Dan Rather, Still in Denial: I Was Asked to Leave CBS for Telling 'Uncomfortable Truth' About Bush

We're headed toward seven years since Dan Rather disgraced himself by running a story based on phony Texas Air National Guard documents to ruin George W. Bush on behalf of that "war hero" John Kerry. Despite the liberal media's acknowledgment that Rather misled the public, he has relentlessly presented himself as a pillar of truth and probity.

Rather spoke on Tuesday night at the Newseum in Washington, DC to questions from Nick (Father of George) Clooney. Katy Adams and Nikki Schwab of the Washington Examiner's Yeas & Nays column reported Rather thinks he's the teller of uncomfortable truths, and the people objecting to phony documents are somehow the falsifiers and fantasists:

Clooney did take on the elephant in the room, though — Rather’s resignation from CBS News in 2005 for using bogus documents in a story about former President George W. Bush’s National Guard service. “We reported a story that was true, that was an uncomfortable truth for a lot of people,” Rather said. “As a result to that I was asked to leave the anchor chair, and eventually CBS News.”

While the Examiner offered credit to Clooney, it should be noted that Clooney and the folks who run the Newseum are undercutting their own reputations for media ethics and credibility by honoring Rather with this kind of invitation. Every institution that invites Rather to speak as if he were a TV legend instead of an older, whiter version of Jayson Blair brings discredit on themselves.

The Examiner gossips were asking him who he watches on TV (a tricky question full of potential for dissing colleagues), but he wouldn't do that. He even refrained from whacking Fox News:

“Well my answer is not one that will please you,” he said. “I like almost everybody on TV. I think the quality of the work, particularly the on-air talent, is quite good,” he said.

He even paid a compliment to the Fox News Channel. “Give Fox News credit, which a lot of people don’t want to do for various reasons, that they program quite well in the prime time period and they reap the benefits of that.” Do you like Fox News? “I like them all.”

Also: Fishbowl DC reported Rather said at the same event that news is a "crude art form." It's especially crude as he and Mary Mapes fashioned it.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis