CBS EVENING NEWS With Dan Rather Reporting

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by philosophy, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. philosophy

    philosophy New Member

    The CBS EVENING NEWS has long had a tradition of asking tough questions and doing investigative journalism. However, one often wonders how it was that Dan Rather from CBS EVENING NEWS would allow himself to let a story air about documents that came into question? One has to admit that Dan Rather seems to be very genuine in terms of regretting the error to put the story on without authenticating the documents into question of George W. Bush's Air National Guard Service.

    Do you think it was political? What do you think this does to CBS EVENING NEWS, and to the future of the 72 year-old- Dan Rather? Your thoughts are appreciated.

    Hopefully, journalists will have learned from this mistake in judgement, and avoid problems such as this with the CBS EVENING NEWS.
  2. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    I have never liked Dan Rather. As stated in another thread, he seems arrogant and pompus on air (just my opinion). They forced Walter Cronkite out when he was 65, I am very surprised that they haven't started to push out Dan. He is 72 and past his prime. My favorite anchor, Tom Brokaw, is retiring after the general election - at a young age of 67 (I believe he is the youngest of the big 3).

    Problem with CBS is that they do not have an heir apparent for Rather. Dan blew is bigtime with this story. Even though I have no doubt that GW was given special treatment (also only my opinion), to air a lie is unacceptable no matter what the reason. I hope Rather was man enough to call the President himself to offer an apology.
  3. philosophy

    philosophy New Member


    You raise some good points. Actually, I like World News Tonight (ABC) with Peter Jennings. He does a really good job. Not sure about the age thing, but do know that Rather is 73. Tom Brokaw is not that bad, but I think Brian Williams is really going to be good replacement. CBS EVENING NEWS has always had a good reputation with programs like "60 Minutes." However, Dan Rather and CBS News really hurt there credibility with this story.

    Besides, the other previous questions, do you think Dan Rather's apology was sincere and genuine? I personally think it was. He really regrets the error.
    CBS EVENING NEWS with Dan Rather.
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Re: reply

    I think he only regrets getting caught.

    He vehemently defended the documents & the mystery source until just recently. He even made a statement that an apology "wasn't even discussed", or words to that effect.

    This scandal is just beginning, and I have a strong feeling that the evidentiary trail will lead right back to Kerry's campaign.
  5. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    "I am not a crook." Plus ca change...
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The ground-shaking that residents of Yorba Linda, CA have felt for the last few days are not earthquakes.

    It's just Richard Nixon laughing in his grave. :D
  7. philosophy

    philosophy New Member

    good point.

    CBS EVENING NEWS with Dan Rather.
  8. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that goes to the whole media-bias thing.

    I doubt that CBS set out to distort the news or to knowingly lie. Instead, they told it as they believed it to be. Unfortunately, they are heavily weighted towards Manhattan liberal Democrats who instinctively don't like Bush and who, deep down, can't imagine how an intelligent person would ever vote Republican. When they evaluate news stories and sources, they evaluate them from the perspective of what is, to them at least, common sense.

    So they are probably predisposed to believe the worst about Bush, because it simply verifies what they already personally believe to be true. Dan Rather has almost said as much in the course of his protestations.

    Unfortunately for them, this kind of attitude can lead them to be not only biased in what they present as news, but seriously uncritical in evaluating the veracity of documents that appear to verify all of their preconceptions.

    It's not dissimilar to the conservatives believing every new bimbo-allegation made against Bill Clinton, or imaginative stories about the "murder" of Vince Foster, because they reinforced the conservatives' image of what Clinton really was. But that stuff was generally restricted to border-line alternative media like Free Republic. In this case the news isn't that people are slamming Bush (that's simply to be expected), it's that CBS, a bastion of mainstream "responsible" journalism, joined the slamming and got caught red-handed using phony documents.

    Yes and no. He's a very strange mixture of contrition and defiance. He stone-walled as long as he could, then he told us that he was sorry while continuing to insist that the real story is still essentially as CBS had told it.

    Sure, Rather's sorry all right. He's sorry that his long and distinguished journalistic career will likely end this way. He's sorry that the reputation of the network he truly loves has been damaged.

    Of course. The question now is whether it was conscious, perhaps even coordinated with the Kerry campaign, or whether it was more unconscious, as I suggested above.

    It's no secret that the Democrats have their "Operation Fortunate Son" and have been asking friendly journalists to investigate Bush's Guard service. It's no secret that CBS and the Democrats are very tight, share information and coordinate. It's no secret that the Democrats have been talking to the people that CBS has been interviewing.

    But I don't think that the Democrats planted this phony document. That would be too dangerous. It would be suicidal if exposed. And frankly, the Democrats aren't really evil people. They really believe this stuff about Bush and they want the truth to come out. I think that they hoped that real documents would surface, if any existed, and they were beating the bushes for them with all their might, leaning on all their journalistic and media friends.

    That, along with the networks' own desire to scoop their competitors, created a massive hunger that loose cannons with personal grudges could (an apparently did) exploit with phony information of their own.

    I really would like to know where Bill Burkett got the documents, though. Did he create them or is he just a cut-out to shield the real source?

    Rather's gone. But he probably would have been sooner or later anyway, because of his age. CBS doesn't want to be a senior citizen's network with geriatric newsreaders.

    I guess the question is whether he finishes his current contract or resigns. (He won't be re-upped.) That's probably a function of whether contrition or defiance get the upper hand in the CBS offices. I expect to see him gone soon.

    As to CBS itself, that's more interesting.

    American news media are going through big changes. The number of outlets has multiplied since the advent of cable news. News outlets are becoming more explicitly partisan. And the internet is only going to multiply that tendency to infinity.

    In the past, everyone in America watched the same three networks. Whatever we think of that, at least it kept everyone on the same page. Everyone kind of conceptualized events in the same terms. Those who didn't were cranks, almost by definition.

    To use a Degreeinfo analogy: The networks, and their assumed professional journalistic standards, served as our news-accreditors. If it appeared on ABC, NBC or CBS, the news had been checked out, verified and was RA.

    Today we have an uncountably diverse collection of media. People don't all get their news from the same sources. In fact, people are gravitating to sources that fit their own presuppositions. The left patronize left media outlets, the right patronize right outlets. There are Christian outlets, socialist outlets, environmentalist outlets, libertarian outlets...

    Fewer and fewer of us are on the same page any longer. In a sense, we are all becoming a nation of cranks.

    It's as if the regional accreditors closed up shop and all that we were left with was an infinite variety of state-approvals, Caribbean islands and African endorsements.

    That's why this CBS thing hurts. It's kind of like having to face the reality of an RA degree-mill. It's the erosion of one of the last bastions of the old journalistic way.

    That, BTW, is probably why the networks have kept the older news-readers. They want to say to America: "We still do it the old way".
  9. philosophy

    philosophy New Member


    Thanks for your input. I thought your post was very well written and articulate.

    What do others of you think?

    CBS EVENING NEWS with Dan Rather.
  10. mrw142

    mrw142 New Member

    Re: Re: CBS EVENING NEWS With Dan Rather Reporting

    Bill Dayson:

    That's a whale of an interesting take on it--I hate to admit it given our volatile history on this forum :D but I think you're dead right. As much as I resent what I perceive to be the bias of the big 3, I miss the old days when they "accredited" our news, and I think that the fragmentation of our media, the fact that there's a market for so many different outlets and sources, is a sad sign of the balkanizition of our society--I fear for the future, if we're all pulling in different directions, on different pages as you put it, what's to stop some charismatic leader--a la Hitler--from exploiting it? Divide and conquer--makes you shudder.
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Growing up my household was Huntley-Brinkley. After they split (or Huntley died or somethingl like that) we became a Cronkite household.

    Personally, however, I always like Howard K. Smith.
  12. I disagree - John Roberts is the heir.

    The grooming over the past 10 years is fairly obvious, from affiliate to network AM news, to correspondent to weekend anchor and Senior White House correspondent. On NY news radio it's been widely mentioned that he's Rather's heir.

    I find it slightly amusing, as my initial knowledge of John was when he was "JD Roberts", one of the VJs for Canada's MuchMusic (the MTV equivalent) in the 80's - he's made a big transition from longish hair and leather jackets! Take a look at his picture from way back...

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2004

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