Tuesday, March 13, 2007

DAN RATHER IS STILL WITH US

I don't know what motivated Dan Rather to report the TANG-BUSH story back in late 2004. Only Rather knows the real reason. It could've been a deep hatred for the Bush family or possibly he was looking for a career-capping, blockbuster story. Or both. Whatever the reason, he destroyed himself and damaged CBS News to the extent that it (CBS) will never recover. As far as journalism standards go, this was a train wreck.

Recently, Rather was giving a speech about the state of news gathering and those who report to us through the various media outlets. It's an understatement to say that Rather is the wrong man to be passing judgement on the media but I will give him credit for being correct in his assessment:

"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.

Rather then 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.

What Rather did with the TANG story so close to a presidential election is unforgivable, and he certainly deserved what he got as a result of reporting the story. I will, however, give him credit for what he had to say about today's journalists. See, bloggers aren't such bad people.

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