Although one would think the disgraced former CBS Evening News anchor fired for presenting forged documents about President George W. Bush months before the 2004 elections was kidding given the venue being Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Rather was actually serious
JON STEWART, HOST: This idea of liberal bias and the idea, you know, in your experience, haven’t most journalists, haven’t their politics been somewhat more liberal?
DAN RATHER: No, it hasn’t been my experience.
STEWART: Oh, that hasn’t been your experience?
RATHER: It has not been my experience. Most journalists I grew up with, most journalists I’ve worked with and practiced with were trying to be honest brokers of information. Now, what sometimes got you a reputation you’re liberal, journalists generally form an apprenticeship covering the police beat at midnight, after midnight, it was Saturday night, the charity hospital. Journalists, the best of them, do see a Dickensian side of society that most people don’t see. So when they try to call attention to that, people who don’t like it say, “Oh, you’re liberal.” It has not been my experience.
I know that it’s widely believed that CBS, NBC, ABC chock full of liberals. Not true. What its chock full of is people who wanted to give honest news, straightforward news, and voted both ways in many elections. I’m not saying that nobody in the newsroom was liberal any more than I would say nobody was conservative. Frequently what happened people who were described as conservatives want to say, “I work at CBS News, and you know, almost everybody there was liberal.” What they really mean is not everybody there agreed with them all the time. This is a sham. It’s a camouflage for wanting…
This, coming from a man who thinks it’s ethical and legitimate to use forged documents a week before a presidential election in order to alter the outcome. He’s still trying to restore his reputation — a reputation that had been sullied long before his self-inflicted shotgun wound known as Memo-gate.
The only real Sham was the one pulled on the public for decades by network news bureaus that monopolized information, determining what we would and would not see/hear. Now that we have multiple accesses to information, we can appreciate just how powerful these network anchors were. The repeated whatever the NY Times printed that morning.
Rather is angry because he’s not universally hailed as a great journalist. And now that we’ve learned more about Cronkite, we’ve come to realize that neither was he. Rather and the whole legacy of CBS News is in the toilet, but Rather keeps pining for the Good Old’ Days and denigrating the new media, like an ex-monarch pontificating from exile.
With one exception, every liberal I have ever known has been firmly convinced that they occupy the reasonable, moderate center. Everyone even slightly conservative, or even less liberal, is part of the radical Right. It makes honest debate difficult, even with someone who is willing to discuss things quietly. The basic assumption skews the results badly.
One problem is that news channels, and news segments on other channels, are struggling and competing for viewer numbers. So news “shows” become creative, imaginative, opinionated, and political. The result is that the “facts” become secondary to attracting viewers, and the news “anchors” are heII-bent on becoming superstars! Dan, you are trying to present yourself as an old, wise, seasoned, always truthful Journalist. Bull! You were right there fat-catting it with the other news anchors! Now the spot light is not on you. You’re not getting the big bucks anymore, and you want your “star-power” back. Forget it Dan! You step all over your crank! You’re history!