The Truth about Connie and Dan

June 23rd, 2006 8:17 PM

There is much speculation about the synchronized flame-out of Connie Chung and Dan Rather. Melanie McFarland of the Seattle PI says: "Different as their career trajectories may have been for a time, Chung and Rather's respective undoing are, in the end, the same. They held on for too long."

That's almost right. They did stick around longer than much of the public was willing to accept. But that wasn't what destroyed them. SB at Media Orchard seems to take great offense at the article and claims that Rather was forced out by a hate campaign and Connie was forced out because she is getting old and "viewers don't like to watch older women read the news -- period." That's way off. Hate campaigns don't destroy people, ask Howard Stern. Katie Couric will be 50 soon and Diane Sawyer is over 60 so you can scratch that misogynistic tripe. Here's what really did in Dan and Connie: bias.

On January 25, 1988, Dan Rather attacked then Vice-President George HW Bush. The country saw the true colors of agenda driven "objective reporters." It didn't hurt Bush, he went on to be President, but it sure didn't help Rather. For a huge segment of society, that moment defines Dan Rather. As McFarland said, Dan held on for too long after that. He seems like a nice guy, and the colloquialisms make him seem like your demented uncle in an almost endearing way. But he became legend for his agenda driven stories, and it wasn't until he shamelessly demanded that obviously MS Word-produced documents were from the 70s that we all said enough is enough. That's it. We can't trust Dan as far as a frog can toss his pockets. Meanwhile, I don't know who doesn't think of Newt Gingrich's mom when they look at Connie Chung. That moment sealed her fate, never again would she be truly trusted with our news.

So let that be a lesson to journalists across the country. Maybe they know they are getting away with something and like-minded peers won't stop them. I'm willing to give journalists the benefit of the doubt that maybe they don't realize they're biased, but that's no excuse. Hopefully journalists, print and broadcast, will learn from Dan and Connie: if you want to be straight news reporters, leave your agenda at home or it will be the end of you... or your newspaper.