Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dan Rather takes his fellow reporters to the wood shed.

Courtesy of Rather's Facebook page:  

Donald Trump’s disdain, mockery, and antagonism of the press, whose freedoms are enshrined in the Bill of Rights and whose presence has provided ballast to our democracy since its inception, raises very serious questions about his fitness for the presidency of the United States. 

For a long while, these thoughts have been coursing through my veins with concern and disbelief, and yet my abiding loyalty to the notion of fair, accurate and unbiased journalism held me in check from saying it out loud – much as I suspect it has muzzled the true feelings of many of my colleagues. But we must remember that Donald Trump knows this and cynically plays the press corps’ deep desire for fairness to his undeserved benefit. The latest, barring the traveling press from covering an event and using them as ridicule in a speech, are but the most recent chapters in a novel full of outrageous acts. And this sentiment apparently extends to members of his own family as witnessed by his daughter Ivanka’s actions in an interview with Cosmo. 

I am well aware that I will be met with bile and venom for saying this, called a communist, a liberal in bed with Hillary Clinton, a washed-up joke. To quote Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, “frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Let others attack my motives. My conscience is clean. This is not about partisan politics, about who is right on immigration or gun control. This is about the very machinery that has allowed our American experiment to persist and thrive, a machinery which is far more fragile than we would like to believe. 

Trump’s relationship with the press is at the heart of so much that is troubling about his candidacy - the secrecy, the lack of transparency on something as normal as tax returns, the flaunting of the very rules by which we elect our leaders, the appeasement of hate groups. And his embrace of Roger Ailes and Breitbart, institutions who have polluted press freedoms, is a further dangerous sign of decay. And yet when presented with this challenge, too much of the press has been cowed into inaction. This is a man who can be fact-checked into obscurity by any second grader with an Internet connection. 

And yet when he issues a mealy-mouth non-apology about President Obama’s obvious pedigree as an American, here we are with too many in the press not acknowledging his years of lies (check your Twitter feeds about how the New York Times initially covered this event). All of this of course sets the stage for Trump to lie again about somehow birtherism being Clinton’s fault. 

I fear that this mindset will infect the debates. Trump is already setting the stage for that. If you are moderating and are not going to fact check him, you might as well just roll campaign speeches live - far too many of which have been shown on television without being subjected to journalistic context. If these debates will be debates in name only, another opportunity for Trump to flout fairness by spewing his venom and bullshine, I say cancel them. 

Enough is enough. It is a reality that every reporter must come to grips with. Trump is not a normal candidate. This is not a normal election. He will set a precedent that other demagogues will study and follow. Fear, combined with the lure of ratings, views, clicks and profits, have hypnotized too much of the press into inaction and false equivalency for far too long. I am optimistic the trance is being broken. Fear not the Internet trolls. Fear instead the judgement of history.

Very, very well put.

By the way if you are one of those who wants to dismiss Rather as a former journalist with a damaged reputation, you should take the time to watch the movie "Truth" and learn a little about the terrible injustice done to this man.

He is in fact a brave man and a national treasure and he should be treated as such.


  1. Anonymous8:47 AM

    I am so thankful that you posted this, Gryph, I almost cut and posted it in a thread yesterday. He is spot on, and I can't be the only one that thinks when Chris Wallace takes the helm in the 3rd debate that his father is rolling over in his grave.

    1. Anonymous10:00 PM

      He can join Tim Russert and they can spin together.

  2. Anonymous8:48 AM

    At times when I watch Chris giving his "fair and balanced" interviews I cannot help but wonder what Mike is thinking.

    Pat Padrnos

    1. Anonymous8:55 AM

      Like minds posting within a minute of each other, Pat!

    2. Anonymous10:04 AM

      I don't always check the comments before I make mine - but I should. You are right. Great minds think alike!!

      Pat Padrnos

    3. Anonymous10:52 AM

      Mike Wallace did an interview with Maria Callas circa 1970? in which he got insulting with her concerning Callas's choice to distance herself from her awful mother and sister(failed blackmail attempt). Not fair and balanced. However, that's probably The Only Example of Mr Wallace conducting a hit piece.

    4. Anonymous2:11 PM

      Ours appeared at the same time, Pat!
      All good!

  3. Thanks for posting this. Dan Rather is one brave and erudite man. He IS a national treasure and I am glad to know about the movie Truth.
    Will seek it out TODAY!

    1. Theresa. New York9:56 AM

      Ditto. I reserved it at the library today.
      Bernstein (can't remember his first name) was on CNN this morning. He said that network and cable news have been grossly unfair to Clinton. They focus on Trump's outrageous comment of the day instead of seriously reporting on his background. He suggested that network and cable news should program one to two hours PER NIGHT on Trump and his sordid history.
      His interview is well worth watching. If I knew how to do links, I'd do so.

  4. Anonymous9:22 AM

    GARY 2016

    Why wouldn't kids end up bullies with the news, the rags,and social media being glutted with bullying & cynical gossip?

  5. Anonymous9:38 AM

    I so admire Dan Rather for coming out with this statement. He is spot on and I hope more of our press/media and cable networks pay attention to his words and actually do their jobs! It is way past time they stop promoting Donald Trump in giving him free, positive press!

    Trump is a pox upon our nation and needs to be stopped in his tracks!

    Hillary Clinton is our only sane choice. Vote wisely, Americans!

    And, thank you again, Dan Rather!

  6. Anonymous9:41 AM

    Dan Rather lost his job due to pressure from Karl Rove, after he tried to get to the truth about Dubya's military "service" He should have had the backing of the network, after the many, many years of honest reporting. Instead, they bowed to the gop machine. Rove has ruined many, many lives and I for one hope he rots in hell.

    1. Dan Rather was BUSH-whacked.

    2. Anonymous10:55 AM

      Dan Rather should never have lost his job over his staffer's gaffe. Plenty of members of today's media do far worse than that and still get paid the big bucks.

    3. Anonymous1:58 PM

      He wasn't the only one.

      The Right has been eroding the media for decades. They have bought up networks and sources and they've slowly replaced journalists with celebrities.

      Anyone that was a threat they couldn't get rid of, they found a way to eliminate by other means, such as the ruining of many careers.

      Brian Williams. Keith Olbermann.

      How many that exposed the truth and representing the public's right to know everything are gone? How many shows that used to be a means of transparency have now become an outlet to talking points. Yeah, I'm talking to YOU "Meet the Press".

      If politicians aren't quaking in their boots to appear on a show, then that show isn't doing it's job.

      It's a sad day when Donald Trump is more afraid of going on a late night talk show than a news show. And is more afraid of Michael Moore than a news journalist.

  7. WA Skeptic9:54 AM

    Sadly, most reporters nowadays are simply "transmitters", not journalists. Their bosses (the owners of the media outlets) are not interested in the Fifth Estate, but only what is good for them financially.

    We must all do more research on our own time for the truth; not just our favorite online news, but go off-shore. Read news from all over the world. It is slanted, just as is ours, towards the power brokers, but it is possible to "pick the pepper out of the fly shit" as my daddy used to say.

    It is on us to put Ms Clinton where she belongs.

    1. Anonymous10:49 AM

      You are so right, WA Skeptic! Going 'off shore" to get your news is excellent advice.

      The cable networks (MSNBC and CNN) are not to be trusted! They are the main outlets that have built up/promoted - and provided free coverage for - Trump as POTUS!

      And, all the while constantly badmouthing Hillary Clinton!

      Hillary Clinton IS our ONLY choice. We all need to vote wisely in November, Americans!

    2. Anonymous12:26 PM

      Republicans own MSNBC and CNN so of course you can't trust them.

  8. abbafan10:08 AM

    Mr. Rather is a well-spoken, old-school journalist who learned from the best, Walter Cronkite. As a matter of fact, I purchased a copy of "Truth" on E-Bay; I am looking forward to seeing it!

    It is quite despicable how dark forces behind the scenes conspired against Mr. Rather, and his producer, and were successful in sullying their respective careers! After reading Russ Baker's "Family of Secrets", it shows how money and privilege help conceal and fabricate history.

    Mr. Rather and his colleagues did prove that republicans are not to be trusted! To my southern neighbours, I implore you to do the right thing on November 8 - get out and vote! Keep trump and his ilk away from the White House! Your country's future is in your hands!!

  9. Anonymous10:09 AM

    I've always loved Dan Rather. He IS a national treasure! And may his words shame some of those wannabe journalists into doing their job!

  10. Anonymous10:10 AM

    Fact check said it was Clinton supporters in 2007 who first brought up the accusation that Obama might have been born out of the USA, but the Clinton camp (at the time) said they had nothing to do with it.
    Yet, the Clinton camp would have us believe Sander's supporters were responsible for the violence during the primaries, even though Sander's himself told his supporters and the whole country that he did not condone violence and anyone creating violence on his behalf was no supporter of his.
    Again the Clinton camp wants it both ways.
    This is how most of these falsehoods get started, but the candidate always claims it was not on their behalf. Hogwash.
    And as I have pointed (proven) out before these Clinton supporters are hate filled in their support of Clinton. They attack with hate. They attack Trump with hate, and they attack anyone who questions Clinton with hate. I've stated clearly I would vote for Clinton, yet, if I question anything Clinton says, I'm attacked with hate by hate filled Clinton supporters. At least Trump is up front about his hate, but Clinton is a back stabbing, lying hater, which is worse.
    I remember the Clinton supporters accusation about Obama not being a legal citizen. I brushed it off as more lying, hate filled garbage by the Clinton camp. But as you can see those lies from the Clinton supporters created another new level of hate and racism.
    Birthers are racists. That ugly idea started with Clinton supporters. Clinton supporters spreading hate, is nothing new.
    If we had a decent press who were seeking the truth, these kind of provable lies could be stopped before they turned into believable hate.

    1. Anonymous10:18 AM

      Idiot. It has been debunked again and again, birtherism did NOT start with Clinton. Even if it did, the right wing has been running with it for eight years. You don't have memories of the Clinton supporters touting birtherism because it NEVER HAPPENED!!! Not sure what you get out of lying anonymously on a liberal blog. Get a goddamn life!

    2. Anonymous10:30 AM

      Links, please? And why don't you stick with political sites that hate Hillary? You're not going to make anyone here believe your sorry ranting.

    3. Anonymous10:40 AM

      Boy oh boy!

      You are correct in that Clinton folks don't respect or like Trump and visa versa.

      The game of politics will play on (and probably get worse!) until November and I can hardly wait to see the election completed.

      Especially love the fact President Obama was elected twice even though Republicans threw out all that hogwash about him!

      He has done an outstanding job and is liked and respected (by the majority) throughout our country and world. It's also great he has such a high approval rating in the USA!

      I also feel that Hillary Clinton will do an outstanding job as our next POTUS!

    4. Anonymous11:21 AM

      Idiot anon. 10:18
      It was never debunked only denied. Why don't you check before making yourself look stupid. Blumenthal was the one who made the birther accusation to a newspaper editor. Google it idiot, or Fact Check mit idiot.

    5. Anonymous11:23 AM

      Thanks for the name calling hate attack and proving my point.

    6. Anonymous11:28 AM

      11:21, IT WAS DEBUNKED!

    7. Anonymous 10:10 AM wrote: Fact check said it was Clinton supporters in 2007 who first brought up the accusation that Obama might have been born out of the USA …

      That's nice. Logic note: "Clinton supporters" is not the same as "the Clinton campaign".

      A Trump campaign statement dated 2016-09-15 says in part:
      In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.

      Neither in this excerpt nor elsewhere in the statement does Trump offer any explanation of why, having allegedly "brought closure to the issue" in 2011, he has kept the issue alive from then until now. There is no mention of his having recently obtained additional information that has finally convinced him. According to his statement, the release of the birth certificate in 2011 was the last piece of evidence needed. Yet he kept expressing doubt for another five years. Why?

    8. Anonymous12:13 PM

      As Joe Biden would say, what a bunch of malarkey!

    9. Anonymous12:15 PM

      "That's nice. Logic note: "Clinton supporters" is not the same as "the Clinton campaign"."

      I addressed that in my post, but I guess you can't read.

      It was S. Blumenthal (a paid Clinton camp member) who made the birther accusation to Mr. Asher, a newspaper editor, in 2008.

      Twitter exchange from last Friday:

      Hillary Clinton
      President Obama’s successor cannot and will not be the man who led the racist birther movement. Period.

      James Asher
      @HillaryClinton So why did your man #sidblumenthal spread the #obama birther rumor to me in 2008, asking us to investigate? Remember?

      Clinton supporters caught in another lie and thanks for proving it.

    10. Anonymous12:18 PM

      And where was the so called great dan Rather then? Why didn't he track down Blumenthal and ask him about his birther accusation in 2008? Maybe because he's a shill for Clinton.

    11. Anonymous12:38 PM

      11:21am, don't tell others to do their homework when you clearly have not done yours.

    12. Anonymous1:07 PM

      There will always be stupid, angry and nasty people supporting candidates on both sides of the aisle. There is also an enormous difference in how the campaigns respond to those people.

      The Clinton campaign does not acknowledge nor encourage ugly behavior from its supporters. There were undoubtedly Clinton supporters in 2008 who believed and promoted the claim that President Obama was born in Kenya. The campaign, however, did not.

      On the other side of the aisle, the Trump campaign has openly and enthusiastically encouraged the violence and vitriol coming from its supporters. Trump himself has encouraged people to physically attack protesters at his rallies and even promised to pay their legal fees if they are arrested.

      A candidate cannot control what every one of its supporters does or says. They can, however, choose to rise above and discourage vile behavior OR demonstrate that vile behavior themselves.

    13. Anonymous1:19 PM

      Clinton couldn't control Sid Blumenthal? BS

    14. Anonymous 12:15 PM wrote: I addressed that in my post …

      Not really. Your repeated use of hate … hate … hate throughout your comment was enough of a turnoff that I had/have no strong interest in correcting your misapprehensions.

    15. Anonymous2:36 PM

      Hate was the first response I got here and I won't converse with an idiot who cannot read.

    16. Anonymous4:42 PM

      Trump is trying to rewrite his history of birtherism. This is what really happened.

  11. Anonymous10:11 AM


    NY Post
    Black voters are turning from Clinton to Trump in new poll

    Donald Trump is gaining support among African-American voters — whose enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is eroding, a tracking poll released Saturday revealed.

    Trump saw a 16.5 percentage-point increase in backing from African-American voters in a Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California tracking poll, up from 3.1 percent on Sept. 10 to 19.6 percent through Friday.

    Meanwhile, the same poll showed Clinton’s support among that group plummeting from 90.4 percent on Sept. 10 to 71.4 percent....

    1. Anonymous11:04 AM

      nahh, not buying it. And don't you either.

      Don't Panic.

    2. Anonymous11:09 AM

      Am I the only one that doesn't believe this post of 10:11 AM?

      I think Hillary Clinton will clean Trump's clock in the November election.

      Remember how 'they' kept saying that Romney was ahead of President Obama in the polls and then President Obama beat him in a landslide?

      It will occur again! Vote for Hillary Clinton!

    3. Anonymous11:30 AM

      Consider the source. Plus, it's fine if Trump's A A support increases. It could actually go from 0% to 5% and I certainly wouldn't worry about it. But once the polls start reflecting Trump's disgusting and vile birther "concession" speech, any support he was earning will have disappeared.

    4. Anonymous10:27 PM

      This is how Bush won.

      The media reported that he won. Didn't matter that the votes weren't counted.

      They reported that according to polls he won.

      They manipulate the public with polls.

      They can convince people to vote for Trump by saying he is ahead or that he is gaining. There are always going to be joiners that want to be with "the group". Tell them that Trump is gaining or that Trump is going to win and they'll vote for him.

      It can all be lies but it will manipulate people.

      It won't take long after reporting that Hillary's numbers are falling until her numbers really do start to fall.

      The problem is that being Hillary, a woman and a Democrat she is going to have to win by over 60% to make sure the Republicans can't manipulate it into a loss for her. It has to be a really large margin.

      Last I looked, she was at 61%. Normally that is a safe lead. In this case, it's not.

      Popular vote is 46.7% Clinton to 44.3% for Trump.
      290.8 electoral votes for Clinton and 246.9 for Trump.

      But if Nevada and Colorado flip for Trump, she loses. New Hampshire is iffy too.

      The media reports Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire have flipped to Trump and people in that state say OK and then vote for Trump and then those states have flipped.

      It's sorta like wish-fulfillment. In a really bad way.

  12. Anonymous10:15 AM


    A Big Red Flag Is Raised As Trump’s VP Sees Dick Cheney as His Role Model

    You’ve been warned, America.

    Donald Trump’s Vice Presidential pick Governor Mike Pence told ABC’s This Week he holds former Republican VP Dick Cheney “in really high regard in his role as vice president” and like Cheney, he aspires to be “a very active vice president.”

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney is widely regarded as the architect of the Iraq War.

    More at

  13. Anonymous10:23 AM

    "But we must remember that Donald Trump knows this and cynically plays the press corps’ deep desire for fairness to his undeserved benefit."

    That 'deep desire for fairness' thing kind of stopped me cold. But I thank Rather for a call to action to stop the alien Trump.

    1. Anonymous1:06 PM

      "deep desire for fairness" has not been part of the press corps for years.

  14. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Rather is so right with this. It is like the press is sleepwalking and letting Trump lead them around by the nose! What has happened to investigative journalism? Most of them should hang their heads in shame. To give so much credence to a demagogue is beyond me.

  15. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Good for Dan, however I have very little faith in anything changing.

  16. Anonymous12:25 PM

    I hope Rachel Maddow has him on again this week. He needs to be on TV.

    Yesterday IMers were saying that Bill Maher let Kellyann Conway go on and on and he didn't hit her hard enough. HuffPo seemed to think otherwise. I haven't watched yet so don't know. But I will say that Chuck Todd let her run amok on Meet the Press this morning. It was disgusting how he didn't follow up enough and call her on her fabrications.

  17. Crystal Sage12:52 PM

    Rather was "set up" on the Dubya story which was true, I believe. Also lost in the shuffle was a woman who was set to come forward with the story of the abortion she had when she was impregnated by Dubya. She backed down and disappeared back in 2000. Dubya was a complete fuck-up: druggie and drunk; blew every opportunity he was handed including the presidency. Was totally controlled by Cheney and the Haliburton people. War in Iraq was planned long before the actual invasion.

  18. Anonymous1:31 PM

    This election has proven to be the Perfect Storm that has turned traditional presidential campaign coverage on its head.

    First, you have the 24-hour news cycle and all the major media outlets being controlled by a handful of corporations. Their primary goal is not to provide the public with the clear and accurate truth, but to make as much money as they can. Controversy sells so much better than in-depth investigative journalism ever will. People want their news fast and splashy. Networks, newspapers, and media websites vie for the most eye-catching headlines and stories to grab the viewers who will increase their ad revenue. Profit is the bottom line, not the quest for truth.

    Add to that the first presidential candidate who is more snake oil salesman than statesman. In the long history of our country, we have NEVER had a major national candidate who comes from the sleazy world of reality television and displays the most flagrant manifestations of narcissism and megalomania. Early coverage of the campaign devoted an overwhelming amount of time promoting Trump because it was entertaining. Now that their Frankenstein's monster has become the official GOP candidate, they seem shocked at what their lack of journalistic integrity has produced.

    For years I was convinced that the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court was the most dangerous influence on our political system. Now I believe it is the outrageous failure of our media to do their REAL jobs that may permit the most dangerous candidate in history to win the White House.

  19. Anonymous1:48 PM

    If the press corps were "fair" they would call him on every lie and stop giving his exposure and passes while at the same time ripping Clinton down. We've seen the research.

    What the press corps needs to do is be "fair" to the American people and report to us what we need to know. That means exposing every Trump lie, stop reporting his mealy mouthed excuses and 180s for what they are.

    If they want to be fair they need to give the American people a true picture of both candidates and they need to fact check the hell out of them. Call a lie a lie immediately as it is spewed out of his gaping maw.

    They need to stop being easy on Trump and hard on Hillary. And we know they are.

    And enough with the free publicity. Why is Trump all over the news and we only see Hillary when she stumbles off a curb?

    Fair? Maybe they should start *being* FAIR.

    So far they have been nothing but Trump stooges.

  20. Anonymous2:53 PM

    The reporter that optains a photo of rove, chaney and rum celebrating trump might be fun.

  21. Anonymous3:07 PM

    Every once in awhile I turn to fox to check out what is being fed to the "deplorables". "Fox Nation" does not report at all. That channel is odd creepy. The FCC should be looking into that network. It is a sick nasty pathetic example of network. They do not report news. They lie lie lie. The women are cows sitting their waiting to be abused in their spikes. They sound lame and it shows.

  22. WA Skeptic7:42 PM

    Actually, Faux News was deposed in a court proceeding as NOT being a news organization but an entertainment entity. So all they have to do is keep the "uneducated voters" uneducated and they've fulfilled their stated objectives.

  23. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Thank you Dan Rather for having the courage to speak up. We need more Americans like you

  24. Anonymous1:18 AM

    "The media is also well aware that Donald Trump swindled the Republican National Committee into paying about a million dollars for two parties attended by the Donald’s wealthy country club buddies. Parties that experts say should have cost, at most, about $45,000 instead of a million that went directly into Trump’s pocket because the parties were held at his Mar-a-Lago resort.


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