attack and seek to destroy the credibility of the messenger . . . I think over the long haul, this will be consistent with our history and our traditions and reputation. We took heat during the McCarthy time, during Vietnam, during civil rights, during Watergate. We haven't always been right, but our record is damn good." â€” Rather quoted in the New York Observer, Sept. 15, 2004.
"I don't back down. I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces." â€” Rather quoted in the Sept. 16, 2004 Washington Post.
"Anybody who knows me knows that I am not politically motivated, not politically active for Democrats or Republicans, and that I'm independent. People who are so passionately partisan politically or ideologically committed basically say, â€˜Because he won't report it our way, we're going to hang something bad around his neck and choke him with it, check him out of existence if we can, if not make him feel great pain.' They know that I'm fiercely independent and that's what drives them up a wall." â€” Rather quoted in USA Today, September 17, 2004.
"Democrats were quick to portray the ticket as, quote, â€˜two Texas oilmen' because Cheney was chief of a big Dallas-based oil supply conglomerate. They also blast Cheney's voting record in Congress as, again quote, â€˜outside the American mainstream' because of Cheney's votes against the Equal Rights for Women Amendment, against a woman's right to choose abortion â€” against abortion as Cheney prefers to put it â€” and Cheney's votes against gun control." â€” Reporting on Bush's selection of Dick Cheney as his running mate, July 25, 2000 CBS Evening News.
"Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore officially introduced his history-making running mate today, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut . . . In their first joint appearance they gave a preview of the Gore-Lieberman fight-back, comeback strategy. Their message: They represent the future, not the past, and they are the ticket of high moral standards most in tune with real mainstream America." â€” Reporting on Lieberman's selection exactly two weeks later, August 8, 2000 CBS Evening News.
"I'm all news, all the time. Full power, tall tower. I want to break in when news breaks out. That's my agenda. Now, respectfully, when you start talking about a liberal agenda and all the, quote, â€˜liberal bias' in the media, I quite frankly, and I say this respectfully but candidly to you, I don't know what you're talking about."
And, as Bernard Goldberg might say, he probably doesn't know anyone who does. More's the pity.
Rather gets no pity from me. After all the crap he has done and said to undermine the Republican party he can just go!
He does know what you are talking about when you tell him "Liberal Bias" in the media, he practically created it.
He dug his own grave like most Liberals do wanting the Bush "National Guard Service" memos to be true so bad he didnt check his sources to make sure they were, he only had copies, and till this day no one seems to know where they came from. (Wink) He knows.
He goes out on a sour note, as well he should.
He was about as exciting as watching grass grow anyway. And wouldnt know the meaning of "Fair And Balanced" if it hit him in the face!
So from me to you Dan...............SEE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Newsmax has this, click the Title of this blog.