March 12, 2007 3:48 PM PDT

Dan Rather: Journalism has 'lost its guts'

AUSTIN, TEXAS--To longtime CBS broadcaster Dan Rather, American journalism in recent years "has in some ways lost its guts."

During his hour-long keynote address Monday at South by Southwest Interactive, Rather opined at length on the state of his profession, in which too many journalists have become lapdogs to power, rather than watchdogs.

Photos: Rather speaks to SXSW crowd

"I do not exclude myself from this criticism... By and large, so many journalists--there are notable exceptions--have adopted the go-along-to-get-along (attitude)," he said.

So, because of this "access game," journalism has degenerated into a "very perilous state," he said in response to a question from his on-stage interviewer, FireDogLake.com writer Jane Hamsher. (Editors' note: News.com on Tuesday published its full one-on-one interview with Dan Rather.)

Rather left CBS last year in the wake of a scandal surrounding questionable documentation for a story accusing President George Bush of being absent without leave during his military service. Today, Rather works as a journalist for entrepreneur Mark Cuban's HDNet network.

In his speech, he touched on the state of the Internet as a way to get information and news to people.

"The Internet is a tremendous tool for not just news, (because) its potential is unlimited for that," Rather said, but for "illumination and opening things up."

But he spent most of his time on stage talking about why he thinks many people have lost faith in journalists.

One reason, Rather said, is that questioning power, especially at a time of war, can be perceived as unpatriotic or unsupportive of America's fighting troops.

"In many ways, what we in journalism need is a spine transplant."
--Dan Rather

That's "a very serious charge in this country," Rather said.

"We've brought it on ourselves," he added, "partly because we've lost the sense that (the) patriotic journalist will be on his or her feet asking the tough questions. My role as a member of the press is to be sometimes a check and balance on power."

Indeed, Rather's ascent to the pinnacles of power in journalism came as a result of his reputation for asking very tough questions and--as Hampshire pointed out--not being afraid to ask follow-up questions, of powerful people like President Richard Nixon, the first President George Bush, current President Bush, Saddam Hussein, and many others.

"In many ways," said Rather to loud applause, "what we in journalism need is a spine transplant."

Rather reiterated his feeling that many journalists today--and he repeated that he has fallen for this trap--are willing to get too cozy with people in positions of power, be it in government or corporate life.

"The nexus between powerful journalists and people in government and corporate power," he said, "has become far too close."

You can get so close to a source that you become part of the problem, he added. "Some people say that these powerful people use journalists, and they do. And they will use them to the fullest extent possible, right up until the point where the journalist says, 'Whoa, that's too far.'"

Special coverage
Wanted: The best of SXSW
CNET has the whole multimedia extravaganza covered. Check here for the latest music, blogs, videos, podcasts and more.

It is incumbent on journalists to be willing to risk their access to power to seek out the truth behind a story, he said. And they shouldn't be willing to water down the truth to protect their access to power.

Rather also said that the consolidation of power in a small number of media companies has hurt the search for the truth in newsrooms across the country. As media conglomerates get bigger, the gap between newsrooms and boardrooms grows, and the goal becomes satisfying shareholders, not citizens, he said.

Therefore, Rather supports increased competition between media companies and between journalists. "So next time someone says, 'I believe in the capitalist system,'" he said, "tell them Dan Rather says 'Amen.'"

Rather reiterated the journalist's role as a watchdog.

"Not as an attack dog...But what does the lapdog do? He just crawls into someone's lap," he said. "A good watchdog barks at everything that's suspicious. I submit to you, the American press' role is to be a watchdog."

Hampshire then asked Rather about the state of the Internet and how useful it can be in helping to inform people.

Rather responded that he sees a lot of potential in the Internet, and in the blogosphere in particular, but that he worries about anonymity on a lot of Web sites and blogs.

He said it's very easy to attack someone when you don't have to put your name to your complaints. He's not sure how to strike the right balance between professional and citizen journalism, but he believes the market will eventually provide that solution.

In the end, Rather said, the American people must understand that the news does matter, and that what they see happening on TV or read about on the Internet, is real. War, he said, is real.

"What happens on the streets of Baghdad or Kabul does matter on Main Street."

See more CNET content tagged:
Dan Rather, journalism, journalist, gut, Viacom Inc.

114 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
No Strawman - Fake documents hurt journalists more than Patriotism
I love Dan Rather trying to pull such a strawman argument. "Journalists are not trusted"... "Because they don't question authority".

B.S.!

Journalists aren't trusted because they use fake documents to try to BECOME the authority. Dan Rather wanted a left wing government, so he used fake documents to try and achieve it. That is why journalists are not trusted.

Wake up, you crook!
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And then he trashed bloggers & online news sources
When bloggers caught Dan RatherBiased in his lie, he trashed them. At least they had a "spine" to look into what he was passing off as "fact" - none of the "real" journalists, including his staff, had the "spine" to do that. Because they oh so wanted it to be true.

Twenty years ago, his fake documents would have been accepted as fact and been part of history. What else has his generation of journalists fed us as "facts" in the past?

Cry me a river, Dan. Walk off the set, and stay off.
Posted by fafafooey (171 comments )
Link Flag
only the Authority can use fake documents
how about the authority using fake info to get us into war. Should that be trusted? Only the authority can use FAKE information, only that they don't call it's fake. They call it human errors. HOw about Saddam was trying to acquire uranium fake information? Oh no, it's not fake, it's misinformation. How about Saddam's WMD pile? If one in hundreds informations is wrong, it's understandable. If many of Bush's justifications for war are wrong, it's incompetent or worse. What I want to know is how someone can tell from watching TV screen that the document was using the newer typewriter, minutes after the show. That must be one heck of a clear television set.
It is real patriotic of Bush and Rumsfeld to send Americans into a war without adaquate ammor. How many of the Bush justificationi for war are proven false? Too dam* many!!
Please listen to more Fake(Fox)news. That is the one and only trustworthy source of news.
Posted by vhac (68 comments )
Link Flag
Get over yourself!
And which documents got us into Iraq?? Which documents cleaned
up after Katrina? Which documents protected teh pages on Capital
hill form sexual predators?

If you can not see the train coming down the tracks, at the very
least, get off the tracks. We do not wnt to have to clean up afetr
your type anymore.

There is no place in the blogosphere for political ignorance.
Posted by angeloj.rossi (13 comments )
Link Flag
Rather's first contribution to phony journalism
has become part of the folklore surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination. The reports of schoolchildren cheering the news of JFK's assassination was based on Rather's story about a Dallas elementary school. The truth was that the kids, who had not been informed of JFK's murder, were let out of school early that day with no explanation - and were very happy about it. Rather got into trouble with his boss in Dallas, because it happened to be the school the boss's kids attended. Once a liar, always a liar, Dan.
Posted by Kauaicat (1 comment )
Link Flag
Whatever.
I suppose the whole on-air apology and admission of the mistake thing Dan did was missed by you?
Sounds like it.
Posted by rockstarstatus (70 comments )
Link Flag
"and that what they see happening on TV ... is real"
Unless of course its fake documents, faxed over from a Texas Kinkos by a Democratic operative 8 days outside of an election. ROFL
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I dare you Dan, or any other good journalist, get on the right side
get the scientific facts from the psychiatrist, ask them the questions that I have posted here before, ask Sharfstein, ask NAMI, ask the Surgeon General for them, they don't have it and they know it, when they give you some line of bull that is textbook or that is not fact have some outside scientific expert that has nothing tied up in it to check it out, I dare you. Then get back to me. I am not hard to find. Ask them for hard evidence for these questions:

1. Evidence That Clearly Establishes the validity of "schizophrenia" "depression" or other "major mental Illnesses" as biologically-based brain diseases.

2. Evidence For A Physical Diagnostic Exam such as a scan or test of the brain, blood, urine, genes, etc that can reliably distinguish individuals with these diagnoses (prior to treatment with psychiatric drugs), from individuals without these diagnoses.

3. Evidence For a Base-line Standard of a neurochemically balanced "normal" personality, against which a neurochemical "imbalance" can be measured and corrected by pharmaceutical means.

4. Evidence That Any Psychotropic Drug can correct a "chemical imbalance" attributed to a psychiatric diagnoses, and is any thing more than a non-specific alterer of physiology.

5. Evidence That Any Psychotropic Drug can reliably decrease the likelihood of violence or suicide.

6. Evidence That Psychotropic Drugs do not in fact increase the overall likelihood of violence and suicide.

7. Finally, then ask that they reveal publicly evidence published in mainstream medical journals, but unreported in mainstream media, that links use of some psychiatric drugs to structural brain changes.

Do this for the American people, and you can win! And you might find that it is not lucrative, but it will be honest and the American people have a real right to know. I will guarantee you that.

You will not only be a hero to me, but you will be a hero to others that understand that they have a right not to have to do this to themself or to their children anymore. Help us to stop this war on the American people, stand up for the constitution and the rights of the American people to know the full and honest unbiased and ethical truth.

Thanks, Janie
Posted by mixed-feelings (18 comments )
Reply Link Flag
take your scientology rant elsewhere
what a bunch of crap
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Link Flag
Actually
You can find the answers to most of these questions in peer
reviewed scientific journals. You don't need to geet Dan Rather
involved. You just need to be willing to approach the science
with a scientific mind.

Also, the brain is a biological organ which uses chemistry to
function. Everything in the brain is chemically based - every
thought, feeling, emotion, idea, want, and desire are based in
the chemical interactions that occur withing and around the
neurons of your brain.

As such *every* behaviour - both normal and abnormal - has a
neurochemical basis and, as such, are biologically based.

You could, if you like, posit some nonbiological mechanism to
explain human thought and behaviour but unless you can show
evidence of it then you are dipping into the realm of
metaphysics and mysticism. Which is fine if that how you want
to roll - but you can't expect science to prove or disprove
something that has nothing to do with science. They are two
different realms of experience.

So really, the question isn't if maladaptive behaviours and
cognition are biologically based but what aspect of the biology
influences them.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
Re: I dare you Dan, etc., etc.
Somebody recently said that you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Your rant reads like one of those creationist arguments. It is full of lies, half-truths, and irrelevancies.

If you have to imagine a massive, society-wide conspiracy to make your point of view viable, then it's your point of view that's wrong.
Posted by alflanagan (115 comments )
Link Flag
We have lost faith in journalists because you have lied to us.
CNN and Tailwind. The New York Times and Jayson Blair. CBS and the Bush National Guard "Documents". Numerous Reuters "photos" in the recent Lebanon-Israeli war. Iraqi "Police Captain" Jamil Hussein.

Need I go on?

Getting the story out, to make a deadline in the 24/7 news cycle, regardless of truth, is not journalism. And as a result, the bloggers make you out to be the fool you are.

Dan Rather is an old man, acting like an old man, thinking he is in an old man's game, when he is in a young man's game. He is a typical, arrogant snob.

Larry King of CNN commenting on the Internet, November 16 2006: "What do you punch little buttons and things?"
Posted by meh130 (145 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Full marks
I couldn't have said it better.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
...not to mention failing at one fundamental:
It is the reporter's job to relay the news to the reader/viewer as accurately and as honestly as he or she can, with as little bias as humanly possible. That's it.

* It is not the reporter's job to editorialize (Rather and his cadre have failed in this aspect).

* It is not the reporter's job to give a story "color" or "perspective" (again, failure).

* It is not a reporter's job to selectively edit facts to fit a given "theme", or "message", or ...anything. (once more, failure).

I will say that Rather and his 70's-generation of blow-dried subtle propagandists are not the first to play such a game - Remington and Hearst were doing it with both subtle and blatant biases, back when the news was broadcast by horseback and telegraph.

There have been and hopefully will still be shining examples of responsible reporting... but Rather's crowd isn't among them.


PS: Let's all get together and ditch the word "journalist" - it's crap, and naught more than a thin veil for "editorialist".

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
Journalists have sold out to their corporate masters
News has become opinion and spin dictated by the corporate overlords who seek the manufacture consent for their political agendas amongst the masses. What's worse than all the propaganda posing as news is the real news that never makes in front of the public, news that you never hear about because some corporate CEO killed the story.
Posted by Xenu7-214951314497503184010868 (153 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You forgot to mention
Foxnews and that fake story about Obama and training at
terrorist school. Foxnews reporter becoming whitehouse
spokesperson (hmm.. wonder if my snow buddies at foxnews
will ever do a story critical of him).. you forgot one of the fox
reporters whose sister worked for Bush and he did not disclose
this while pretending to have an objective interview with Bush.
BTW, did anyone at fox lose their job for that fake madrass
story?. Maybe the only problem Rather had was that he worked
for Cbs news instead of FoxNews.. had he worked for fox, he'd
still have a job.
Posted by wnurse (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
How about your Democrat buddies passing themselves off as "journalists"???
ABC "This Week" Host George Stephanopolous - former press secretary for Democrat President Bill Clinton

NBC "Meet The Press" Host Tim Russert - former staffer for Democrat Senator Moynihan and Gov. Mario Cuomo

CNBC Host Chris Matthews - former advisor to Democrat Speaker Tip O'Neil and Democrat President Jimmy Carter
Posted by fafafooey (171 comments )
Link Flag
Since you hate FoxNews....
You probably think CNN is the do all and end all? Here is the background to the story you point to on FoxNews:

From CNN: 1/22/07 Politics section

"Insight Magazine, which is owned by the same company as The Washington Times, reported on its Web site last week that associates of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York, had unearthed information the Illinois Democrat and likely presidential candidate attended a Muslim religious school known for teaching the most fundamentalist form of Islam."

So it came from Hillary's camp first?
Posted by ruua (1 comment )
Link Flag
Question Powerful People?
Can we question Al Gore? He seems pretty powerful in his
influence, what with an oscar and big documentary. Can we
question him?
Posted by Dr. B (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Al Gore is not to be questioned
Global warming cannot be questioned. In fact, some Democrats want to make it a crime to speak against global warming - it's the same as questioning the Holocaust (which I don't, but there are laws in Germany against it).
Posted by fafafooey (171 comments )
Link Flag
What a joke Dan Rather is.
What about asking liberal Democrats tough questions, like why did Clinton ejaculate all over the Oval Office and essentially descreate it? I watched a late night broadcast of a secret service agent being deposed by the grand jury and telling how he and another agent had to constantly clean up the mess left behind by Clinton and Lewinsky. That joke Dan Rather didn't have the nerve to ask him about that.

Rather is a clown, pure and simple.
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Presidency is bigger than a building...
It's also bigger that the man occupying that seat of power. Desecration implies that the Oval Office is a holy place. Try to remember that the church and state are separate entities.
I would say that reporting on ejaculation in the Oval Office is the joke and should be reserved for the pages of Hustler Magazine.
Posted by rockstarstatus (70 comments )
Link Flag
How about your Democrat buddies passing themselves off as "journalists"???
ABC "This Week" Host George Stephanopolous - former press secretary for Democrat President Bill Clinton

NBC "Meet The Press" Host Tim Russert - former staffer for Democrat Senator Moynihan and Gov. Mario Cuomo

CNBC Host Chris Matthews - former advisor to Democrat Speaker Tip O'Neil and Democrat President Jimmy Carter
Posted by fafafooey (171 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Kudos! A reporter removes his head from his a**
It's about time at one person in the modern day media remembers what their job is. The media has definitely become a political and corporate lapdog and has forgotten what it's job is. Along with that, the one thing Rather did fail to mention though, is the sensationalism involved in reporting nowadays, and how it DOES NOT BELONG!!!

The job of the media is to dig for facts, and then report those facts that they can verify to us and then to let us form our own opinions. I am tired of journalist trying to pass off op-ed pieces as news reporting. Op-ed pieces have their place, they do matter, but that is not the way the main bulk of news is supposed to be reported.

Ask the tough question, grow a spine again. A good journalist WILL ruffle feathers, that is their job.
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A good journalist reports facts
Period.

Spine and feathers are useless. Journalists report facts. Not opinions. And they CERTAINLY don't use falsified documents to try to gain an outcome that they themselves, in their silly, feely hearts, desire.
Posted by wilbs999 (5 comments )
Link Flag
THIS from Dan Rather?
This - coming from the master of phoney documents
Posted by pkorbitz (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Dan Rather
Ofcourse it takes guts to hold false documents in hand wave it at American people and lie thru the nose with a straight face and defend it afterwards.

Dan You are one all American Journalist making Democrats PROUD
Posted by franny195 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are an idiot
This is not a democratic or republican thing. Dan Rather had it
right. George W skipped out on his military service. He just did
not have the data right. Big deal. It is welll documented that
neither GWB or his entire cabinet of "deciders" ever saw anything
close to combat,let alone getting their penny loafers meesy with
battle.

Unfortunately, you are content to live in the past. Open your
eyes! We are in deep trouble because of people in denial, just
like you! Take responsibility for your tunnel vision and wake up!
Rather is not perfect. We all know that. However, at least he
trid to to tell us that GWB was a fraud, is a fraud and his
decisons are all based on an agenda fo fraud and deceipt.

Get real or get the hell out of this BLOG, loser!
Posted by angeloj.rossi (13 comments )
Link Flag
yeah, dan...no one dares create false documents anymore
they just continue all their biased reporting like you did
Posted by johninlongmont (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dan's new spine
As long as that new spine leans to the left --- Right Dan?
Posted by rwhitaker26 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dan Rather
Never, never lose sight of the fact that journalism lost its integrity under Dan Rather's watch! This is the man who tried to turn the 2004 Predidential election through "yellow" journalism!
Posted by Askew1 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
sigh, I really thought people were past this...
Couple of things...

1) I don't think Dan Rather knowingly engaged in fraudulent
reporting. He had access to a document which he felt had been
properly vetted, took the risk, and ran with the story. Taking
risks is what a journalist is supposed to do.

2) You do a very good job of attacking the messenger but you
don't address any apsect of the message itself. Attacking a
position based on the person who presents that opinion is a
fundamental logical fallacy. Its like saying "Oh Hitler was good to
his dog and loved his girlfriend? Well that Hitler was a pretty bad
guy so I'll go kick a dog and beat my wife!" If you want to refute
a position then *refute the position* and don't attack the person.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Link Flag
Fake Documents?
Like, Nigeria was trying to sell yellowcake to Iraq?

Like, proof that Iraq has WMD's?

Like, proof that Iraq was helping OBL?

All these were "factual documents" reported by BushCo.
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Link Flag
Hilarious!
How ironic! Rather does not allow journalists to ask him tough questions. This is a well known fact.
Posted by dobie315 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Dan Rather: Journalism has 'lost its guts'
No, Dan. Journalism has lost its integrity. You gutted it by being a liar.
Posted by M Osborne (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Socialist Journalist = Propagandist
Dan Rather got caught lying to the American people. Dan Rather got caught lying!!! There was no mistake. There was no mishandling of documents. Dan Rather couldn't use the truth to trash the President, so he tried to use a lie; and he got caught! Where was his spine? When did he lose it? 1993 maybe, or was it in 1994, when the Clintons got a hold of his FBI file? What ever happened to those FBI files? I don't recall any of these brave patriotic reporters challenging the Clintons about those files, even Mr. Rather. We had eight years of one of the most corrupt administrations in American history, but Dan had lost his spine, Peter had lost his spine, and Tom probably never had a spine. None of these who claim to speak truth to power ever challenged the Clintons and their corrupt coterie of sycophants. Dan you need to have the spine to just "fade away."
Posted by Arxland (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This statement here says it all!
What's missing from this statement about asking the tough questions? Where there no tough questions to ask during the Carter or Clinton administrations?

"Indeed, Rather's ascendance to the pinnacles of power in journalism came as a result of his reputation for asking very tough questions and--as Hampshire pointed out--not being afraid to ask follow-up questions, of powerful people like President Richard Nixon, the first President George Bush, current President Bush, Saddam Hussein, and many others."

Ole Danny boy must have sucked up too much fumes from all those poisionous fake documents. He has got to be kidding me. If journalists aren't attacking Bush, what are they doing?
Posted by sideswiper (4 comments )
Link Flag
Explain "the most corrupt gov't in US history"
Oh please, really, I want your explanation on this BS.

Or were you talking about BushCo, then I'd happily agree.
Posted by bemenaker (438 comments )
Link Flag
Where are your examples?
Where did you get your information?
OOOOooohhhhh There's a hot wind from you Arx...
Posted by rockstarstatus (70 comments )
Link Flag
News quality is what needs saving
Has anyone seen the old news clips from back in the 80s? Yeah, the clothes and picture quality have changed. But the amount of news reported, the number of real audio bites longer than 10 seconds, the number of views presented,... all of that had dropped enormously. Some of the tech news is the best to compare with because there are still many stories and controversies and decisions facing people the same way they did back then. It seems pretty easy to get hour long news shows on topics. In class I always wished they could show us recent news productions. But I guess there is a reason they don't use anything new, because it is not as long nor as good. I never been interested enough in the current news, but I've often wondered not only how much time is spent on commercials, but how much time is spent on the news advertising it's upcoming stories.

And them there's all the news on America Idol and the latest person kicked off of Survivor. So whatever Dan Rather sees in the relationship between jouralists and subjects, I never see that quality of news to even know about. He talks of Iraq images being real. Well, the "real" news I see is what is Ryan Seacrest wearing, and the new Joke-a-day segment.

When they do report news, they show the "hardhitting" interview with a person who was driving about 5 miles from a fire and saw smoke and stopped her car to watch. Wow!
Posted by mikeburek (418 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More Spine Needed for Questioning the Radicals
I whole heartedely agree with Dan that more spine is needed. What I see today from our major news outlets shows just how much power the radical extremists truly have. Night after night, Sunday morning after Sunday morning, we hear unending criticism of the US Government -- exactly because the journalists have nothing to fear. But where is the criticism, the tough questions, the in-your-face David Gregorys, when it comes to the bystanders in the world of radical Islam. Is the press being "sensitive" to being offensive in challenging religious radcials? I hardly think so. No, I believe that they actually fear these people and don't want to risk any personal ramifications. Yes, please do get a spine. I don't think I can take another Meet the Press with Tim pounding the tough questions about the US administration (which is good), while ducking the globe's real threat to peace and stability - radical Islam(which is spineless).
Posted by projectapollo1972 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well said?
People are all about putting the blame on the US Government, when
in fact, the blame belongs squarely on the shoulders of "radical"
Islam.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Link Flag
Rather, Rather Disguises The Drop in Press Faith
Rather does not truly believe faith has been lost in Journalism because they have "lost [their] guts;" rather he covers for the true impetus for the Press' perceived lost integrity.

Patriotism, shmatriotism - Americans have at their fingers the daily ability to match what the Press says against what is actually occuring. Whether it be the forged documents that Rather attempted to pass off as truth, the faux-photographs Reuters does the same with, or the AP's constantly revised - but unacknowledged - stories of massacre in Iraq; Americans can compare what is passed on to us with what is actually occuring.

The press' zealous safeguarding of their position as the conduit of "truth" and information has placed them in a fiduciary position to the purveyors of that information - that of truthful trustees. But they have abused their position in an attempt to mold and direct the sensibilities of the American people.

While the Press' role was protected and obfuscated from perception when only the 3 big-networks existed up to the 90s, it is no longer possible. Thus, you have the movement of "activism journalism," a movement that really began in the 70s, but now seeks earnest recognition as a bona fide role of modern-day journalism. That's why you see Rolling Stone articles calling Keith Olbermann the "Most Honest Journalist ever," or the USA Today and CNN articles talking about the honorable undertaking by activist journalists and their different pet projects.

The problem is that when a journalist takes a position on an item of contention, what is "truth" or "right" is being translated to the consumer rather than the contention itself. Thus, the "global warming" controversy is no controversy at all, despite the continuing quarrelsome disagreement between "experts," and not just oil-company apologists and socialist agendists.

Americans, despite my sometimes distaste for their choices, tend to be an educated and thoughtful people. The principles underlying this great experiment in self-governance are intertwined deeply into the American consciousness and subconsciousness, and inform and direct our choices. When we realize that we have been hoodwinked and lied to by those who are supposed to give us the food that informs our decisions (read: Journalists), we LOSE OUR FAITH IN THEM. The idea that we lost faith in them because they "won't ask the tough questions," is bullsh*t. They don't ask any questions, and refuse to give us the 4-1-1 on what's going on - Rather, Rather, give us "the scoop," and save the shovel for your personal perusal on your own time.
Posted by melwelch (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Rather & cBS = Lies and Forgeries
thank god that old liar Rather is off the mainstream news, he
was nothing but a rotten old liar
Posted by RandyLado (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Facts? Where are they?
I love how blow-hards throw accusations around like this with nothing behind it. It's such a strong, hot wind it dries my hair in the morning.
Posted by rockstarstatus (70 comments )
Link Flag
And now, the REST of the story
?Rather left CBS last year in the wake of a scandal surrounding questionable documentation for a story accusing President George Bush of being absent without leave during his military service.?
No, the scandal was that Dan Rather created false documents intended to attack and discredit President Bush and was caught in the act. Dan knows what he did but he does not possess the integrity to admit it.

?One reason for that, Rather said, is that a sense has developed that questioning power, especially at a time of war, is perceived as unpatriotic or unsupportive of America's fighting troops.?
That's "a very serious charge in this country," Rather said.?
"We've brought it on ourselves," he added, "partly because we've lost the sense that patriotic journalists will be on his or her feet asking the tough questions. My role as a member of the press is to be sometimes a check and balance on power."
No, again Dan mis-characterizes his role due to his feelings of arrogance and his obvious leaning to a Leninist philosophy. The issue is not one of ?questioning power? or being ?perceived as unpatriotic? (which he is) or ?asking tough questions.? The issue is that the sole job of a ?journalist? is to report what actually is happening. The truth. Period. First of all, Dan would not recognize the truth if it fell on him, as he is too busy attempting to spread his Leninist philosophy. Secondly, everything he does and says is filtered through that philosophy. What ultimately happens? A flood of misdirection printed in the mainstream (left wing) press.
?Rather reiterated the journalist's role as a watchdog.?
"Not as an attack dog...But what does the lapdog do, he just crawls into someone's lap," he said. "A good watchdog barks at everything that's suspicious. I submit to you, the American press' role is to be a watchdog."
No, again Dan, the American press? role should be ONLY to tell the truth. And that is not happening. The press these days is relegated to being nothing more than a socialist propaganda outlet that lives by the idea that if you print enough lies frequently enough, that ordinary citizens will soon be unable to recognize the truth. It is working with a great number of people in the Democratic party, whose leadership has been hijacked by the Socialist left. However, there are still millions of Americans that recognize truth, which is the reason that the left wing news media is experiencing decreased viewers and readers all over America.
Posted by ArMilani (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
where have you learned your philosophy
You keep accusing Rather of being a Leninist philosopher. Quite frankly you describe anything that's considered 'leftist' as the same as 'communist'. You seem to have developped a serious left-o-phobia. You have all political parties, philosophies and history so mixed up in your primal fear for everything that is not part of your pretty narrow minded view on the whole matter.

First of all, a democracy normally consists of dozens of political tastes, most of them leaning to "the center"= a mix of left and right wing. You have "left" (socialist), right (conservative/liberal), far left(communist) and far right(fascist). In between center/left and center/right is the base of a democracy, you'll find the biggest part of the population in that area. In your view a democracy exists of one party (yours) which is in reality the definition of dictatorship.

You must be far gone estimating Rather as far left. Makes me think you have no clue what so ever what Leninist philosophy might even be, or even having read a book about politics at all. You also clearly put the word 'left' always near a negative word

eg.: ["misdirection printed in the mainstream (left wing) press"/press is nothing more than a socialist propaganda outlet that only prints lies/leadership hijacked by Socialist left/people recognise the truth that's why left wing media is experiencing decreased viewers and readers= left wing only lies]

I mean if you really wanted to flaw your position as a neutral, objective, unprejudiced commentator than you have done an excellent job.

By no means I'm implying you have to agree with what Rather says. But if you don't at least get your facts right, political history and make some well constructed logical arguments. Telling people left wings are liars because they're leftists is not an argument, it's a dogma. Leave out the dogma's and there's not much left of your rhetorics.

I do much agree on the fact that journalists must tell the truth and nothing but the truth. But demanding the truth and than calling everyone that doesn't agree with you liars is quite a contradiction and dogmatic.
Posted by sjaaksken (4 comments )
Link Flag
What passes for debate in this country
Is really sad. Instead of actually addressing anything Rather
actually said regarding the role journalists in a healthy
democracy, the benefits of competition, and the dangers of too
much corporate control in the newsroom most people decide to
take pot shots at Rather.

Can any of you tell me how that undermines anything he is
actually saying? While I'm sure all of you are paragons of moral
virtue and have never done anything wrong (like speeding) or
fraudulent (like fudging your taxes) and as such can be seen as
true and pure purveyors of wisdom you never really said what
was wrong with what he's saying. Essentially what many of you
are arguing is that you don't even need to address his comments
because of who he is. It doesn't matter what he might happen to
say because it *must* be wrong because he said it.

Which is sad because it really shows that people don't really care
about the issues - they just want to yell at each other. Yes,
character counts, but character doesn't necessarily correlate to
insight or fact. Sometimes bad people have very good ideas and
sometimes good people have very bad ideas. This is why you
examine the *idea* and not the person.

Yes, I fully expect someone to prove my point by yelling at me
personally rather than dissecting what I'm saying. I thank you in
advance for this service.
Posted by rapier1 (2722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Debate Debate
Like Rapier1, I, too, prefer objectivity in debate to character asassination. I cannot, however, see the advantage in listening to a thoroughly discredited, proven liar tell the rest of his "profession" how bad they are. Mr. Rather's morality is not the point, Rapier1. His credibility is. This fox is not one I would choose to guard my henhouse. Others are more deserving of a voice in this very public forum. What's next? A Bill Clinton lecture series on morality in public office?
Posted by baldguy61 (63 comments )
Link Flag
What debate?
I am at a loss here as to what you must see every day that you turn on the news? Journalists afraid to ask the tough questions out of fear of being unpatriotic? That's all I hear is tough questions followed by a story with a negative spin on things. The roadmap to success as a journalist has already been printed and they all know what they need to do to get the anchor job thanks to Dan and others. It is in the best interest of a journalist to ask the tough questions because it has been proven by people like Dan Rather that asking tough questions and not fearing being seen as unpatriotic is a good way to get to the big desk. All I hear from journalists when a conservative is being questioned are "tough questions" usually with a spin on it to to make a statement at the same time. What journalist in their right mind is going to ask tough questions of liberals and risk being labeled as a homophobe or a bigot or anti-environmental? What journalist wants to be labeled as a lapdog for big business? What journalist wants to be perceived as a religious nutcase or sexist? None of them do. So naturally, you ask the tough accusatory questions to the Republicans who have already been successfully labeled as all of the above and you ask the fluff questions in an agreeable manner to the Democrats. The never ending cycle continues. Joe blow who can't tell you who Nancy Pelosi is or what Congress does gets his 10 second anti Republican anti war news clip or headline and he's on to the sports page. He likes this journalist because the journalist used a quote "another tax break for the rich", and Joe says to himself underneath his breath, "damn republicans, always doin for the rich", and all is well again. Good night America.
Posted by sideswiper (4 comments )
Link Flag
The story
OK. The Story.
A lie based on a lie told by a liar which then written by a liar and then "reported" by a liar - with much gusto, by the way. Face it, the vast unwashed is at least a little more informed now than 30 years ago. We tend to be more sceptical and don't trust anyone, including the ones who are supposed to be after the truth.
Posted by rwhitaker26 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.