Tags: Not | Biased? | Dan | Rather | His | Own | Words

Not Biased? Dan Rather, In His Own Words

Wednesday, 09 March 2005 12:00 AM

"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.

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 (‘political lightning'), praised the impeached Bill Clinton (an ‘honest man'), attempted to ambush the first President George Bush over Iran-contra (‘you've made us hypocrites in the face of the world'), and demonized the Gingrich Revolution (as an attempt to ‘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:

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:

And, as Bernard Goldberg might say, he probably doesn't know anyone who does. More's the pity.

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"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...
Not,Biased?,Dan,Rather,,His,Own,Words
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2005-00-09
Wednesday, 09 March 2005 12:00 AM
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