Disgraced Dan Rather: Matthews, Olbermann Do Not Provide 'Valuable Service' to Journalism

Leigh Giangreco of The Eagle, the student newspaper at American University in DC, reported that disgraced former CBS news anchor Dan Rather spoke to students on Monday and claimed "The increasingly biased media will threaten the U.S." since "independence" of Rather's self-admiring sort is in short supply. Who keeps letting Rather "inspire" journalism students? It's like inviting Bernie Madoff to talk to business majors.

“A free and independent press is the red beating heart of democracy and freedom,” he said. No one seemed to ask how it's the "heart of democracy" to smear a president with false National Guard documents. But Rather even slammed colleagues: "Rather believes today’s correspondents give more lip service and less facts to support their stories, saying commentators like Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews do not perform valuable services and present rhetoric as truth." There was no direct quote (and it wasn't in the video attached).

Naturally, Rather felt CBS went about "sleazing up" his newscast after he left. As if he hadn't "sleazed it" enough with his own journalistic malpractice:

After Rather left CBS News, he believes CBS Chief Executive Les Moonves tried “sleazing up” the program and ratings plummeted as a result.

“We can’t let journalism sacrifice itself on the altar of entertainment,” Rather said.

Rather also encouraged students to become good writers, and lamented that if you're a good journalist, someone will try to "bring you down," as if Dan Rather wasn't trying to bring down President Bush in 2004:

“If you’re going to be a journalist worthy of the name, you’d better take the attitude ‘if you’re looking for a friend, then get a dog.’ Because if you do this job the way you’re supposed to do it, there’s always going to be someone trying to bring you down and they’ll bring you down,” he said. “But if you have a passion for doing, if you burn with a white, hot flame for doing it, that doesn’t matter as much as what you see as your mission in life which is getting to as close to the truth as you can.”

Dan Rather wouldn't know The Truth if it drove up to the Zesto stand in Huntville, Texas where he used to work and asked for a chocolate malted.

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