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Wrong From The Beginning (Even In 1963, Dan Rather Was A Poor Excuse For A Newsman.)
The Weekly Standard ^ | March 5, 2005 | Philip Chalk

Posted on 03/05/2005 6:31:05 AM PST by MisterRepublican

When CBS announced that it will smile through the pain of Dan Rather's dying credibility with an hour-long retirement tribute in early March, the network released an image of a young Rather posing in front of the Texas School Book Depository, looking gravely into the distance. While a little nostalgia was understandable--what, no photo of Rather huddled over a fax machine last October?--CBS still managed to remind those who knew the anchor during his salad days in Texas how tendentious and unprincipled he was even then.

Eddie Barker, for one, remembers. The news director for CBS's radio and TV affiliates in Dallas at the time of President Kennedy's November 22, 1963, assassination, Barker is widely credited with first reporting on the air that the president was dead, having received word through a doctor acquaintance directly from the hospital ER. Rather, then based in Dallas as a reporter for CBS's national news broadcast and working out of Barker's newsroom, later took credit for the scoop, Barker says. The error is repeated in historical accounts often enough to annoy the now-retired Barker, though he says the falsehood was later acknowledged by Rather.

It was a different lie--one delivered on national news, and at the expense of children--that caused Rather trouble at the time. As reporters from around the world descended on the Texas city, Rather went on the air with a local Methodist minister who made a stunning claim: Children at Dallas's University Park Elementary School had cheered when told of the president's death.

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: 1963; cbsnews; dallas; jfkassassination; rat; rather

1 posted on 03/05/2005 6:31:06 AM PST by MisterRepublican
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To: MisterRepublican

Actually, children did cheer at the announcement. I was 12 at the time and our principle called all the students at our school to the auditorium to make the announcement. Quite a few of the children cheered the news. It's one of those things you never forget, like where you were and what you were doing on 9-11.


2 posted on 03/05/2005 6:36:17 AM PST by Arkie2
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To: Arkie2

I was in Colorado at the time, and no one cheered, not even JFK's enemies (and he had a lot in CO in those days). Everyone realized the gravity of the murder of a sitting president, regardless of party affiliation.


3 posted on 03/05/2005 6:38:49 AM PST by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: Arkie2

Many people don't realize that a large group of Americans thought that Kennedy was a war-mongering, loose cannon who was goading the Commies into starting a nuclear war; or, at least, so inept that war would result from his actions. What is said about President Bush was said about him.


4 posted on 03/05/2005 6:40:16 AM PST by Socratic (Ignorant and free? It's not to be. - T. Jefferson (paraphrase))
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To: MisterRepublican

Rather sure has been a POS for a long time.


5 posted on 03/05/2005 6:43:34 AM PST by demlosers
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To: MisterRepublican

My disdain for Rather began in 1972 at the Democratic Convention.

At the 1972 Dem Convention, cub floor reporter Rather was continually racing between the mic/camera and the Edward Kennedy camp. Lil ole Dan was trying to hard to be the one to break the story that Kennedy had decided to go for the nomination. The pitter-patter of lil ole Dan's feet, and the smell of burning shoe lather, and the smoke rising from his buring shoes didn't daunt him in his ever-ending task. Back and forth between Kennedy camp and cameras. But always the same tale of woe from the nearly breathless Danny: 'Not just yet. They are close. His people have about convinced him. He should be ready to announce just any moment,' [ sthuuuuummmmm pitter-patter pitter-patter .....sound of pitter-patter fading rapidly into the distance as lil ole Dan scampered back to the Kennedy camp.]

But the announcement never came, cub floor reporter Dan missed his big one.

[I got so sick of watching him run back and fourth until McGovern (IIRC) locked up the nom. Rather was so deflated. Even years later when he became CBS anchor, I never watched the former lil ole cub floor reporter who didn't get his big one at the 1972 Convention. I got the impression watching that 1972 Convention/Rather that he was trying hard to 'make' news happen, not just report it.]


6 posted on 03/05/2005 6:43:39 AM PST by TomGuy (America: Best friend or worst enemy. Choose wisely.)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Socratic
Many people don't realize that a large group of Americans thought that Kennedy was a war-mongering, loose cannon who was goading the Commies into starting a nuclear war; or, at least, so inept that war would result from his actions. What is said about President Bush was said about him.

Perhaps - but 12 year old school kids in 1963? Not buying that.
8 posted on 03/05/2005 6:46:59 AM PST by over3Owithabrain
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To: MisterRepublican

I was in 4th grade in 1963, and I will always remember in those very early hours, my teacher told us to pray for the president (in those days, this did not cause anyone to have fits). At the end of a short prayer, one wisea$$ said "I hope he dies" and she got detention.


9 posted on 03/05/2005 6:47:45 AM PST by Fudd Fan (MaryJo Kopechne needed an "exit strategy")
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Arkie2
My elementary school class cheered when the principle announced that Pres. Reagan had been shot, and the smiling teacher then scolded me for denouncing them for it. That was the moment I first knew the left was evil.
11 posted on 03/05/2005 6:49:19 AM PST by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: Mathemagician

We were told the president had been assasinated and that's when the children cheered.


12 posted on 03/05/2005 6:49:37 AM PST by Arkie2
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

OMG... what an evil teacher.


13 posted on 03/05/2005 6:50:38 AM PST by Fudd Fan (MaryJo Kopechne needed an "exit strategy")
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To: MisterRepublican
Because my parents were strong Republicans I thought it was great news. I was in 8th grade at the time. I ran it by my father who told me what an evil thing it was. I don't recall cheering in the classroom when I heard the news.

I was probably in my early 40's before I came to understand that Kennedy was significantly more conservative than was Nixon, one of the most liberal presidents we have ever had.

14 posted on 03/05/2005 6:52:16 AM PST by stevem
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To: MisterRepublican

Dan Rather has body odor.


15 posted on 03/05/2005 6:53:29 AM PST by YourAdHere (My Brady Bunch book is now available!)
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To: Arkie2

Were you one of the children cheering? Explain.


16 posted on 03/05/2005 6:55:16 AM PST by Shisan (Jalisco no te rajes.)
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To: Fudd Fan

I have a number of memories like that from growing up in a very leftist state, but I still have trouble imagining Texas school children in the early 1960's cheering at a democrat president's death.


17 posted on 03/05/2005 7:00:51 AM PST by Ronaldus Magnus
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To: MisterRepublican

Last week, and perhaps other times, MRC out out that litany of Ratherisms throughout his career. There really isn;t any difference between Rather and Michael Moore.


18 posted on 03/05/2005 7:03:16 AM PST by stevem
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To: Arkie2
We were told the president had been assasinated and that's when the children cheered.

I find it hard to believe the little turds cared about politics. They would have cheered for any presidents death regardless of party because when you're 12, you are anti-authority, rebellious - the president represents authority. Or the little turds cheered because they made the correct inference that they would get to leave early.

19 posted on 03/05/2005 7:03:39 AM PST by demlosers
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To: MisterRepublican

I love long goodbyes.

Wonder if Dan Rather feels humiliated?

Nah!

Ol' Dan has been living in a self-constructed fantasy world for 42 years.... "reporting the news" as he himself created it.


20 posted on 03/05/2005 7:06:03 AM PST by sodpoodle (sparrows are underrated)
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To: over3Owithabrain

Besides, most of Kennedy's political opponents in 1963 thought he was too weak on Communism, not too provocative.


21 posted on 03/05/2005 7:08:40 AM PST by happyathome
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To: Arkie2

Arkie, I believe you. I was a young GI in Munich when we got the news and I saw young soldiers like myself almost come to blows in the barracks. Feelings were running high and it was the first time I knew of anyone having political feelings about any president. Many young people of the day reflected what their parents felt about Kennedy.

As for folks who question your veracity on this thread, they can kiss off.


22 posted on 03/05/2005 7:13:13 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: Fudd Fan
I was in the 4th grade on that day, too. It was a Catholic school, predominately Irish first generation students. Sister John Vainney RSM, aka Godzilla, wept like a child when she told our class that the President was dead. Most of the nuns in that school were never the same after JFK died. I've often thought that one day had the most profound impact on the structure of the religious communities.

Very sad, since many kids today would greatly benefit from the old time ways of the ironically named Sisters of Mercy. Certainly, the 8 yr. old who was arrested and handcuffed in his classroom yesterday (earlier thread).
An old fashioned nun would have just given him a "cuff" that he would never forget. End of story.
23 posted on 03/05/2005 7:15:46 AM PST by ishabibble
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

I have a problem with children cheering anyones death, much less the sitting President of the United States.


24 posted on 03/05/2005 7:24:44 AM PST by sweet_diane ("Will I dance for you Jesus? Or in awe of You be still? I can only imagine..I can only imagine.")
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To: MisterRepublican
WHEN CBS ANNOUNCED THAT IT will smile through the pain of Dan Rather's dying credibility with an hour-long retirement tribute in early March

CBS must surely be pained. Reference to the retirement tribute is not easily located on the CBS website.

Apparently, it will be narrated by Rather himself. Dan is least likely to say anything negative about his career.

25 posted on 03/05/2005 7:31:41 AM PST by NautiNurse (Osama bin Laden has more tapes than Steely Dan)
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To: Arkie2

We had one kid who told everyone he was killed with a machine gun and then he made the machine gun noises. He had a big grin on his face. We were about 12 at the time. The kid was always a little idiot so he was ignored.

I don't remember anyone else making stupid comments. I do remember one teacher was a little red in the face possibly from crying but I don't remember anything except a lot of silence.


26 posted on 03/05/2005 7:33:31 AM PST by Shooter 2.5 (Vote a Straight Republican Ballot. Rid the country of dems.)
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To: Socratic
"Many people don't realize that a large group of Americans thought that Kennedy was a war-mongering, loose cannon who was goading the Commies into starting a nuclear war; or, at least, so inept that war would result from his actions."

We just thought he was a worthless pussy with lying drunks for brothers, and a bootlegger for a father.

27 posted on 03/05/2005 7:38:51 AM PST by Slump Tester (John Kerry - When even your best still isn't good enough)
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

I was in Hong Kong when I heard Reagan was shot, no one told us, we had to hear it from the Chinese people.


28 posted on 03/05/2005 7:38:52 AM PST by RaceBannon ((Prov 28:1 KJV) The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.)
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To: leadpenny
Many young people of the day reflected what their parents felt about Kennedy.

This is a likely explanation for the children's behavior. The parents would then be plagued with a case of "be careful what you wish for."

29 posted on 03/05/2005 7:40:07 AM PST by NautiNurse (Osama bin Laden has more tapes than Steely Dan)
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To: Arkie2; nopardons
Actually, children did cheer at the announcement. I was 12 at the time and our principle called all the students at our school to the auditorium to make the announcement. Quite a few of the children cheered the news. It's one of those things you never forget, like where you were and what you were doing on 9-11

Actually, at least one FReeper did as well.

I was walking back to my next college class, after having spent most of the afternoon down town, when someone screamed at me : " THEY'VE SHOT THE PRESIDENT ". I yelled back : " SOMEONE SHOT PRESIDENT xxx ? " ( The president of the college )" NO ", PRESIDENT KENNEDY !"

" GOOD ! " , I replied and walked on, a smile on my face, amidst a sea of tearful ones.

Posted by nopardons to onyx On News/Activism 11/17/2003 8:52:43 PM PST #140 of 168

30 posted on 03/05/2005 7:40:32 AM PST by ActionNewsBill ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act")
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To: happyathome
You're right. Nixon was always thought of as the uber anticommunist. Kennedy was suspect. The Bay of Pigs debacle followed by the successful Cuban missile blockade sent a mixed message to some.

However when one looks back and contrasts JFK with the current crop of Dims he looks almost Reaganesque.

31 posted on 03/05/2005 7:45:52 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Memos on Bush Are Fake but Accurate". NYTimes)
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To: leadpenny
Many young people of the day reflected what their parents felt about Kennedy.

On second thought, many little turds are parrots of their parents.

I remember hearing in my childhood that my daddy says this or that, so it had to be the absolute truth. No amount of reason would change their minds. I always caught my father making some bs storyline, then again, he was a Democrat.

32 posted on 03/05/2005 8:06:31 AM PST by demlosers
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To: leadpenny

Thanks. If there are doubters about my story here it's really not my problem. I'm just reporting what happened in my school. I'm sure it happened in a lot of other places too as you say it happened in your barracks. I'm not even sure how many children cheered. It wasn't the majority but enough to make the memory stick in my mind.


33 posted on 03/05/2005 9:16:47 AM PST by Arkie2
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To: Arkie2

I don't remember any kids cheering, but I do remember the look on the face of my fourth-grade teacher when she told us. We all just sort of sat in stunned silence, until one girl in our class started laughing hysterically. We all looked at her like she was crazy, and her laughing just sort of trailed off. It was pretty surreal.

I think we were all too young to realize the importance of what had happened.


34 posted on 03/05/2005 9:57:29 AM PST by Theresawithanh (2005! My resolution: FReep even MORE this year!!!)
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To: MisterRepublican
I read the Ken Auletta piece in The New Yorker magazine (story not available at their website) and came away from it thinking that Dan Rather is really a pathetic piece of work. He's one of those guys chasing the myth of Ed Murrow, and despite all the cash he's getting (~$7M)he can't seem to give it up - holding on to hope that 60 Minutes II will not get pulled - so he'll have something to do.

The famous Nixon interchange with Rather answering Nixon's question "Dan are you running for something?" with "No Mr. President are you?" was only tolerable because the entire country had doubts about Mr. Nixon's veracity at that moment. But when you think about it - it was an absurd confrontation. Nixon wasn't running for anything - he was in the middle of he is second term. Rather was just saying, politely by stating "Mr. President", that he felt he was, egoistically, on the same ground as Richard Nixon. Despite all his faults, Nixon was never as base as Dan Rather.

I think Auletta's piece is excellent, and leaves you with an uncomfortable feeling about Rather - portraying awkward moments with his show's producers who don't even look away from their computer screens when conversing with Rather, like he was this embarrassing old fart who feels he's still a crusading reporter (answering the phone "Rather here...This is Dan Rather"). I think there will be a lot of people inside CBS who will be glad when Wednesday is over.

I say good riddance.

35 posted on 03/05/2005 10:14:18 AM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

Seems to me that the bias of the parents may have been picked up by the kids.
Then, with the typical cruelty of kids, they responded that way.


36 posted on 03/05/2005 10:32:04 AM PST by G Larry (Aggressively promote conservative judges!)
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To: Ronaldus Magnus

Man, that is truly sick!!!!


37 posted on 03/05/2005 10:34:47 AM PST by international american (Tagline now fireproof....purchased from "Conspiracy Guy Custom Taglines"LLC)
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To: Slump Tester

History shows that Kennedy was so inept that war could result from his in-actions. The Bay of Pigs and resulting Cuban/Soviet missile crisis and Vietnam are 2 examples. That also holds for all the DemoRat Presidents that followed JFK; Johnson, Carter, BillyBoy, and most of the ones preceding also.


38 posted on 03/05/2005 11:00:03 AM PST by iopscusa (El Vaquero.)
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To: G Larry
Seems to me that the bias of the parents may have been picked up by the kids.

As well as the bias of their publicly funded teachers.

39 posted on 03/05/2005 2:36:15 PM PST by Ronaldus Magnus
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